Water the seedlings in gently with a sprayer with a fine nozzle spray. Depending on the type of seedlings you’re thinning, you can leave 1 to 2 inches of space for smaller plants, or 4 to 5 inches of space for larger plants such as cabbage or kale. 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You don’t want to thin your seedlings as soon as they’ve germinated because they will still be very young and tender. They may still grow if you don’t thin them, but they will probably be pretty scraggly. Check your seedlings' moisture level daily and water as needed. Thinning also prevents the spread of disease and keeps seedling roots from getting tangled together as they grow. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. Seeds that are started late winter or early spring, when the sun is still low in the sky, are prone to this type of growth pattern. Leaving one plant in each pot will maximize growth and development for your transplants. Ease the seedling out the growing medium using your pricking tool to ease out the roots – taking care to keep the roots as in tact as possible. Of course, I have found cloudy days to be just as effective. How Often You’ll Need to Thin. This is when I like to thin them out and give them a trim. An alternative is to nip off seedlings using your fingernails. Stop the cilantro plants from becoming overcrowded by thinning the seedlings when the cilantro is 2 to 3 inches (5.1 to 7.6 cm) tall. Soak roots in water before carefully separating. Learning how to thin plants isn’t difficult. If the stem tapers as you get closer to the soil line this is an indication of inconsistent watering (over or under) and again is a sign it should be snipped. Some crops will bolt sooner if they have no space to grow because they feel stressed out. However, not all plants handle thinning the same way. Some thinnings respond well to being replanted which is handy if you have gaps along your row. More Tips. Feed your seedlings with fertilizer every 7-14 days for best results. They can also be gently raked to remove excess seedlings, though I prefer pulling them one by one to limit any damage. Thin seedlings in the cool of the day or an hour or so after they have been watered; the seedlings will be plump with moisture. Water and feed your seedlings routinely to keep them healthy! Every fall planting season I shuffle through seed packets to find out how to thin the seedlings. Gently lower the seedling into the hole you have prepared for it and gently firm in the growing medium around the roots. You can start thinning them when they are at least 3-4 inches tall. It will require you to thin the seedling at least twice during the growing season. Log in. You can see the cotyledons on these seedlings, but they do not have any true leaves yet. With the tender annual seedlings I keep them inside until the nights stay above 40 degrees for the most part. Thinning is necessary when seedlings are growing in a tight group, or there’s more than one seedling growing in a seed tray cell, pellet, or seedling pot. To thin your plants, simply keep a close eye on your seedlings throughout the first 1–2 weeks of their life, and only keep those specimens that show the healthiest, fastest growth. Long and leggy leeks need cutting down to size Thinning. How to thin seedlings without cutting them. Make certain the soil is reasonably damp beforehand, which simply makes it easier to pull the plants out intact and with less damage—similar to weeding young sprouts. Again, depending on the plants and their mature size, spacing may vary. Most plants will be 2 to 3 inches tall by then making them easy enough to grasp and pull out. Do not put the freshly potted up seedlings in the direct sun. How to Thin Seedlings. What are you growing in your vegetable garden this spring? You should only have to thin your seedlings once, but if I have a lot of extra plants I will usually split it into two occasions. Depending on what you are growing, you’ll want to thin plants out enough so that each seedling has a couple of inches of space (or two finger widths) on either side. A few days ago it was finally time to thin out my radish seeds that I planted back in the beginning of April. Sign up for our newsletter. Thinning Seedlings and Plants Perhaps one of the most difficult tasks in all of the gardening world, is thinning out seedlings. When to thin seedlings? Evening hours are a good time to thin seedlings as the cooler temps and darker conditions make it easier for the remaining seedlings to bounce back from any stress they may have received. Carrot Top Pesto | delicious recipe with carrot thinnings, Beginner Gardener Tips | free printable advice sheets, Create A Permaculture Fruit Tree Guild | what to plant next to fruit trees & why, Vegetable Garden And Allotment Jobs To Do In June. Then a week later I will thin them out again to all be 12 inches apart. While most people prefer a finger width between seedlings and on either side of them, I like to use two — it’s always better to be safe. It isn't difficult to "cut" the dirt in half once it's time to transplant to the garden, … I walked out to the garden in the morning before otto and joe were awake and before the sun had burned off the dew on the grass. LEDs are highly energy-efficient but cost more than fluorescent lights. Thin stemmed seedlings don’t transplant well outside because they aren’t strong enough to withstand the elements. But you also don’t want to wait until you can see visible signs that some in a pot or clump are struggling to grow. When the seedlings have developed their second set of true leaves, it’s time to transplant or thin them. Dampen soil before thinning as it will be easier to pull plants up without resistance. A few weeks later, the leek seedlings should be about 15-20cm tall and looking rather grass-like. I simply forget. 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