Stake the plant if it needs (or will need) support. She earned a BA in Environmental and Sustainability Studies from Western Michigan University in 2014. To avoid wasting seed and negate the need for thinning, if you have the time and patience, spinach seeds are big enough to handle individually, so you can plant each one in their final position, at 6 to 12 inches apart. Spinach grows quickly, and baby spinach leaves can be ready to harvest in around 40 days. 5 seedlings of Russian Kale. If you are starting your seeds indoors, start them three weeks before the last expected frost date. References. Lauren Kurtz is a Naturalist and Horticultural Specialist. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. However, seeds that are directly sown into the ground almost always require thinning. Lauren Kurtz is a Naturalist and Horticultural Specialist. Debra LaGattuta is a certified master gardener with decades of experience with perennial and flowering plants, container gardening, and raised bed vegetable gardening. Can I leave the cut seedlings on the soil? When it comes to vegetable gardening, spinach planting is a great addition. Closely examine the plants. A few Bronze arrow lettuce plants are behind the Kale. For example, for beans it's 4 in (10 cm) and for corn it's 1–1.5 ft (30–46 cm). If you’re short on space and try planting plants closer they will end up not doing as well in the end. Last Updated: May 26, 2020 Thinning Spring Radishes. This article was co-authored by Lauren Kurtz. Thus, a kneeling pad can be a helpful tool to keep you comfortable. Just pull up the weaker or smaller ones. Monitor the growth of the seedlings closely. This article has been viewed 138,844 times. If you don’t manage them during initial development, overcrowded seedlings will try to grow taller and taller as they compete with each other for light. That’s particularly true if you’ve broadcast seed or used older seed and planted them thickly. By the way, rinsing this way is way easier than using a colander. Bigger distances tend to stunt the small vegetable seedlings. Should You Start Your Vegetable Garden From Seeds or Seedlings? Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. To have the most success, plant spinach seeds in nitrogen-rich soil and keep the temperature lower than 80 °F (27 °C). wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. All you need is fingers. The objective in thinning is to leave the remaining seedlings undisturbed. From here I gently scoop out the leaves trying to leave the dirt on the bottom of the sink or bowl and transfer them to the other side of the sink full of water for the second rinsing. To save time and effort, many gardeners sow vegetable seeds—especially seeds that are very tiny—simply by broadcast sprinkling them in garden beds rather than sowing each seed individually. Spring radishes typically germinate within four or five days and have reached the sprout stage by the time they’re a week old. You can usually accomplish this by by gently tipping the container on its side and easing the mass out, pushing up from the bottom as needed. Thin the seedlings when they are 2–3 inches (5.1–7.6 cm) tall. Gently remove the roots and soil from the pot and set them in the hole. Here are spacing recommendations for a few commonly grown vegetables: Seedlings can be easily plucked with your fingers simply by gripping them between your thumb and forefinger and giving a gentle tug. In general, plants should be spaced based on their mature size plus a few inches. Thin plants to 6 inches apart for best growth and to maintain good air circulation. Thinning seedlings produces healthier plants and higher yields by reducing competition for water and nutrients and providing good air circulation between plants. Follow these few simple steps to thin seedlings. Thinning can disturb the soil, so it's best to lightly mist the remaining seedlings after thinning to rejuvenate the plants. She earned a BA in Environmental and Sustainability Studies from Western Michigan University in 2014. In hot weather, set up temporary shade for your spinach crop to stop the soil drying out and the crop bolting (running to seed). The plants are ready for thinning when the second set of true leaves shows up. Dry soil stops the seedlings from accessing the nutrients they need to grow strong stems and leaves. Tips for Growing 10 Types of Vegetables in Containers, Vegetable Seeds or Seedlings? When thinning, keep in mind the space each plant will need to spread and grow to maturity. It's easier to pull up roots from damp soil. The symptoms of this condition include the seedling wilting and toppling over, the stem near the soil line becoming watery and girdled, and the roots becoming stunted and blackened. Beet seed is generally sown in raised beds one-half-inch deep and one-inch apart. Wait until the seedlings are 2–3 inches (5.1–7.6 cm) tall and choose a mild day to start thinning them out. Here's and easier way: When the first true leaves appear, snip off the extra seedlings at the soil line. Alternatively, you can wash the microgreens and use them in a salad! This article was co-authored by Lauren Kurtz. That raises the issue of spacing. Add some water. I’ll probably take out the 3 small ones and let the other 2 do their thing. It's easiest to wait until the seedlings are tall enough to grasp. "Didn't know about seed leaves vs. true leaves!". Snip or nip away seedling tops at ground level. Therefore, no thinning is required. However, it takes longer than simply pulling up the roots. Finally, some gardeners find it difficult to sacrifice so many vegetable plants. 1 Keep the garden free of plant debris that can harbor pests. Growing vegetables from seed is much less expensive than buying seedlings from a garden center, but growing from seed also slightly more work. Although spacing for full sized plants is similar for rows, raised beds, and containers, there are some slight differences, which I’ll go over here. I like to use needlenose kitchen scissors, because they are … We use cookies to make wikiHow great. By using our site, you agree to our. RAKE METHOD OF THINNING: Lettuce, spinach and other greens can be thinned by hand or with a flexible rake. Most plants will be 2 to 3 inches tall by then making them easy enough to grasp and pull out. If you prefer to pull your seedlings rather than cutting them with scissors, thinning while the soil is damp will make it easier to slip them out without disturbing everything nearby. Don’t let the seedlings get too big, as more leaves will form, which can cause crowding. How to thin plants . Spinach prefers full sun, but it is one of the few vegetables that can also tolerate some … Spinach is a powerhouse of nutrition and flavor, especially when you grow it at home by starting your own spinach seedlings from seed. Plant spinach seeds an inch apart in rows 14-18 inches apart and cover the seeds with a 1/2 inch of soil. Cover lightly with soil, firm in place and water well. If the spacing is too small you may need to thin out the seedlings again later. Then sprinkle the sugar mix in the baskets and gently brush hands over dirt. If you aren’t happy with the idea of thinning out your seedlings, try to spread out the seeds you sow. There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Although the sources are different, the result is usually the same – a condition known as either damping off or seedling blight. Read our. Root vegetables can be sensitive to thinning because disturbing the young roots can cause deformities. This way removes the dirt that can stay in a colander. Savoy is a sturdy spinach plant with good cold tolerance. Two are growing much larger than the other 3. Thin out weaker spinach seedlings to give healthy plants plenty of room to grow, and harvest as soon as you see rosettes of 5-6 leaves. Sow the spinach seeds thinly in rows spaced about one to 1 1/2 feet apart or simply scatter the seeds in blocks. If you are growing vegetable seedlings in blocks rather than rows, you can run a flexible rake through the seedlings to thin them out. Use the right tool for thinning seedlings – Garden pruning shears are way too big and clumsy to use for this delicate job, and it’s easy to accidentally damage other seedlings … Plant spinach during the cool weather of spring and fall. Although it can feel wrong to remove healthy plants, this prevents fungal and growth problems later on. When the soil in the pot is slightly wet, dig a hole in the garden slightly larger than the pot. The other option is to thin greens when they are tall enough to eat – my preferred method for greens. Step 2. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. To do this, carefully remove the whole chunk of soil, seedlings and roots out of their small container. In other cases, the plants you pull out should just be added to the compost pile. Avoid choosing tall and spindly seedlings, as these may not become healthy adults. Maybe you just forgot to water often enough! After years of gardening I ‘guess’ rather than measuring exactly. Maybe you just forgot to water often enough! It's fussy work, and always hard to decide which ones to save and which to toss. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Pepper seeds should be planted ¼" deep in a fine-textured seed-starting mix or vermiculite to provide good drainage. Add more compost/fertilizer around the root ball if you can. Whether you choose to start seeds indoors or out, following a few guidelines will ensure a healthy crop. With tiny seeds, it’s tempting to simply scatter them in one large tray and thin the seedlings as they grow, but proper spacing helps prevents leggy seedlings as well. Properly spaced plants will help your garden be fruitful and thriving! Most gardeners like to do this in several passes to determine the strongest plants to save. You may need to thin the seedlings of seed broadcast across a planting bed more than once. That way, you shouldn't disrupt the remaining plants. Space rows 8 to 12 inches apart. When germination rates are high, beets require thinning to make room for the developing bulb. Put some compost or fertilizer in the hole. % of people told us that this article helped them. Raking will free up more space for remaining seedlings to grow and is much faster than plucking or cutting seedlings by hand.   If you prefer to pull your seedlings rather than cutting them with scissors, thinning while the soil is damp will make it easier to slip them out without disturbing everything nearby. However, often seeds are tiny so this can be difficult. Behind that is mache from last fall going to seed. Seedlings must be thinned out to grow into healthy and strong adults. Can you explain the process of transplanting seed? As you might imagine, this can make cleaning your spinach a bit more difficult, so instead of washing under running water, soak them in cold water to dislodge the dirt hiding in the folds. about the cornell lab of dr. thomas bjorkman If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Once seeds sprout good, thin to 10-12 plants in your 10-12" basket. How many seedlings you take out—and the spacing you allow for the remaining seedlings—will depend on whether you want your vegetables to grow to full size or if you prefer to eat them early. Also, transplanting long-rooted vegetables, such as carrots and turnips, can cause them to fork. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 138,844 times. The guy we bought plants from (who sells to every successful gardener I know) suggested to soak 1/8 teaspoon seeds in 1teaspoon sugar for 1 minute. Putting the seedlings out to 1-1/2 or even 2 inches apart once they have the first leaf will keep them shorter. If you prefer to avoid disturbing the soil (and nearby plants), you can use garden scissors or snips to cut off the unwanted seedlings at ground level. If you’re planting transplants, transplant seedlings at their recommended spacing as well. Use garden snips or a scissors to thin out crowded seedlings. After thinning your sowings to 15cm apart, the most important thing is to keep your spinach well watered. Hand-pulling the seedlings that you'd like to thin out can disturb the roots of the seedlings that you'd like to keep. Lauren has worked for Aurora, Colorado managing the Water-Wise Garden at Aurora Municipal Center for the Water Conservation Department. Seed packets will usually provide appropriate guidelines for seed sowing depth and spacing. For example, if you like to harvest tiny carrots, leave the seedlings tightly spaced. Seedlings are usually thinned when they have one to two sets of leaves. That saves seeds, plus it saves a lot of time later on when it comes to thinning out the plants. It works really well for spinach too. When planting this cole crop in rows, thin your seedlings or set out your transplants so that they are 12-18 inches apart, with 2-3 feet between rows. Prepare Site. Beets, carrots, parsnips, cucumbers, melons, and squash are among the plants that cannot be pulled out and planted elsewhere. Use a ruler to make sure the distance is correct. You can also use a seed sower to release one seed … Space spinach plants 12 inches apart in fertile, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.5 to 7.0. Spinach thrives in fertile soil that doesn’t easily dry out. Remove intermediate seedlings first. Start off the growing season right by mixing in several inches of aged compost or other rich organic matter into your native soil. Short video showing how to thin lettuce seedlings so they'll thrive. Grown as an annual, the seeds are planted 1/2 inch deep and spaced 2 to 3 inches apart. If you plant seeds densely, it is very important to make sure that you do thin the plants out. Taller seedlings aren’t always stronger. Begin thinning as soon as seedlings are large enough to handle. It’s best to thin them between seven and 10 days, before the roots can become tangles. From the Southwest Yard & Garden mailbag - Learn how to thin out lettuce and spinach sprouts in the garden. In addition, thinning in the evening gives the remaining plants a chance to adjust before being exposed to heat and sunlight. Press your fingers on the soil around each desired seedling when you remove the neighbors if you are worried about disturbing the roots. 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\n<\/p><\/div>"}, http://growingplaces.org/wp-content/uploads/NEWSLETTER-2012-Volume-9-Issue-24.pdf, https://garden.org/courseweb/vegetables/CLASS3/c3p9.html, http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/basics/techniques/propagation_sowingoutdoors1.shtml, https://schoolgardening.rhs.org.uk/Resources/Activity/Weeding-and-Thinning-Flower-Seedlings, https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/broccoli-production, http://www.frugalupstate.com/garden/garden-primer-how-to-read-a-seed-packet/, https://www.sunset.com/garden/fruits-veggies/choosing-which-vegetables-to-grow, https://harvesttotable.com/carrot_and_parsnip_growing_pro/, http://www.motherofahubbard.com/five-tips-for-growing-beets/, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. In Rows. Plant spinach in early spring, or as soon as the last frost for your area has come and gone. Seedlings started in pots usually don't have to be thinned because you can separate them when it's time to transplant them outdoors. See the “How To Choose Which Seedlings To Thin” section above to figure out which seedlings to thin, and which ones to keep. How to Thin Out your Seedlings Read the seed packet to know the recommended distance so the plant can reach maturity. Find Out Which Is Best for Your Garden, 10 Root Vegetables You Can Successfully Grow, How To Grow Herbs Indoors on a Sunny Windowsill, How to Make a Garden Planter From a Plastic Kiddie Pool. The good news is that some plants—like lettuce, beets, chard, and spinach—is that you can toss the tiny seedlings you remove into salads or other recipes, so all is not lost. So, instead of pulling, simply use scissors to snip off the seedlings you don't want at the soil line. Once the plants have a grown their true leaves, you can begin to thin the plants to about six inches apart. We recommend using a 20-row seed flat; the shallow channels in the flat allow you to minimize the amount of growing medium needed while maximizing the number of seeds you can start on a heat mat. So, to thin root vegetables, carefully remove one seedling at a time, either by gently pulling it from the ground or cutting it at ground level. Lauren has worked for Aurora, Colorado managing the Water-Wise Garden at Aurora Municipal Center for the Water Conservation Department. However, the seedlings won't be perfectly spaced. 1. University of Maryland Extension Website, Marie Iannotti is an author, photographer, and speaker with 27 years of experience as a Cornell Cooperative Extension Horticulture Educator and Master Gardener. [1] X Research source It's easiest to wait until the seedlings are tall enough to grasp. Baby plants can grow weak, skinny stems if the seed raising mix dries out or is poor quality. Keep the soil moist and after the seeds germinate thin them to stand 3-5 inches apart. The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. The idea is not to disturb the roots during transplant. Protect seedlings from flea beetles, aphids, and leafhoppers with floating row covers. Overplanting and then thinning is just asking them to stretch. But if you prefer large carrots at the end of the season, the spacing should be much farther apart according to the directions on the seed packet. You can thin out any seedlings with scissors if you are worried about damaging the roots of the desired plants. Seedlings are usually thinned when they have one to two sets of leaves. The recommended spacing varies between plants. Keep spinach evenly moist and mulch planting beds to keep the soil cool. This method of removing seedlings is easiest to do when the soil is moist and pliable. Thinning long rows of seedlings requires bending and working close to the ground. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Gently tamp down on the root ball. Gently prick out small seedlings and transplant them into their own cells if you are wary of disposing of extra sprouts. Lettuce. Growing spinach is easy, as long as you plant it at the right time and provide it with sufficient water and fertilizer. Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) is a wonderful source of Vitamin A and one of the healthiest plants that we can grow.In fact, growing spinach in the home garden is a great way to get plenty of iron, calcium and vitamins A, B, C and K. Thinning Seedlings by Separating Another method used to thin seedlings is by gently separating them. Creating enough space between the plants lets each seedling get all of the sunlight, water, and nutrients it needs. Discard the seedlings when you are done. Keep the soil moist until germination. This article has been viewed 138,844 times. Nobody likes to thin seedlings. Take one pass with the rake and then another pass in the opposite direction. As a result, too many seedlings sprout and are packed too closely together. When this happens, gardeners must systematically remove the extra seedlings to provide enough space for the remaining seedlings to grow. Because spinach matures quickly, planting successive crops a few weeks apart is the best way of having fresh spinach all season long. Each leaf is covered in wrinkles and crinkles.