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Good Morning Garden Soldiers!  It’s been quite awhile since I’ve posted on my gardening series since I’ve been so busy in my own garden.  I’m happy to say, everything is sowed in the ground and in different stages of sprouts to harvest.

Thinning Seedlings

One of the most difficult things for new gardeners to comprehend is that it is essential to thin your seedlings.  Every year at my community garden, I see many newbies plant their seeds, watch them grow and then get disappointed by their yields.  The culprit… they did not thin their seedlings.

So what does thinning your seedlings mean?!

Thinning your seedlings simply means that you are cutting away all but one seedling per space that the vegetable needs to grow.  You see why this is difficult to comprehend for newbies?  When we see so many sprouts growing we assume that we should keep them all to increase our harvest.  However, this is far from the truth.  Every vegetable needs it’s space to grow.  It’s essential to thin your seedlings for healthy plant growth and development and believe it or not to maximize your crop production.

This becomes even more important when planting your root vegetables such as radishes, carrots, beets, turnips etc.  If too many seedlings are growing together the root is competing for space and nutrients.

Below is an example from my garden.

Before thinning my seedlings (radishes)

After thinning my seedlings

Tips for thinning your seedings

  • Identify the proper spacing for plants.  This can be found on all seed packages.
  • Pick the largest and healthiest seedlings to keep.
  • Wait to thin your seedlings until the first true sets of leaves appear.
  • For small seedlings, use scissors to cut away the seedlings you don’t want at the soil line.  This is important so you don’t disturb the roots of the seedling you want to keep.
  • Add more soil if roots are exposed

 So take a good look at your garden.  If you have any crowded seedlings, make sure to thin them out!

My next post in this series is going to be on disease, fungus and insects that can damage your crops including preventatives and treatments.  We are coming to that time of year where we may encounter some of this and the effects can destroy all of our hard work.

It’s been so much fun hearing how so many more foodies are growing our own food!  If you have any pictures of your thriving garden, please send me pics to diana (at) phileodesign (dot) com.  In the meantime check out newbie Miranda’s garden from My Food and Life Encounters!  Yeah… after looking at her pictures you wouldn’t think this was her first year!!  AMAZING!!!

Until then Garden Soldiers! Let’s Grow Our Own Food!

Diana is a mother of three, proud wife, and humbled daughter of God. She finds the most joy meeting with Jesus in her organic gardens. She is completely blessed to be able to call herself a stay at home mom where she home educates her children, joyfully serves her husband, and cooks nourishing, real food, for her family. She loves connecting with people on facebook, google+, pinterest, and instagram.

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