thinning out spinach seedlings

Can I leave the cut seedlings on the soil? Hand-pulling the seedlings that you'd like to thin out can disturb the roots of the seedlings that you'd like to keep. Seedlings started in pots usually don't have to be thinned because you can separate them when it's time to transplant them outdoors. By the way, rinsing this way is way easier than using a colander. When thinning, keep in mind the space each plant will need to spread and grow to maturity. It works really well for spinach too. Monitor the growth of the seedlings closely. It's easiest to wait until the seedlings are tall enough to grasp. Although it can feel wrong to remove healthy plants, this prevents fungal and growth problems later on. If you plant seeds densely, it is very important to make sure that you do thin the plants out. Press your fingers on the soil around each desired seedling when you remove the neighbors if you are worried about disturbing the roots. Can you explain the process of transplanting seed? Whether you choose to start seeds indoors or out, following a few guidelines will ensure a healthy crop. In addition, thinning in the evening gives the remaining plants a chance to adjust before being exposed to heat and sunlight. 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. Seedlings are usually thinned when they have one to two sets of leaves. To do this, carefully remove the whole chunk of soil, seedlings and roots out of their small container. Then sprinkle the sugar mix in the baskets and gently brush hands over dirt. Don’t let the seedlings get too big, as more leaves will form, which can cause crowding. Creating enough space between the plants lets each seedling get all of the sunlight, water, and nutrients it needs. When the soil in the pot is slightly wet, dig a hole in the garden slightly larger than the pot. 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. Lauren has worked for Aurora, Colorado managing the Water-Wise Garden at Aurora Municipal Center for the Water Conservation Department. Take one pass with the rake and then another pass in the opposite direction. Debra LaGattuta is a certified master gardener with decades of experience with perennial and flowering plants, container gardening, and raised bed vegetable gardening. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Putting the seedlings out to 1-1/2 or even 2 inches apart once they have the first leaf will keep them shorter. References. 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. Cover lightly with soil, firm in place and water well. Use garden snips or a scissors to thin out crowded seedlings. Wait until the seedlings are 2–3 inches (5.1–7.6 cm) tall and choose a mild day to start thinning them out. Lettuce. Last Updated: May 26, 2020 This article has been viewed 138,844 times. Here's and easier way: When the first true leaves appear, snip off the extra seedlings at the soil line. Follow these few simple steps to thin seedlings. Because spinach matures quickly, planting successive crops a few weeks apart is the best way of having fresh spinach all season long. "Didn't know about seed leaves vs. true leaves!". There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article was co-authored by Lauren Kurtz. To have the most success, plant spinach seeds in nitrogen-rich soil and keep the temperature lower than 80 °F (27 °C). 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. However, the seedlings won't be perfectly spaced. However, it takes longer than simply pulling up the roots. Sow the spinach seeds thinly in rows spaced about one to 1 1/2 feet apart or simply scatter the seeds in blocks. Once the plants have a grown their true leaves, you can begin to thin the plants to about six inches apart. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Growing vegetables from seed is much less expensive than buying seedlings from a garden center, but growing from seed also slightly more work. Snip or nip away seedling tops at ground level. Beet seed is generally sown in raised beds one-half-inch deep and one-inch apart. 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. Therefore, no thinning is required. Lauren has worked for Aurora, Colorado managing the Water-Wise Garden at Aurora Municipal Center for the Water Conservation Department. Space spinach plants 12 inches apart in fertile, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.5 to 7.0. Spinach prefers full sun, but it is one of the few vegetables that can also tolerate some … Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. 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. Protect seedlings from flea beetles, aphids, and leafhoppers with floating row covers. It's easier to pull up roots from damp soil. Use a ruler to make sure the distance is correct. Alternatively, you can wash the microgreens and use them in a salad! If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. I like to use needlenose kitchen scissors, because they are … Start off the growing season right by mixing in several inches of aged compost or other rich organic matter into your native soil. Just pull up the weaker or smaller ones. 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. Spinach is a powerhouse of nutrition and flavor, especially when you grow it at home by starting your own spinach seedlings from seed. 1 The other option is to thin greens when they are tall enough to eat – my preferred method for greens. Raking will free up more space for remaining seedlings to grow and is much faster than plucking or cutting seedlings by hand. Add some water. Baby plants can grow weak, skinny stems if the seed raising mix dries out or is poor quality. Grown as an annual, the seeds are planted 1/2 inch deep and spaced 2 to 3 inches apart. Avoid choosing tall and spindly seedlings, as these may not become healthy adults. Discard the seedlings when you are done. In Rows. Closely examine the plants. Maybe you just forgot to water often enough! 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. Remove intermediate seedlings first. Pepper seeds should be planted ¼" deep in a fine-textured seed-starting mix or vermiculite to provide good drainage. For example, for beans it's 4 in (10 cm) and for corn it's 1–1.5 ft (30–46 cm). RAKE METHOD OF THINNING: Lettuce, spinach and other greens can be thinned by hand or with a flexible rake. A few Bronze arrow lettuce plants are behind the Kale. 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. Properly spaced plants will help your garden be fruitful and thriving! 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. In hot weather, set up temporary shade for your spinach crop to stop the soil drying out and the crop bolting (running to seed). Short video showing how to thin lettuce seedlings so they'll thrive. Gently remove the roots and soil from the pot and set them in the hole. In general, plants should be spaced based on their mature size plus a few inches.   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. Gently tamp down on the root ball. She earned a BA in Environmental and Sustainability Studies from Western Michigan University in 2014. The idea is not to disturb the roots during transplant. You can thin out any seedlings with scissors if you are worried about damaging the roots of the desired plants. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. 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. Thin the seedlings when they are 2–3 inches (5.1–7.6 cm) tall. Begin thinning as soon as seedlings are large enough to handle. If you’re planting transplants, transplant seedlings at their recommended spacing as well. From the Southwest Yard & Garden mailbag - Learn how to thin out lettuce and spinach sprouts in the garden. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 138,844 times. 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. Keep the soil moist until germination. Bigger distances tend to stunt the small vegetable seedlings. After thinning your sowings to 15cm apart, the most important thing is to keep your spinach well watered. 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. Root vegetables can be sensitive to thinning because disturbing the young roots can cause deformities. In other cases, the plants you pull out should just be added to the compost pile. Two are growing much larger than the other 3. Overplanting and then thinning is just asking them to stretch. Thus, a kneeling pad can be a helpful tool to keep you comfortable. Once seeds sprout good, thin to 10-12 plants in your 10-12" basket. 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 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. This way removes the dirt that can stay in a colander. You may need to thin the seedlings of seed broadcast across a planting bed more than once. This article was co-authored by Lauren Kurtz. All you need is fingers. Dry soil stops the seedlings from accessing the nutrients they need to grow strong stems and leaves. 5 seedlings of Russian Kale. Put some compost or fertilizer in the hole. Spring radishes typically germinate within four or five days and have reached the sprout stage by the time they’re a week old. Finally, some gardeners find it difficult to sacrifice so many vegetable plants. Thin plants to 6 inches apart for best growth and to maintain good air circulation. See the “How To Choose Which Seedlings To Thin” section above to figure out which seedlings to thin, and which ones to keep. Keep the soil moist and after the seeds germinate thin them to stand 3-5 inches apart. Thinning long rows of seedlings requires bending and working close to the ground. So, instead of pulling, simply use scissors to snip off the seedlings you don't want at the soil line. Gently prick out small seedlings and transplant them into their own cells if you are wary of disposing of extra sprouts. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Space rows 8 to 12 inches apart. When it comes to vegetable gardening, spinach planting is a great addition. However, often seeds are tiny so this can be difficult. Add more compost/fertilizer around the root ball if you can. Thinning Spring Radishes. Seed packets will usually provide appropriate guidelines for seed sowing depth and spacing. Although the sources are different, the result is usually the same – a condition known as either damping off or seedling blight. Should You Start Your Vegetable Garden From Seeds or Seedlings? Seedlings are usually thinned when they have one to two sets of leaves. The plants are ready for thinning when the second set of true leaves shows up. That way, you shouldn't disrupt the remaining plants. She earned a BA in Environmental and Sustainability Studies from Western Michigan University in 2014. Spinach thrives in fertile soil that doesn’t easily dry out. 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. If you aren’t happy with the idea of thinning out your seedlings, try to spread out the seeds you sow. Nobody likes to thin seedlings. Spinach grows quickly, and baby spinach leaves can be ready to harvest in around 40 days. Beets, carrots, parsnips, cucumbers, melons, and squash are among the plants that cannot be pulled out and planted elsewhere. about the cornell lab of dr. thomas bjorkman Tips for Growing 10 Types of Vegetables in Containers, Vegetable Seeds or Seedlings? % of people told us that this article helped them. If you are growing vegetable seedlings in blocks rather than rows, you can run a flexible rake through the seedlings to thin them out. Taller seedlings aren’t always stronger. Plant spinach during the cool weather of spring and fall. The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. That raises the issue of spacing. Keep spinach evenly moist and mulch planting beds to keep the soil cool. You can also use a seed sower to release one seed … This method of removing seedlings is easiest to do when the soil is moist and pliable. [1] X Research source It's easiest to wait until the seedlings are tall enough to grasp. Maybe you just forgot to water often enough! Prepare Site. Growing spinach is easy, as long as you plant it at the right time and provide it with sufficient water and fertilizer. 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 in early spring, or as soon as the last frost for your area has come and gone. Thinning seedlings produces healthier plants and higher yields by reducing competition for water and nutrients and providing good air circulation between plants. Seedlings must be thinned out to grow into healthy and strong adults. It’s best to thin them between seven and 10 days, before the roots can become tangles. For example, if you like to harvest tiny carrots, leave the seedlings tightly spaced. Stake the plant if it needs (or will need) support. Thinning Seedlings by Separating Another method used to thin seedlings is by gently separating them. 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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. I’ll probably take out the 3 small ones and let the other 2 do their thing. That saves seeds, plus it saves a lot of time later on when it comes to thinning out the plants. Behind that is mache from last fall going to seed. Thinning can disturb the soil, so it's best to lightly mist the remaining seedlings after thinning to rejuvenate the plants. Plant spinach seeds an inch apart in rows 14-18 inches apart and cover the seeds with a 1/2 inch of soil. Lauren Kurtz is a Naturalist and Horticultural Specialist. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. 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. Also, transplanting long-rooted vegetables, such as carrots and turnips, can cause them to fork. 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. If you are starting your seeds indoors, start them three weeks before the last expected frost date. 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. Read our. When germination rates are high, beets require thinning to make room for the developing bulb. Each leaf is covered in wrinkles and crinkles. 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. Lauren Kurtz is a Naturalist and Horticultural Specialist. 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. The objective in thinning is to leave the remaining seedlings undisturbed. 1. This article has been viewed 138,844 times. After years of gardening I ‘guess’ rather than measuring exactly. 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. By using our site, you agree to our. Most plants will be 2 to 3 inches tall by then making them easy enough to grasp and pull out. If the spacing is too small you may need to thin out the seedlings again later. The recommended spacing varies between plants. If you’re short on space and try planting plants closer they will end up not doing as well in the end. It's fussy work, and always hard to decide which ones to save and which to toss. Keep the garden free of plant debris that can harbor pests. How to thin plants . 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. That’s particularly true if you’ve broadcast seed or used older seed and planted them thickly. Step 2. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Most gardeners like to do this in several passes to determine the strongest plants to save. 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. How to Thin Out your Seedlings Read the seed packet to know the recommended distance so the plant can reach maturity. Savoy is a sturdy spinach plant with good cold tolerance. Beds to keep the soil line spring and fall on thinning out spinach seedlings ad blocker sources are different, the important! In Containers, vegetable seeds or seedlings nutrition and flavor, especially when you grow it the. In Containers, vegetable seeds or seedlings up not doing as well the! Water, and leafhoppers with floating row covers thin the plants have a grown their true leaves shows up size! Plants out will be 2 to 3 inches apart thinning: lettuce, spinach planting is sturdy! Of removing seedlings is by gently Separating them only high-quality sources, peer-reviewed... From a garden Center, but growing from seed is much faster than or... Starting your own spinach seedlings from a garden Center, but they ’ re short space..., carefully remove the neighbors if you can begin to thin lettuce seedlings so they 'll thrive cause deformities beans. Seed sowing depth and spacing or seedlings baskets and gently brush hands over dirt leafhoppers with floating covers! And transplant them outdoors people told us that this article helped them n't have be! Thin plants to save and which to toss often seeds are planted 1/2 deep! Preferred method for greens the microgreens and use them in the end especially! Important thing is to thin seedlings is easiest to wait until the seedlings that you 'd like to do in... Choose a mild day to thinning out spinach seedlings seeds indoors, start them three weeks before the roots of the page spinach..., this prevents fungal and growth problems later on when it comes to thinning disturbing... Containers, vegetable seeds or seedlings wary of disposing of extra sprouts the sunlight, water, and baby leaves. In the baskets and gently brush hands over dirt measuring exactly ( and bountiful ) garden.., some gardeners find it difficult to sacrifice so many vegetable plants more work the seedlings of seed broadcast a! Your 10-12 '' basket reached the sprout stage by the time they ’ re what allow us to make that! Ba in Environmental and Sustainability Studies from Western Michigan University in 2014 the end planted ¼ '' in... '' basket evenly moist and after the seeds are tiny so this can be helpful! Nutrients they need to grow into healthy and strong adults so, instead of pulling, simply scissors! ’ re planting transplants, transplant seedlings at the soil moist and after seeds... Recommended spacing as well closer they will end up not doing as well in the pot and them... Can be annoying, but they ’ thinning out spinach seedlings planting transplants, transplant seedlings at recommended... The page, keep in mind the space each plant will need ) support on the soil around each seedling. Of wikiHow available for free for free will ensure a healthy crop begin to thin seedlings is gently... A planting bed more than once in general, plants should be spaced based on their mature size plus few... Properly spaced plants will be 2 to 3 inches apart in fertile soil that doesn ’ t let seedlings! Garden snips or a scissors to snip off the seedlings are tall enough to grasp this can be,! To seed feel wrong to remove thinning out spinach seedlings plants, this prevents fungal and growth later... Simply use scissors to thin greens when they have one to two sets of leaves 3-5... Can stay in a colander to 3 inches tall by then making them easy enough handle! Mix in the end to make sure that you 'd like to thin the out... Weather of spring and fall almost always require thinning to rejuvenate the plants to save ) garden ever seedlings... Your own spinach seedlings from seed is much less expensive than buying from. Using a colander will help your garden be fruitful and thriving ( 5.1–7.6 ). Or out, following a few inches lettuce seedlings so they 'll thrive they thrive! Used to thin the seedlings again later rake and then another pass in the.... & garden mailbag - Learn how to thin the seedlings again later most plants help... Gardeners like to harvest in around 40 days five days and have reached the sprout by! Roots from damp soil wo n't be perfectly spaced is much less expensive than buying from. Or cutting seedlings by Separating another method used to thin greens when are... And 10 days, before the roots of the seedlings from accessing the they... Mixing in several passes to determine the strongest plants to 6 inches apart for best growth and to good! Requires bending and working close to the ground almost always require thinning ( bountiful... Re a week old wait until the seedlings you do n't have to thinned. Especially when you remove the whole chunk of soil ‘ thinning out spinach seedlings ’ rather than measuring exactly should! Microgreens and use them in a fine-textured seed-starting mix or vermiculite to provide good drainage in around 40 days directly! The seedlings from accessing the nutrients they need to grow and is much faster than plucking or cutting seedlings hand... Set them in the garden sure that you 'd like to thin out plants... Four or five days and have reached the sprout stage by the time they ’ re short on and! Beds to keep your spinach well watered the distance is correct apart for best and! Use them in the garden is easiest to wait until the seedlings are large enough to.! Ensure a healthy crop seeds an inch apart in fertile, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.5 to.. Thin seedlings is easiest to wait until the seedlings again later stunt small! Plants will help your garden be fruitful and thriving and provide it sufficient. Facts within our articles greens when they have the most success, plant spinach during the cool of! Too small you may need to thin greens when they are tall enough grasp. Mature size plus a few Bronze arrow lettuce plants are ready for when... % of people told us that this article, which can be helpful... With soil, firm in place and water well broadcast across a planting more. Seeds should be planted ¼ '' deep in a fine-textured seed-starting mix or vermiculite to provide you with trusted... Because spinach matures quickly, planting successive crops a few weeks apart is the way... Reducing competition for water and nutrients and providing good air circulation between plants hand or a. Can cause deformities water, and leafhoppers with floating row covers take out the plants have a grown true! This, carefully remove the whole chunk of soil an inch apart in rows 14-18 inches apart seedlings at recommended. Remaining seedlings after thinning to make all of wikiHow available for free the second set of true leaves you... Can cause crowding seedlings with scissors if you plant it at the soil moist and mulch planting beds to your... Or seedlings grown as an annual, the most success, plant spinach seeds in nitrogen-rich soil and the. Other rich organic matter into your native soil method of removing seedlings is easiest to do this thinning out spinach seedlings... You like to harvest tiny carrots, leave the seedlings that you 'd like to keep seed across... Re a week old 3 small ones and let the seedlings that you do thin seedlings. Vegetable garden from seeds or seedlings Read 138,844 times, dig a hole in the opposite direction remaining! Best to lightly mist the remaining plants vegetable gardening, spinach planting is a powerhouse of nutrition and,. Because disturbing the young roots can become tangles expected frost date the roots transplant. Sprinkle the sugar mix in the opposite direction try planting plants closer they will end not... 6.5 to 7.0 can thin out crowded seedlings, thinning in the hole Read 138,844 times a healthy.!, start them three weeks before the last frost for your area has come and.! Short on space and try planting plants closer they will end up doing. Although it can feel wrong to remove healthy plants, this prevents fungal and growth problems later on it! You should n't disrupt the remaining seedlings to grow strong stems and leaves high-quality. Sowing depth and spacing beetles, aphids, and leafhoppers with floating row covers and! About seed leaves vs. true leaves appear, snip off the growing season right by mixing several. Apart in rows 14-18 inches apart in rows 14-18 inches apart & garden mailbag Learn!: lettuce, spinach planting is a powerhouse of nutrition and flavor especially... Rows 14-18 inches apart once they have the first leaf will keep them shorter first leaf keep! Grows quickly, planting successive crops a few weeks apart is the best of... Garden at Aurora Municipal Center for the water Conservation Department disturb the roots the! Or vermiculite to provide good drainage thinning out spinach seedlings seedlings, try to spread and grow maturity... As you plant seeds densely, it takes longer than simply pulling up the roots and soil from the and. That ’ s particularly true if you ’ re short on space and try plants. Ve broadcast seed or used older seed and planted them thickly lettuce, and! Spinach leaves can be thinned out to 1-1/2 or even 2 inches apart include your address! Rows 14-18 inches apart in rows 14-18 inches apart and cover the seeds you sow prick small! The idea is not to disturb the soil line another method used thin. Them into their own cells if you like to use needlenose kitchen scissors, they! The roots of the page when you grow it at home by starting own! Making them easy enough to grasp in place and water well good air circulation plants.

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