Once spring has arrived and your garden is starting show signs of hope and growth, you'll want set aside time to thin the seedlings. This is best accomplished on a day when you are exhibiting the fruit of patience in large quantities.
While many of your heirloom vegetable seeds are sown in your garden plot, raised bed or container with the recommended spacing in mind, there are varieties that are so small that they end up growing too closely together. When vegetable plants are small they are most sensitive to competition as their root systems are small and just developing.
Use a pair of gardening scissors to clip the seedlings right at the soil surface. Don't thin by pulling out with your hands. The adjacent plants root systems will be disturbed, or even worse the plant may be completely uprooted. These clippings can be be enjoyed as your first harvest of the gardening season! The remaining roots and stem that you just clipped will die back and decompose, leaving a little bit of organic matter and air space for the chosen seedlings.
Varieties sprouting in your garden that will need to be thinned for proper development.
Thin carrots when 1-2" tall. Various spacing is used for different types of carrot seed but generally you'll want to thin to 2" apart. Shop our organic & heirloom carrot seed here -> Danvers 126, Nantes Coreless Scarlet, Atlas, Dragon, Red Core Chantenay, Yellowstone.
Thin radishes when 1-2" tall. For spring radishes (Easter Egg, Pink Beauty) thin to 1-3" apart. For winter radishes ( Red Meat-Watermelon, Nero Tondo) thin to 5". Crowded radishes do not produce good roots. Shop our organic & heirloom radish seed here -> Easter Egg, Pink Beauty Watermelon, Nero Tondo.
There are four common types of lettuce seed; loose leaf, butterhead, romaine and iceberg. There are SO many heirloom and organic varieties within these four main groups that come in such a wide range of colors, shapes and sizes. You can harvest them as microgreens, baby greens or full grown. The choices really are endless. If harvesting for leaf lettuce thin to 1/2-1" inch, butterhead 6-10", romaine 6-10" and Iceberg 8-10". Shop our organic & heirloom lettuce seed here -> Black Seeded Simpson, Big Boston, Buttercrunch, Deer Tongue, Freckles, Little Gem, Mesclun.
When 3" tall, thin beet seedlings to 3-4" apart. If not thinned, swollen roots may not develop properly. Shop our organic & heirloom beet seed here -> Chioggia, Detroit Dark Red, Golden Detroit, Touchstone Gold.
Thin turnips to 2-4" apart when leaves are 4" tall. This will be your first harvest of turnip greens. Shop our organic & heirloom turnip seed here -> Purple Top White Globe
We offer a variety of garden tools to help make your harvest successful & enjoyable.
These large and small Barebones gardening scissors are perfectly suited for the task of thinning and harvesting leafy greens. Shop all of our gardening hand tools here!