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How Much to Thin??

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How Much to Thin??

Post  thebraggcrew on 3/1/2012, 7:06 pm

Hey y'all! I'm a newbie SFG-er in North Georgia. I tried my first SFG last Spring using transplants, and had a fair amount of success. But this year I'm starting with seeds indoors, and I'm a little confused...

I planted the first round in vermiculite about 1 1/2 weeks ago. Broccoli, cabbage, onions, peppers, and tomatoes. (I did them in "jiffy pots" because I guess I wasn't prepared with the right number of cups, etc.) I now have several sprouts coming up of the broccoli, cabbage, and onions, and I think it's time I move them to some other pots with Mel's mix.

But the problem is, I have no idea how to thin them (IF I should thin them), or how many to transfer to each pot. Based on what I have, how much do I keep? ... Also, the jiffy pots seems to be growing mold?!?!?! So I'm thinking I need to transfer asap! Wink Below is a pic of what I've got going... Any help would be MUCH appreciated!!!

Thanks so much!
Angela


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Re: How Much to Thin??

Post  curio on 3/1/2012, 7:18 pm

I guess the first question is how many of those plants do you want to plant? What I did with my brocolli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc seed that were sown two or three to a pot was to take some tiny scissors and snip the ones that were too spindly at the ground level and let the best of the bunch continue in the "pot".
Regarding that fungus (looks like that's what it is). Are you leaving these covered? If so, you need to leave them uncovered once they're sprouted to prevent this sort of thing.
I haven't tried thinning and transplanting seedlings this tiny, but if you do, handle them only by their leaves (preferably the first false leaves) and not the stems, to avoid crushing them. I'd use a pointed tip nail file to prick them out and plant them in their new pots.
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Re: How Much to Thin??

Post  camprn on 3/1/2012, 7:27 pm

The onions are fine the way they are until they get a bit larger and you can put them right in the garden... The others look like they are really reaching for the light. It is ideal to wait to transplant seedlings until they have their first true leaves, which they do not yet have. If you can give them a light source for after the sun goes down (about 14 hours a day) until they get the true leaves things will be better. I usually transplant every seedling I have because, inevitably, some will not make it. If I have extras to give away after I plant the garden, that makes me popular Razz.
OK, to transplant, you will pop out the whole plug of soil and seedlings and gently tease the roots apart, then each plant will go into an individual cell. The mold indicates there is probably too much moisture.

This is a pretty much the way I do it. A good video, a little long but worth watching.

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Re: How Much to Thin??

Post  thebraggcrew on 3/7/2012, 11:03 am

Thank you so much for that amazingly helpful video! Smile Like I said, I'm a total newbie to this. I just followed the "Starting Transplants Indoors" instructions in Mel's new book. It didn't say anything about lights, so I might have messed up there. Also, they're not planted in soil yet - they're still just in vermiculite. He mentioned in the book about transferring them to soil (still indoors) right when the "seed leaves" come up. I understand how y'all said to wait until the "true leaves" come to transfer, but it sounds like you're also talking about seeds that are already in soil. Is it OK to keep them in only vermiculite until the true leaves come up, or do I need to move them to the soil before then?

Thanks again!!

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Re: How Much to Thin??

Post  UnderTheBlackWalnut on 3/7/2012, 8:41 pm

It's so exciting to have little sproutlings! Smile In the book Mel says that when you sprout in vermiculite, you should transplant after you see the seed leaves and not wait for the first "true" leaves. He says that if you wait, often the roots become so tangled it's more difficult to transplant. I took mine out of the vermiculite after the first seed leaves and they seem to be growing fine. The only difference is I have them under a grow light and it's the very first year I didn't have leggy seedlings...YAY! Smile
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Re: How Much to Thin??

Post  lindabateslawson on 3/11/2013, 10:10 pm

I know this is an old post but I am at this stage where my lettuce is spouted and about 2-3" tall and I'm searching the forum to try and see what I should do next. I planted mine in the little jiffy peat pots and am wondering when to thin. I have some pretty thick clumps of lettuce growing. I LOVED this video and now I wished I had planted in larger pots but I think I'll just take the jiffy pots and put them in larger pots now without disturbing them. Do you think they will be Then when they get a little bigger, I'll follow this video and thin this way. My question to the experts is if they think this is an okay way to do it, and also what is liquid seaweed? Thanks
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Re: How Much to Thin??

Post  camprn on 3/11/2013, 10:14 pm

If you pull apart the peat pot you may be able to transplant all those wee seedling into other pots or cells.
If you don't want to do that, pull out a pair of cuticle scissors and snip the ones you don't want.

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: How Much to Thin??

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 3/11/2013, 11:06 pm

I successfully transplanted tiny lettuce in a similar situation with a very high success rate. I tore the 4 inch peat pot I started them in apart and then just divided the soil. I seem to find better success doing that when they're really little, I guess there's less roots to disturb.
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