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Traumatic thinning

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Traumatic thinning

Post  barneca on 5/14/2013, 12:20 pm

For my beets, onions, and carrots, I used the 2-3 seeds per hole method recommended as an option in the book, in order to make sure each hole ended up with a viable plant. Of course they all came up, so last weekend I had to roll the dice and choose which ones lived, and which became microgreens. In the past I've killed most of a crop by pulling up the thinned plants adjacent to those I'm keeping, so this time I used scissors. But thinning is still the most stressful part of the whole cycle for me. It always looks so healthy when there are a bunch of tiny plants all growing right next to each other, and the survivors look so lonely and pathetic and smaller and vulnerable after I harvest their little friends.

Question: I was puzzled to have up to 6 separate little 2" high beet plants at each location, since I only used 2-3 seeds each hole, but from some Googling it looks like each beet "seed" actually has multiple plant seeds in it. I thinned all but one stem at each hole, but now I'm paranoid I should have left the 2-3 stems from one seed and that I've yet again killed a crop during thinning. (Should have Googled before thinning, not after). Did I do irreparable harm? If I'd only put one seed in, I wouldn't have thinned anything, right?

I don't think I'm going to use this method any more. Next time it's one seed per hole; I'd rather have an empty space (which I can always put another seed in if nothing's growing) than the stress of thinning wrong. It didn't seem necessary in the MM anyway; I only had a few scattered holes where none of the three seeds came up; there were no holes with only plant.

For those crops you direct sow, do most of you put 2-3 seeds in each hole and thin later, or just one and trust seeds and the mix?

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Re: Traumatic thinning

Post  llama momma on 5/14/2013, 12:42 pm

I put 2-3 seeds in each hole anyway. I like choosing the most vigorous looking plant. As I gained more experience thinning then the heartfelt thoughts of killing went away. Other times I transplanted little tiny ones to another location with various success.
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Re: Traumatic thinning

Post  CapeCoddess on 5/14/2013, 1:14 pm

I only put in one beet seed per hole and usually have to thin. With single seeds I put 2 or more depending on how old the packet is. Sometimes I'll divide, like with leafie greens, and other times I snip, like with root veggies.

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Re: Traumatic thinning

Post  barneca on 5/14/2013, 2:35 pm

Thank you, CC, that leads me to believe I accidentally did it right by thinning to one stem.

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Re: Traumatic thinning

Post  jjlonsdale on 5/14/2013, 4:21 pm

I'm in the one-seed-per-hole camp... I just can't bear to have the power of life and death over the vulnerable little seedlings I've created. Embarassed But it's not like I'm trying to make money off it or feed my whole family, so I have flexibility if things don't go exactly as planned. Also you can always stick another seed in the spot something didn't come up.
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Re: Traumatic thinning

Post  plantoid on 5/14/2013, 7:39 pm

Beet seeds are usually four of so seeds in each of the little light brown wrinkled seed pods that we sow ..that's why you got multiple beets come up and needed to thin them out .
You can separate them to individual seeds which involves a bit of messing around and is not always successful .

Mother nature knows best, that's why she sends them out in packs of four or more seeds Laughing

You can buy selectively grown pods with only one seed in them , they are usually cylinderical beets and are about three times the price of the normal boltardy globe beets .
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Re: Traumatic thinning

Post  littlejo on 5/14/2013, 9:15 pm

I direct only 1 seed per spot, beets are the only 1 to have to thin. That has been my only downfall with gardening , row or SFG. I hate the thinning part. I love seeding in the house, 1 per pot, if it does not come up, just plant another. I do this outside also. The only veggie I don't seem to be able to germinate outside is lettuce. I think the birds get the seed for it is on top of the MM.
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Re: Traumatic thinning

Post  Kelejan on 5/14/2013, 9:40 pm

Toughen up, barneca and jjlonsdale: be hard, be firm, be merciless.
Many of us go through this stage and some never get through it.
Think of the excess plants as weeds. Very Happy
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Re: Traumatic thinning

Post  donnainzone5 on 5/14/2013, 9:48 pm

Or salad ingredients.
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Re: Traumatic thinning

Post  Kelejan on 5/14/2013, 11:49 pm

donnainzone10 wrote:Or salad ingredients.
That's a better idea. Nothing wasted. Very Happy
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