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How to "snip" lettuce seedlings

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How to "snip" lettuce seedlings

Post  buttaflie143 on 5/14/2011, 4:44 pm

Can someone please tell me how to "snip" my lettuce seedlings to leave just one. Here is a picture so you can see my dilemma:















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Re: How to "snip" lettuce seedlings

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 5/14/2011, 4:55 pm

I let mine get a bit bigger before snipping. Some will get leggy to get out of the others' way. Some won't do so well and I won't ever worry about them.

When I snip, though, I need a defined stem to locate. And I take those little lettuce buddies and wash and eat them like the ones I let grow.....Yummy.
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Re: How to "snip" lettuce seedlings

Post  buttaflie143 on 5/14/2011, 5:13 pm

About how much bigger? And what do you mean "leggy"? Not worrying about the ones that don't do so well...I am concerned because lettuce has a shallow root system and I don't want the little ones zapping nutrition from the ones that are doing their best. Know what I mean?
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Re: How to "snip" lettuce seedlings

Post  buttaflie143 on 5/14/2011, 5:14 pm

Also, can you post a pic of a defined stem? Smile
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Re: How to "snip" lettuce seedlings

Post  fiddleman on 5/14/2011, 7:30 pm

Wow buttaflie lots of lettuce coming up. Perhaps next time just put the 3-4 seeds per space instead of the 10 +. Okay... here is how I go about it, first look for any sickly ones and take a pair of scissors and cut those off. Don't pull them, just cut them. Next look for the ones which look more "spindly", or weaker with color. Those get cut next. Usually the ones on the outside of the bunches of seedlings are much less well developed than those towards the inside, so it is a bit easier to cut off those. As you work your way into the bunch which are left, some times you'll see a couple of evenly matched healthy plants. Cut one of them. Be ruthless and don't feel bad--- eat or compost the other plant. Ideally you will have one at the spacing those need (I use 4 per square for leaf lettuce and one per square for head types). I will usually leave two to four per space to allow for a plant to be sick and still have one left, but once they start touching leaves, cut the one or another plant out.

I would cut them now. Mine are about the same size, and as soon as it stops pouring rain here, me and the scissors have a date in the garden! Very Happy

Sometimes it is difficult to remember how big plants will get when given the right nutrients... we are pre-thinning to the adult size of the plant... not the seedling size.

Don't worry too much on the how to cut these out... even if you picked the weakest plant and cut all of the others, remember... these things WANT to grow. Really, really, badly. You've given them the best possible conditions by using the mel's mix, and they will take off all on their own. Lettuce is practically indestructible and takes lots of abuse (unless it gets too hot,even then there's things you can do). Keep in mind, once these plants get a bit bigger, you'll be able to cut leaves off of them for harvest and the plant will keep on growing!!! This, fortunately for me, is not rocket science and is fairly fool proof. Give it some water, compost, and sun, and stand back! cheers

Be confident, and good luck!
Mark
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Re: How to "snip" lettuce seedlings

Post  fiddleman on 5/14/2011, 7:43 pm

@buttaflie143 wrote:About how much bigger? And what do you mean "leggy"? Not worrying about the ones that don't do so well...I am concerned because lettuce has a shallow root system and I don't want the little ones zapping nutrition from the ones that are doing their best. Know what I mean?

On page 37 of the All New Square Foot Gardening, it has a picture of the size seedlings Mel suggests thinning at. Seed leaves and stem. To quote from the page, "When your seeds sprout from the pinch of seeds that you planted in your squares, snip out all but one of them".

Mark
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Re: How to "snip" lettuce seedlings

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 5/14/2011, 10:13 pm

I have some squares coming in right now. I'll take some shots and show you what I mean this week. I have a few in different stages that should help a bit.

Let's see....you gave me an excuse to use the camera.....I may be in love.
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Re: How to "snip" lettuce seedlings

Post  buttaflie143 on 5/14/2011, 10:57 pm

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Re: How to "snip" lettuce seedlings

Post  Barkie on 5/15/2011, 6:34 am

Blimey girl affraid you have a lot of potential lettuces there. Very Happy Very nice looking too. My sowing trick is to pour a very small amount of seed onto my left palm (say 10 - 20 seeds) and scrape just three or four off it with a dry finger or seed label.

I've tried putting the seed in my left palm, palm cupped up a bit and tap the edge of my hand with a finger to shake the amount of seed out of the crease of my hand but I must have a deep crease so the above works better for me. Just don't do it on a windy day or sneeze or you can end up with the whole 10 or 20 lettuce per station or across half the garden. Very Happy

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Re: How to "snip" lettuce seedlings

Post  jerzyjen on 5/15/2011, 8:26 am

This may sound silly, but it does help. I have a pair of scissors I use for thinning at this little stage that are really small at the end. I have no idea what they are for, they were laying around the house and thought they were perfect. It's easier to get those skinny little blades in between the stems and cut. Once you start cutting some out it gets easier to work around.
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