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Oh, how I hate thinning :’(

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Oh, how I hate thinning :’(

Post  Roseinarosecity on 10/4/2011, 2:14 pm

I planted cauliflower seed for my very first time. The package said to plant “a group of 4 seeds every 1’ – 2’. ” I planted 3 seeds in each of my four squares. It is a variety of a green, purple and white cauliflowers: ‘Green Macerata,’ ‘Purple of Sicily,’ and ‘Snowball Y.’ Now, (7 days later) every square planted has three 1 inch sprouts poking out! The sprout colors are either all green or green with a reddish edge. I’m suppose to thin when they are 2 inches. I definitely want the green and purple cauliflower but which sprout should I eliminate when I thin them? Does anybody have experience with these cauliflowers?

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Re: Oh, how I hate thinning :’(

Post  boffer on 10/4/2011, 2:26 pm

@Roseinarosecity wrote:...but which sprout should I eliminate when I thin them? Does anybody have experience with these cauliflowers?
I've grown a variety of snowball. One per square of them is plenty.

At two inches, it's usually hard to tell if one baby plant is healthier than another. If you spaced out your planting of the three seeds in each square, you can let the plants grow to 6-8 inches and then decide, or you could transplant them.

If you planted the seeds close together, remember to thin with scissors, and not try to pull the entire plant out.
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Re: Oh, how I hate thinning :’(

Post  gwennifer on 10/4/2011, 4:54 pm

I planted the exact same cauliflower blend! I only did three squares worth and I did want to see if I could get one of each variety to come up. I kid you not, I dumped the seeds out and attempted to sort them into three different types using a jewelry loupe! One type of seed for sure looked different and was easy to sort, but I was hard pressed to find any difference in those that remained. I finally decided, planted two of each into my three squares, and four days later had six sprouts. After a few days I pulled the extra out of each square. (I can see why Mel originally recommended planting just one seed where you wanted one plant to grow!)

Be grateful you can already disguish at least one of your seedlings from the others! I am on day 68, with big healthy plants, and at a glance they are identical. There are no heads yet, but with a closer inspection I think I was successful in getting three different varieties growing. One for sure is obviously different, as it has purple veins on the leaves. The other two seem identical, green leaves with pale veins on a pale stem. But on one of those there seems to be a purplish tinge where each leaf comes off the stem, whereas the other has no color differential there. *shrug* I don't know if that helps you thin your seedlings or not? Good luck!
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Re: Oh, how I hate thinning :’(

Post  Mamachibi on 10/5/2011, 10:17 am

And don't throw those seedlings away! It might help with the pain of thinning to know that they are edible. Other than nightshades (potato, tomato, eggplant) I drop seedlings into my salads instead of throwing them into the compost. Pet rabbits, cavies, chickens and some cats and dogs will eat them, too.
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Re: Oh, how I hate thinning :’(

Post  Roseinarosecity on 10/5/2011, 12:52 pm

Gwennifer,
I like the way you studied your plants and your seeds! I am looking forward to hearing about your harvest in 2 - 3 weeks. I want to know what leaf color gave you which colored cauliflower. I did look back at my leftover seeds and I did notice a color difference in the seeds. I will pay more attention next time I plant the next succession and I will only plant one in each hole from now on.

And Mamachibi, what a simply idea to take that guilt away from thinning my sprouts-- eating them! I like this forum!

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Re: Oh, how I hate thinning :’(

Post  AvaDGardner on 2/17/2012, 6:49 pm

Those blend packs drive me crazy! You see them with lettuce a lot. I want to know WHICH is WHICH, because some we eat more than others, and I don't want to waste any more seed (or seedlings) than I must!

I think I'll just buy plants this time around. Armstrong has them in purple and cheddar orange. Orange will be so fun to turn into mock mashed potatoes and cheese!
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