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Feb 7, 2013 09:42 PM

The Cut Throat Wins!

I try every year to sway my hubs to thin the veggie herd, but bless his loving soul he cannot thin the sproutlings. But you faint of veggie guillotine heart, they need to be thinned to thrive. Otherwise you are wasting seen, fertilizer, water and time.

Print this off and give it to your ever so loving other OR give yourself heart to ruthlessly thin your vegetable garden seedling while le wimp is elsewhere (eyes averted).

Now that I have made way - - what have you to offer me to get the Spring juices flowing??

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  1. It's so true. You prepare the mix, plant the tiny seeds and keep evenly moist...then bam! you have all these tender seedlings. It seems so heartless to cut them down when they are just beginning their life. I always think, well, maybe I can tuck another tomato in!

    Since we are currently in the middle of a blizzard, I have been perusing the garden catalogs. Rose porn, daylily porn, bulb porn and veggie porn and daydreaming of May. Ahh. There is no garden like your dream garden.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Jerseygirl111

      Rose porn. Snicker. I do peony and rose porn as well. Every year I plan a spot to clear for my dream rose (it is different every year) from here:

      get the drool cup out before going there.

      Stay safe during the bliz.

      1. re: Sal Vanilla

        Not many looking at the garden stuff yet, only us zealots.

        BTW, you were correct about those roses. Yowza!

        A few years ago, nine actually, I was crazy into roses. Then, I got a job and they got neglected. Now I only have a few still hanging in there. I have 2 Scentimentals, a Queen Elizabeth, a Jadis, an Iceberg and a Comte de Chambord. When I say hanging in there, I mean I am lucky if I get a couple roses all year from each. I really need to get outside this year and work on the yard besides the veggie garden.

        1. re: Jerseygirl111

          How I handle this issue depends on the crop. With many of my plants I go full Herbert Spencer (i.e. "survial of the fittest") in my acts, tossing in excess seed and basically letting the plants fight it out amoungst themselves. Usually I only intervene when a clear winner has emerged (i.e. THEN I'll yank out the losers) or grant a reprieve in cases of a total failure elsewhere (i.e. if one tomato pot has actualy had NO plants survive, I may take some "also rans" from another pot and transplant them into the space.
          Probably the place where I am most agressive is the small beans. Each year as a part of a breeding experiment I am doing, I plant a qunatity of a small type of Asian bean, called a rice bean. Since the mixture I use is made up of whatever seeds from the previos year or years looked interesting to me, it is very genetically diverse and has both pole (climbing) plants and bush (upright) plants in it. I know from experiance that 1. the bush plants will flower and set pods, the pole will not) and 2. the pole outnumber the bush sometihng like 10-1 and 3. the pole outgrow the bush by a lot, and if left on thier own will strangle them. So what happens is that for the first four to eight weeks or so I am very careful to leave all the little plants in place (only removing those that have obviosly died) then I go literally pull crazy. Each day I go out and scrutinize the plants. If any show signs of becoming a pole type (elogating into a vine or beginning to climb) out it comes! ocassionally I will do a second thinning come flowering time, once about 10-20% of the plants flower, the rest are assumed not to be suitable for the climate and are also removed though this is onkly usually done if the amounts left after pull #1 are still large, which they rarely are (out of something like 2-300 seeds that went in last year I think two plants made it all the wat to pods and those didn't actually give me any seeds in the end (animals chewed the stems apart before the pods were mature.)

          1. re: jumpingmonk

            I like your referring to your methods as granting reprieves. Lexicon of the vegexecutioner.

            1. re: jumpingmonk

              Why are you planting the pole beans if you just rip them out? And if you rip them out, how do they go to seed? I'm confused. Are you attempting to breed a bush-type rice bean?


            2. re: Jerseygirl111

              I have a compte de Chambord on the side of my house. It is withering under the shade of a crazy azalea and an ugly ash tree my husband won't remove. The flower is so gorgeous, but I only get 3 or 4 big, full blooms and a few small ones. Also have an iceberg. I should take a pic of it for you to make you feel better. I have moved it twice trying to please it and it still refuses to thrive. I bought a bare root Sally Holmes climber when I bought the Iceberg - and I cannot cut it enough. People drive by our house and take pictures of it. Fabulous.

              I can't wait until Spring.

              Planting seeds for broc. romanesco, lettuce, cauliflower and cabbage today. I was told yesterday that if you tie the outer leaves around the cauli, the head will be tight. I am going to try it.

              1. re: Sal Vanilla

                Hmm. I always heard Icebergs were easy to grow and vigorous. Thought the failure to thrive was my fault, well the neglect part definitely is. Would love to see your Sally H. What zone are you?

                I just read that people are recycling their K-Cups as seed starter cups. There is already a small hole in the bottom for drainage. And you can throw the grinds in the garden. Great idea.


        2. I always feel terrible after thinning the seedlings, and I have to work my way up to it every time. Poor little plants.

          Since my yard (yay! I finally have a yard to plant things! No more porch container garden for me!) is currently under about three feet of snow, I'm planning out what's going to go in my herb garden, attempting to narrow down the vegetables I want to grow, and picking out flower seeds for my window boxes.

          1 Reply
          1. re: zitronenmadchen

            My husband is incapable of thinning. He gets depressed if he even detects I have done it. I usually try to wake before him, slip out and thin, toss the greens into the salad bin and munch down all other evidence.

            This past year (that is when I started sneaking) hubs declared " See? You don't need to thin when you plant judiciously." I wanted to bonk him, but I just smiled.

          2. It can be hard to do.

            What I hate is that if I plant thinly to avoid much thinning I either get poor germination or some varmint eats some.

            Plant thick and every seed comes up and nothing bothers them.

            1 Reply
            1. re: kengk

              So true. We just did our indoor sowing today. WAY over did it. The whole time he kept talking about the varmints. I told him we should transplant with a ring of mustards and radish. Trickem!

            2. I am with your husband for the most part; I don't usually thin out my plants unless I intentionally throw a bunch of seeds in a patch of dirt and when they get large enough to dig up and transplant, that's what I do. Otherwise, I plant so that everything has it's permanent home.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Cherylptw

                My husband thinks he does your last sentence with the carrots (he sows them). I snip their little cute frilly tops right off at the dirt and he never knws the diff! : ))

                1. re: Sal Vanilla

                  Lol! My bf is only in charge of tilling and making rows; I do the planting and sometimes even he doesnt know what's out there because he's on the "thin" side of the room...

              2. I am not good about thinning but I plant in raised beds and try to space right for that. And sometimes I can eat the thinnings. I mixed some garlic in with my favas and vice versa. I already pulled the favas, but I"m going to wait to pull the garlic until they are big enough to eat.