Thinning Out Your Mesclun Lettuce Plants

Posted on Jul 23 2010 - 3:30am by Mike Lieberman

When you started to plant your mesclun seeds, you likely just threw some seeds in your container and watered them to see what would grow. I know that’s what I did.

Now that they’ve started to grow, you’ll need to thin out your mesclun plants to allow the strongest ones to survive and produce more. Yes, the container might look pretty with the purples and greens, but this is about growing food, not about looking pretty.

All you’ll need is a pair of scissors (or your bare hands). Go through the container and pick out the leaves that haven’t grown so well or don’t look that good. You can totally munch on them as you go. As rule, I like to leave about 2-3 inches in between the plants if I can.

The reason for doing this is to allow the focus and energy to go into fewer plants, allowing them to grow more. As opposed to the energy being spread out amongst many plants.

You could very well not thin out your container and let them all grow. That’s up to you.

I choose to do some thinning of my mesclun plants to get a heartier yield.

Do you thin yours out? How? When?


4 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. SeedyGardner July 23, 2010 at 5:53 pm -

    “The reason for doing this is to allow the focus and energy to go into fewer plants”

    I think you mean

    a. more space for the roots to grow (plants won't get root bound)
    b. less competition for nutrients in the soil
    c. more surface area to get more sunlight

    lettuce can be grown very tight if you like the baby leaves. it has a very shallow root space. I think normally you would thin out when the plants are a little smaller than yours but it shouldn't matter too much.

    for other vegetables you definitely need to thin or plant with appropriate spacing. This will ensure that they get big enough to eat.

    Nice blog =)

  2. Meemsnyc July 23, 2010 at 7:18 pm -

    Thin out and eat the thinnings. Yum.

  3. Mike Lieberman July 23, 2010 at 8:32 pm -

    Thanks for the tips.

  4. Mike Lieberman July 23, 2010 at 8:32 pm -

    Now that's fast food.

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