Thinning Seedlings for Better Yield: How and Why

Posted on Mar 15 2011 - 2:20am by Mike Lieberman

Since I’ve started my garden from scratch committed to eating off from my balcony more often, I am taking better care of the containers.

It’s been a few weeks and the seedlings are starting to grow, so now it’s time to thin them out. What that means is cutting out the extra ones.

When you planted your seeds, you likely scattered a few of them in the soil. Now that they’ve grown a little bit, there are a few of them that are really close to each other. You want to remove some of them. If you don’t they will be fighting for water, nutrients and space, which result in a crappy yield.

So where there are few really close, take a scissor and cut them at the soil line, leaving the healthiest looking one to continue growing. If you look at the back of your seed packet, you can see the recommended space between plants.

That’s the basics on how and why to thin your seedlings. You can also do this with the seedlings that you started indoors.

Any tips or tricks on thinning seedlings?