gardening tips: thinning

12 May

This rain must go away soon, right? Can you believe the cold snap we’ve had? Did any of you plant your tomatoes to early? :)

I have had great restraint. I’m sticking to my May 15th rule.

This past weekend I bought my tomato plants at the Mill City Farmer’s Market. Later this week, I’ll be picking up the rest of my vegetables to plant. It is suppose to be sunny and warm this weekend which is perfect planting weather.

But before I get to all that fun, let’s talk about what’s currently sprouting and what you should be doing with it. All of my frost tolerant veggies are starting to pop out of the ground. This means it’s time for a very important job….thinning. I mentioned thinning quite a bit in my last post and to me it is important enough to have it’s own post.

What is thinning?

It’s really just pulling out some of your sprouted veggies so that they have enough room to grow into a veggie big enough to eat. If you don’t thin your crops, you end up with a bunch of puny little carrots, radishes, etc.

Let me show you what the thinning process looks like. I’m going to use radishes as my example as they were very photogenic.

Here is what they looked like last week.

See how close they are? There is no way that each one will turn into a good size radish that way. When you read the back of your seed packages, it’ll usually say, thin to 1 inch apart (depending on the veg). You should do this. They say that for a reason. If you’re like me, you’re thinking, “but, I’m wasting my precious seeds!”. Well, you’re not. You’d waste more by not thinning because you’ll end up with nothing. Know what I’m saying? Just trust me on this one.

Here’s what your radishes should look like after thinning.

See the distance? It give them breathing room. That distance will make sure your radishes look like this:

This technique is not just for radishes but other root vegetables such as turnips, carrots, parsnips, etc. When in doubt, please read your seed packets. This public service announcement brought to you by She said. She said.

Blog Updates:

The Garden Page on this blog is coming along nicely. We should have it up and running soon. I know you’re losing sleep over it.

What’s going on in your garden? Any successes or triumphs? We’d love to hear about them.


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