Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Pinching Off the Extra Seedlings

I bit the bullet this morning and pinched off the broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage seedlings growing in our bedroom window so only one seedling remains in each cell of the planting tray.  I usually wait longer.  Why?  I guess to see which of the 3 or 4 seedlings in each cell is the most robust, but I suppose the longer I wait the more each one stunts the other's growth.
Growing instructions typically call for 3 or 4 seeds to be planted in each cell, supposedly in case a low germination rate occurs.  I usually have a high success rate, so I've been tempted to plant one seed per cell.  Maybe next year I'll go to 2 seeds per cell.  

Perhaps I'm overly sensitive.  I don't like wasting the extra seedlings.  If I pull them out instead of pinching them off, I fret about the surviving fittest, that I might have unduly disturbed its soil.  So I carefully pat the soil and water it at the base.  I don't spray because the blast might knock over the skinny tender stem.

"You could put them in a salad," says Virginia.

You know?  She's right.
(If you click on the picture, you might notice the seedlings leaning toward the window.  Tomorrow, if I remember, I'll turn the tray around so they'll get to lean the other way.  And so on, every few days.)

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