Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thinning out

The days are getting longer, the temperatures are getting warmer. The spring crops are sprouting and we’ve even harvested lettuce. But there's one chore gardeners are dreading this time of year. Thinning out crops like carrots and beets ensures that they have plenty of room. Overcrowding means seedlings compete for water and nutrients resulting in a poor harvest. It is still hard to end a seedling’s fate of becoming what it is trying so hard to do - grow. Not all is lost. Some seedlings like lettuce and swiss chard can be transplanted elsewhere in the garden, if extra care is taken. Root vegetable seedlings do not like to be disturbed and do not transplant well. These young shoots can be enjoyed in a spring salad mix or they will turn into plant food in the compost bin for next year’s crops.