Thinning Vegetable Gardens

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Vegetable Garden Maintenance


 

When you start a vegetable garden by direct seeding, thinning out the plants is a necessary chore.

As the plants sprout, they are generally overcrowded. Failure to properly thin them will result in a dismal harvest of small and substandard crops, especially with root crops , potatoes, beets, onions . Thinning seedlings produces higher yields by Allowing space for proper growth, Reducing competition for moisture and nutrients, and by allowing for proper air circulation between plants.

When thinning out your recently germinated seedlings, save the strongest seedlings and remove the runts, poorly formed and late blooming plants. You may find it necessary to pinch out or cut the excess seedlings of some vegetables if they are too overcrowded to avoid damaging the root system of neighboring plants.

Some plants if carefully removed , can later be transplanted to other available spaces, and you may also need some later if the remaining seedlings are ravaged by insects or other acts of nature.

Timing

Seedlings should be thinned out when they have 1-2 sets of true leaves.

Most plants attain a height of 2-3" by that time and are generally easy to grab hold of and pull out of the ground. Thinning out in the early evening allows the remaining plants time to acclimate before being exposed to the heat and direct sunlight. Thinning while the soil is moist will also make it easier pull just the excess plants while leaving the healthier ones undisturbed.

Some sub varieties of various cultivars may differ slightly, the seed packet should list optimal spacing.









Vegetable  

Inches between plants 
 

Inches between rows 
 

 Artichoke, Globe

 36-48

 48-60

 Artichoke, Jerusalem

 12-18

 24-36

Asparagus

 12-18

 36-48

 Beans, Broad

 8-10

 36-48

 Beans, Dry

 4-6

 18-24

 Beans, Lima  bush  

 2-3

 18-24

 Beans, Lima  Pole

4-6

30-35

 Beans, Snap or Green bush  

 2-3

 18-24

 Beans, Snap or Green bush pole

4-6

30-35

Beets

 2-3

 12-18

Broccoli

 3

 24-36

Brussels Sprouts

 24

 24-36

Cabbage

 18-24

 24-36

Cantaloupe

18-24

Hills Should be 3-4 Plants per hill

 60-96

Hills should be 36 inches apart.

Cardoon

 18-24

 36-48

Carrots

 2-3

 12-24

Cauliflower

 18-24

 24-36

Celeriac

 6-8

 24-30

Celery

 8-10

 24-30

Chard

 9-12

 18-24

Chayote

 24-30

 60

Chick pea

 6-8

 12-18

Chicory

 12-18

 24-36

Collards

 12

 18-24

Corn

 2-6

 12-18

Cress

 1-2

 18-24

Cucumbers

 12

Plants in inverted hills should be

thinned to 3 plants in each hill.

 18-72

Hills should be 36 inches apart.

Dandelion

 6-8

 12-18

Eggplant

 18-24

 24-36

Endive

 9-12

 18-24

Horseradish

 24

 18-24

 Kale

 8-12

 18-24

Kohlrabi

 5-6

 18-24

Leek

 6-9

 12-18

Lettuce

 6-12

 12-18

Okra

12-18

 24-36

Onion Sets

 2-3

 12-18

Onion Seeds

1-2

12-18

Parsnips

 2-4

 18-24

Pea, Black-eyed

 8-12

 12-18

Pea, Shelling

 1-2

 18-24

Peanut

 6-8

 12-18

Pepper

 18-24

 24-36

Potatoes , Irish

 12-18

 24-36

Sweet Potato

 12-18

 36-48

Pumpkin

 24-48

 60-120

Radish

 1-6

 12-18

Rhubarb

 30-36

 36-48

Rutabaga

 6-8

 18-24

Salsify

 2-4

 18-24

 Shallot

 6-8

 12-18

Sorrel

 12-18

 18-24

Soybean

 11/2-2

 24-30

Spinach

 2-4

 12-24

Squash, Summer

 24-36

Plants in inverted hills should be

thinned to 3 plants in each hill.

 18-48

Hills should be 48 inches apart.

 

Squash, Winter

 24-48

Plants in inverted hills should be

thinned to 3 plants in each hill.

 60-120

Hills should be 72 inches apart.

Tomato

 18-36

 24-48

TurnipsTurnip Greens

2-3

12-24

Turnip Roots

3-4

12-24

Watermelon

24-72

 60-120

Try it - You'll Like it !

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Vegetable Garden Plans    Companion Planting    Transplanting Seedlings    

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