Thinning your seedlings will give every gardener a full, lush, and productive garden. Excessively seeding your garden is the best way to ensure maximum coverage. Once you’ve seen adequate germination, it’s time to thin your seedlings. This short guide will give you tips and tricks like when you should thin your seedlings and a couple of things to avoid.

What Do You Mean “Thinning”?

Thinning your seedlings is the process of removing excessively dense amounts of plants. Once your seedlings have sprouted, you’ve given them some time to grow, approximately a week or two, it’s time to thin. Consider your spacing recommendation for your seedlings and find the largest, healthiest, and best looking of the bunch in the correct spacing recommended.

Why Do We “Thin”?

While generally, we feel waste is a bad idea, seeds are very cheap. For the sake of a few pennies, you’ll reap several dollars in rewards. If you rely on your garden to fill your fridge, open space is money out of your pocket. Culling your seedlings is much more beneficial than leaving them in large clumps struggling for nutrients and sunlight. It’s also easier for a large number of seeds to try and germinate in a smaller area, ultimately increasing your successful germination.

How Do We “Thin”?

We thin our seedlings because it’s better to have a smaller group thrive instead of a larger group struggle and fail. However, not all thinned seedlings need to go to waste, breeds like Kale, Cabbage, and Broccoli can fill empty areas. Unfortunately, not all types can be transplanted, especially root vegetables. They’re best just added to the compost pile but remember NEVER pull them out as this will disturb the soil. Instead, use scissors to trim the greens off at or just below ground level and allow the root to rot and fertilize the remaining seedlings.


A Small Number of Plants at the Proper Distance Will Almost Always Give a Larger, Higher Quality Harvest Than A Large Number of Plants Planted Too Close Together. ALWAYS FOLLOW RECOMMENDED SPACING

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