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thinning seedlings from flat

Posted by deandreamgreen 6 (My Page) on
Wed, Oct 3, 07 at 12:41

I'm new at gardening and just started some pak choi, tatsoi, and chinese cabbage in flats under grow lights in my basement about 9 days ago to transplant outside under cover. I sowed 3-4 seeds per cell and had high germination. Should I thin these cells all down to one seedling now?

They are only 1" cells, so I guess it's not an option to wait for the seedlings to grow bigger so I can eat the thinnings? Will that retard the progress of having seedlings ready to be transplanted outside for a mature crop?

Anybody out there grow some of these asian greens specifically to eat at the seedling stage? Or, maybe sow more thickly and eat the thinnings? I was thinking about trying to grow some of these indoors this winter just for the seedlings.

I suppose I'd need a small seed bed for this instead of the celled flats?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: thinning seedlings from flat

Dean, I think it will be a little difficult to get these plants to stir-fry size in (what?) 72 cells per flat. So, that would be maybe 150-200 plants in a little more than a square foot? Maybe wait until all of them would make a nice addition to a salad with a friend but you couldn't wait much longer than that.

We eat bok choy beginning when the entire plant is only about the size of my thumb and continue until just the flowering stalk is about the size of my thumb or bigger. (At that point, we are eating the stalk and flowers not the leaves.)

I think if you have sufficient seed, harvesting even the smallest size would make sense.


RE: thinning seedlings from flat

I think they are 2" cells actually, but I get the point. So basically, the cells need to be thinned to one seedling as soon as they germinate? Guess I better get to snipping.

I don't know if sowing a bunch of seeds in a large pot (20"?) indoors would make any sense to be able to get bigger seedlings to eat for the winter. I was going to rig up a straw bale cold frame outside too, maybe that would work. Or maybe, I'll look into sprouts.

RE: thinning seedlings from flat

These Asian greens are hardy! And, can even survive sub-zero temperatures (altho' not well). Of course, surviving and being palatable are 2 different things.

Sproutpeople have quite a few brassica seeds. Some of these are tiny seeds so the price for those goes really ^UP^!!

digital Steve

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