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wasting half of the seeds?

Posted by jollyrd Richmond VA (My Page) on
Sat, May 22, 10 at 13:32

Every seed starting instruction I read tells you to put two seed per pot or per hill, or put seeds 3" apart, -- and then thin to one seed per pot, or thin to 6" apart. You get the picture -- put twice the amount of seeds, and then only keep half of what germinates.

For the last two years that I've been learning to garden (thanks in part to most of your comments) I have had almost 90% germination on most veggies. The hardest ones are herbs, so I either buy plants or only direct saw what I have had success with.

So I wonder about this "waste half of your seeds" philosophy. Is is your personal way of insurance? Is it ok NOT to be frugal and waste while you grow your own veggies? Or is it a conspiracy of seed companies to make us buy more seeds?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: wasting half of the seeds?

Probably a little of both insurance and higher sales. I always plant double and sometimes triple the seeds to insure I get enough plants. My problem is I have a hard time just clipping those extra plants and end up with way too many. It's not hard to find homes for the extras though once my gardens are full.

RE: wasting half of the seeds?

I do not waste seeds like that. Some are too expensive to just pinch back 1/3 of what germinates. Besides even if it isn't that expensive it's a waste

When sowing in my greenhouse I start my seeds in shallow containers. You could do the same using lights. My favorite is the 4 x 41/2 x 2 inch plastic containers that mushrooms come in. I put drainage holes in the bottom. When my seedlings get their second leaves--or sometimes before that--I transplant them into individual containers.

When direct sowing I thin and transplant too. In the garden when sowing small seeds like carrots it is easy to get them too thick. I will thin them and cook up the little carrots. When they are small like that and fresh from the garden using a scrubbie removes the skin.

So don't waste seed. It is not necessary

RE: wasting half of the seeds?

I have had the same thought. And like Taz, I can't bring myself to pinch off or thin out seedlings.

I think the whole idea behind square foot gardening where you plant one seed exactly the spacing you want it is fantastic. If something doesn't come up then put one more seed in that spot.

Check out the square foot gardening forum. Lots of info there.

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