Transplanting and thinning your crops is important to building and maintaining a healthy, fast growing garden. Plants need space to grow, and when you are planting from seed, oftentimes your plants can sprout too close together. The key is to not be afraid to handle the roots. When working in your garden, it is okay to dig in and peel apart the individual plants. You do not have to be as gentle as you think, as the roots are pretty resilient! When transplanting or thinning, you can dig a small hole at the surface to pull out the plants, or just pull the tops off if you overseeded (see below for how to not waste these plants). When your plants begin to sprout, there are a few steps to keep in mind before they are fully grown:
- Always label your plants so you know exactly what you are planting.
- Harvest plants like watermelon and corn do not generally like to be transplanted. Transplanting can still be done, but the growing period will take much longer. It is generally recommended that these plants should not be transplanted if you want your garden to grow at a fast pace.
- Water well after transplanting
- Depending on the crop and weather conditions, you may want to supplement with a quality fertilizer.
The great news is, you can already start to eat your sprouts! Many plants, after they sprout, are considered microgreens. They start out as leaves but transform into vegetables overtime. Common microgreens include lettuce, beans, radish and turnips. When you are thinning out your crops, don’t waste the leafy tops – throw them in a salad!