Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cabbage Culling

I have a problem.  Well, I have several problems, but let's just deal with one of the more simple ones right now, shall we?

When I direct sow seeds into the ground, I put too many in.  And when the sprouts start pushing through the soil, I can't manage to yank them out.  They are alive!  And I don't have the best record at growing things, so I just can't make myself thin them out.  Yes, I know that you have to do it.  I know it's better for the rest of the plants.  That if you don't thin, the plants will be too crowded and will do poorly.  I.  Just. Can't. Do it.

But actually, I did do it!  Not right away though.  And I didn't exactly "cull" anything.  I planted cabbage seed in the middle of August and they have been growing quite nicely now that our heatwave has ended.  But I didn't thin them when they first popped up.  I waited until they were several inches tall, then I watered them real well and waited until the next day to carefully pull some of the "culls" from the bed.  It helped that the soil was very loose from lots of organic matter (homemade compost) so the plants came out easily and most of the smaller roots were still intact.

I transferred the cabbage plants to a non-crowded area in the same bed and kept them watered daily for a week.  And they survived!  So since my first little yank-and-replant experiment seemed to work, I did it with the remaining cabbage plants.  They've been in their new "home" in the following picture for just two days.  They still look a little wilted, but I'm hoping they'll come around with some more TLC.

Not sure if this would work with other veggies, but I'm definately going to try it again when I get the chance. 

Which unfortunately won't be until next spring.  Hope I remember.


  1. I sorta have the same problem when I start seeds indoors. I plant PLENTY in case germination is not great. 'Course, they all germinate and I have 432 started broccoli plants (for instance) and can't kill any of them so find room to plant them outside when they are big enough. Do you know any home gardener who NEEDS 432 broccoli plants? 'Course not but you can't just NOT plant them, can you?

  2. What a great idea. I'm another in the cannot thin camp. My broccoli seedlings are in bad need of that now, except that I have about 1000 of them sprouting and I definitely don't need that many broccoli plants. :)

  3. Wow, you guys are broccoli-bonkers! I've never grown broccoli, going to have to plan that for next year.

  4. Well, move over on the not good at thinning bench, will ya? I hate to thin, too. I'm so happy that they grew that I hate to pull them out!