The WORST Task in Growing Veggies

Warrenton, VA

Well, this morning, I did it. My most hated task of all. I thinned my seedlings. Now, when you have three beautiful babies in a pot, and two have to go...oh, I cannot hardly take doing this. Give me a shovel or a bed of weeds any day. Doesn't matter if they are in the ground or in the pot. I just hate it.

What's your worst task?

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Dealing with bugs.

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

Thinning seedlings: I feel like a serial killer.

I tell myself I'm imitating Nature: if one Bok Choy produces 1,000 seeds, 999 would have to die in Nature. saving the biggest, strongest seedlings is probably necessary to maintain a vigorous population.

But I hate doing it, too.

Madison, AL(Zone 7b)

I hate thinning, too, but my worst task is waiting!

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Cleaning out the old dead plants to make room for the new.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Thinning seedlings!

Which is why I start them indoors and do my best to sow only what I need -- and still end up with a gazillion seedlings!!!

This message was edited Mar 27, 2014 11:12 AM

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Im the same why Linda, I can't "thin" the tomatoes, peppers or eggplant. I pot them all up...most of the time, with in a week or so I can't tell which was which. With the ones I direct seed I either eat the thinned ones or find an empty place for them where some didn't germinate. But cleaning up 75 + tomato plants, pepper plants and eggplants is work to me. It's been so cold this winter I haven't had much time to spread that project out. Lol

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

I have no problems thinning seedlings. I'm heartless. My husband on the other hand, wants to save every single seedling! I keep telling him we only have a plot, not 15 acres!

Warrenton, VA

Oh, I am comforted to know that I am with like souls, except for Stephanie, the HEARTLESS ONE (LOL!).
Last year, I potted up the thinned seedlings, and ended up spending alot of money on pots, soil, and my own labor, only to give mostly of them away.
So, this year, I, too, was heartless. But, looking at what's left, all happy and healthy, I know that I did the right thing. Horrible that it was.

I am getting bolder with the stink bugs, Stephanie - I've reverted back to when I was a kid, and used a Mason Jar with a lid. I use a jar, half-filled with soapy water, and scrap them critters off whatever they're eating. This takes diligence, but it is also kind of a good excuse to be in the garden and do light-weight stuff. Pretty close to just loafin' off. which none of us do in growing season...

I guess the other nasty thing is throwing all those great seed/gardening supply catalogs away after drooling over them...just way too many, and everyone else seems to have received them as well.

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

>> throwing all those great seed/gardening supply catalogs away

I save them and bring a few at a time to doctors' or dentists' offices.

>> I cannot hardly take doing this.

Tell yourself what I told myself when I traded my very old car in on a newer car.

"It's going to a farm upstate where it will only be driven on Sundays."
"It's going to be adopted by a very nice family that take good care of it."

If you put the thinnings on your compost heap, then they WILL be given an honored and valuable place in your garden.

P.S. For plants you expect to give away, mix the potting soil with three parts of fine pine bark that you screen yourself. If you can't find clean DRY bark mulch, buy the finest bark "nuggets" and either use the coarse ones as mulch, or grind them up with a lawn mower to make super-cheap potting soil base.

The bark costs around 30 cents per gallon instead of (I think) $1.25 per gallon for store-bought potting soil. Four times cheaper and better aerated for healthy roots development.

For give-away pots, use empty soda bottle with fairly straight walls, cut off near the top. They do need holes drilled or melted. Except for the effort, these are free.

The bark drains so well that they plants may need to be watered every day, or set on top of a wet cloth or very shallow tray. When you give them away, stress that they HAVE to be planted right away or watered at least twice per day. That might increase the odds that they WILL be planted.

If you can save enough used (paper) coffee cups, I think they disintegrate after they've been used wet for several days. THAT would force people to plant them quickly!

This message was edited Mar 26, 2014 6:45 PM

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

That's some great info you included there!

Thanks a bunch. When I give the seedlings away, they're usually in my yogurt cups. I'm gonna have to remember to sow the giveaways into the drinking water bottles.

I can get a bazillion of those. I've got a building full of co-workers who save drinking water bottles for me.

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

I also bring soda bottles home from work. The 2-liter bottles are rarest but my favorite big pot.

Next are "Sobe" bottles, but they have a horizontal rib that's annoying.

Warrenton, VA

Rick - thanks! I do send my catalogs to deserving people, and then to the recycle center, but hate the thought of all this waste...
I don't drink soda, but I am guilty of buying tons of plastic bottles of water, so this'll work for your bottle idea.

Thank you all again - guess I'm just an old hippie...!

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

Like wow, Grayce, me too!

I feel extra virtuous when I re-use someone else's bottles.

Poughkeepsie, NY(Zone 6a)

For me dealing with bugs and other critters.

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