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Culling the herb

There comes a time for every parent when you must pick the best child and get rid of the rest.

Ummm. I mean, there comes a time for every gardener when you must pick the best plants and thin the rest. Last Wednesday was Day #23 and things were looking bright eyed and bushy leaved. Although aloe-ve all my little babies - I had to cull the herb.

According to lore (a.k.a. Google) thinning should take place when the plants true leaves get to be a healthy size. I may have left these a little late as the second set of true leaves were already peeking out. This allows the strongest plants to get hardier, better, faster.

Instinctively - you just gently pull the tiny plants out and leave the big ones, right? Apparently - not right. Through reading some articles people have been pointing out that

even if you do that gently - it will ruin the existing root structure of the remaining plants. Duh!

As an experiment I pulled from one row and snipped the second. If you snip close enough to dirt level the seedlings will not begin to regrow or pull resources from the remaining plants but neither will you damage any of the roots. I'm not sure if the experiment will be a true one because the rows are so close together themselves that I may have affected the snipped row when pulling the opposite row of seedlings.

I pulled some for transplanting into pots for the window sill. Two per pot, though I am sure one would be better. They can eventually be transplanted outdoors into their own space. Ideally, basil should have a private space of about 6" to 7" on all sides. Gonna have to wait until they can go outside since my planting trays are only about 6" wide on their own.

So with one row pulled and the other row snipped we shall see as the days go by if it makes a difference on how fast and how big the remaining seedlings get. It's now four days later and the plants in the trays are clearly bigger than the window seedlings so the capillary mat/ grow light environment is clearly superior. But nothing beats real sun and fresh air.

The dill is still looking bitchy, so I left it alone.

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