Organic Garden丨2017 Volunteer Training II
Notes are taken by our volunter Xu Huanhuan about thinning and transplanting the seedlings:
- What is thinning?
Thinning means removing the redundant seedlings during or after the seedling stage. The goal is to increase the distance between seedlings and reduce the density of the seedlings, so that the air can circulate in between and each seedling enjoys enough light to grow. If it is too crowded, the seedlings will grow weakly and there will be a high risk of pests and diseases. Thinning is a process of discarding the weak and keeping the fittest.
- How we do it?
- Remove the short, incomplete or stunted plants. We should also remove some of the seedlings if they are too dense, in order to allow adequate space for the remaining plants to grow.
- When thinning, press the soil around the seedling that will be removed with one hand, and pull the seedling quickly with the other hand.
- It is not a big problem if the roots are deep and we can only remove a part of the roots, because even if it sprouted again, the plant would not catch up with the growth of the other plants.
- Transplanting the Seedlings
There are two methods of vegetable planting. We can sow the seed directly into the soil. We can also apply another method—to cultivate the seedlings first and then transplant them into the soil. For some vegetables, including beans and radishes, the transplanting method is not applicable and they must be seeded directly into the soil. For some other vegetables, including cauliflowers, broccolis, chilies, eggplants and tomatoes, direct seeding is not applicable and we must cultivate the seedlings first and then transplant them.
After weeding, loosing the soil and applying fertilizer, we need to dig some holes in accordance with the space that the plants will need for future growth. The size of the holes is about the same as a single hole on the seedling container.
First, water the container so that the soil in it is wet, and take the seedlings out slowly and gently with our hands holding at the bottom of the seedlings, minimizing the damage to the seedlings. If it is a single bowl-like container, clamp the seedlings with our index fingers and middle fingers, and then turn the bowl upside down so that the seedlings will fall onto our hands by gravity.
Place the seedlings into the holes, cover lightly with soil, and compact the soft soil slightly with our hands so that the roots of the seedlings are in full contact with the new soil environment.
Water the plants thoroughly.