Greengirls Helen Yarmoska, Nicole Hvidsten, Martha Buns, Connie Nelson, Kim Palmer and Mary Jane Smetanka are dishin' the dirt from the back-yard garden and beyond. Whether you're a greenthumb or greenhorn, they're eager to learn from your mishaps, mistakes - and most importantly, your sweet successes - all growing season long.

Thinning -- a rough time for some vegetable gardeners.

Posted by: Helen Yarmoska Updated: June 14, 2011 - 10:17 AM

For those of us who enjoy growing our own food, thinning time can be the most difficult part of the growing season.  Several fews weeks ago, you carefully plant seeds 1" apart only to YANK out the baby vegetables so others can survive.  I often wonder, why plant so many seeds in the first place if you're only going to be taking away 50% of your potential yield!?!

I'm OK with thinning beets, you can eat the greens.  But radishes; come on.  The root isn't even big enough to slice and the tops are bitter.  I let my lettuce grow until it is big enough before I thin, that way I can enjoy a salad with baby greens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thinning my apple tree almost made my cry.  The University of Minnesota recommends thinning apples while the apples are marble size. http://fruit.cfans.umn.edu/garden/applespears.htm  I climbed the latter and strapped on my apple harvest apron.  Like a good little gardener, I did as I was told and took off all but one apple every 8" on the branch.  OUCH.  I threw away hundreds of baby apples.

I know, I know, the remaining apples will grow stronger and be more pest and disease resistant.  But all those apples dumped into the compost!  Someone get me a tissue!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I needed to snap out of it, so I shook my apron off, took in a breath of crisp air and picked a peony.  Ahh, Spring is beautiful again!

 

Share your thinning tragedies or triumphs...

 

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