How to Grow Plants from Seed : How to Thin & Spread Out Seedlings

February 24, 2011 by Mario  
Filed under Gardening Tips

Thinning and spreading out seedlings can keep your garden organized and your growing plants healthy. Learn more in this free educational video series. Expert: Doug Smiddy Bio: Doug Smiddy has had an active interest in gardening as long has he can remember. Filmmaker: Dale Fitzgerald

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24 Responses to “How to Grow Plants from Seed : How to Thin & Spread Out Seedlings”
  1. Z71Ranger says:

    I’m new to gardening. Can you eat the one you cut down?

  2. rutsableich says:

    @youlosez Human beans, for instance

  3. smallblocksupercharg says:

    DAM!!! what a sacrifice

  4. jwbail02 says:

    I figure this way, you lower the likelihood of damaging them, while keeping them intact enough to replant elsewhere. I have a couple basil seedlings I did this way and though they’re smaller than the best looking one, they’re still healthy. I wonder if they’ll just grow at a slower rate or have they hit a ceiling from competing with the larger one for so long.

  5. jwbail02 says:

    I see the rationale with eliminating the “weaker” seedlings in order for the more healthy one to thrive, but I’m with you guys: why waste what looked like two perfectly good seedlings because they’re smaller?

    Can’t you just space them out a bit more within the same cell, so as to avoid the roots of the seedlings from getting tangled?

  6. chilledfresh says:

    The reason you thin out the plants is because as they grow, they compete for nutrients in the soil. The goal is to have a single strong, healthy plant, not two or three weak ones with tangled root systems.

  7. flupmakintosh says:

    @bamboorules plant the thinnings and give them a chance! you could end up with twice the plants, or not. but if you don’t you deffinitley won’t

  8. msskimbot says:

    how funny….if you leave them all, the survivor will not thrive. Sadly…

  9. sio42 says:

    dude you just killed a baby!

  10. PewPewPwnt says:


  11. JollyMunkie says:

    “Only the strong shall survive.” That is your reinterpretation of “The survival of the fittest.” That was a bastardization of Charles Darwin’s work by Herbert Spencer. He propagated this belief that lead to Eugenics, that sterilized 60,000 American women. (Hitler also took his views from this thoughts and….)

    What Darwin was meaning was natural selection. It is those that are most adaptable that will survive, not the strong, but the adaptable.

    Think before you speak, or make a video.

  12. JollyMunkie says:

    They looked the same, why not just let them all grow? Spreed the out. I have watched Expert Village over two years, and it doesn’t seem as they are very “expert.”

    Look for the bamboo video, oh what she did to that poor plant.

  13. youlosez says:

    I’m against plant abortion! Plants are beings too!!!

  14. crip23walk23 says:

    wtf?! the more the merrier

  15. SeikoPsycho says:

    what if you want to spread them out?? do u pull them out and plant them in another cell?

    btw… this video was hard to watch cuz it’s murder =(

  16. MyGeranium says:

    to asure the seeds actually do germinate

  17. DeepestSleep says:

    Exactly, this way you get maximum out of your purchase, and nothing is wasted.

  18. bamboorules says:

    plant abortion??

  19. Whitetiger701 says:


  20. UraniumWilly says:

    Because there’s a better chance that at least one of the seeds will germinate; sometimes not all three will.

  21. Whitetiger701 says:

    why plant three seedlings if you’re just gonna cut the other two?

  22. mypetbirdrocks says:

    What if all plants lok strong? Is it necessary to clip some away?

  23. aggalf1978 says:

    i usually wait alittle more then i separate them and plant them somewhere else. goood video thought

  24. RetroLoco1 says:

    Great tip!! I would have yanked the seedling out and probably killed all the others. I’ve got a lot to learn about gardening!

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