About two weeks after I planted the seeds for my fall salad garden, tiny seedlings began to grow. From what I could tell, most of the carrot, lettuce and beet seedlings came up! Sadly, this meant I had to thin the seeds, which is always a tough decision. Who stays and who goes? Who lives and who dies? After feeling bad about thinning for years, I’ve toughened up. I can get a row of seeds thinned in no time, and then I eat the tiny greens or I compost them.
It’s absolutely essential to thin seedlings of root vegetables like carrots, beets and radishes about two weeks after they’ve sprouted. If you don’t thin correctly, the plants begin to crowd each other out and the end result is small, stunted roots. Strangely enough, I’ve seen beets for sale at big box stores in 6 packs. Roots do not transplant very well and the ones I saw were already stunted in the 6 pack!
The mix I’ve used in my Cedarcraft planter stays pretty moist, so I’m also careful not to overwater. I test the mix with my finger to feel if it’s dry or still moist just below the surface. Often small seedlings can turn yellow if they are kept too moist, so I make sure not to add too much water.
My planter is in full sun and faces west. In winter it’s important to make sure your vegetables get enough sun. However, most leafy greens only need 4-6 hours of full sun, so other orientations can work well if they are positioned correctly.
Growing a salad garden is so easy and so much fun!