The Q&A Archives: Seeds have sprouted now what?

Question: My first time starting my vegetables w/ seeds and now I have small sprouts coming up. How do I know how many to pull out for proper growth? I put several seeds in each small peat pot for hopes of getting atleast 1 to grow. I have carrots, cucumber, tomato large and cherry, chives, parsley and basil. Any help would be great!

Answer: If you are careful you can dig the excess seedlings out and replant them, but I find that the roots are usually entertwined and the stems of the seedling are fragile so I simply take scissors and clip the excess plants off at soil level. Use small scissors and just snip the smallest ones, leaving the largest, most robust seedling. And, now that the seeds have sprouted you'll want to provide a source of artificial light to help them grow stout and sturdy. I use hooded shop lights, the ones with two fluorescent tubes. Mount the lights just 2 inches above the foliage of your seedlings and move the light source up as the seedlings grow. Keep the light on 14-16 hours a day. Good luck with your new seedlings.

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