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Team Pick It Off, or Team Leave It Be?

By Trish
February 11, 2015

Many gardeners are beginning to start their seeds as spring approaches. Each gardener has their own way of doing things, so let's find out which team you are on!

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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Feb 10, 2015 6:03 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

I always feel like I shouldn't but I almost always end up picking off the empty seed shells, especially on tomatoes! I just can't stand seeing those leaves squeezed together and the plant struggle.
Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
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beckygardener
Feb 10, 2015 6:33 PM CST
I pick the seed shell off on daylily seedlings. Not worth losing a plant over, IMHO. Often here in the heat of FL, the humidity isn't high enough for the seed shell to be released easily. So picking it off is a must for me!
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
Garden Rooms and Becky's Budget Garden
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Feb 10, 2015 6:37 PM CST
I'm the same way ... I think I really shouldn't mess with mother nature and should just let them be ... but I always find myself picking them off! Green Grin!
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Feb 10, 2015 6:53 PM CST
I used to pick it off. Now I leave it be about 90% of the time. The 10% occurs when it's been around a week & still the shell has not come off on it's own -- that's when I will intervene.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Shannon
Burkeville,Va (Zone 7a)
The House on the Hill Gardens
Roses Butterflies Seed Starter Enjoys or suffers cold winters Birds Peonies
Sedums Hostas Cottage Gardener Echinacea Clematis Irises
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Shannon
Feb 10, 2015 7:16 PM CST
I can't stand to leave it alone Whistling I always pick it off. I use a toothpick and a water spritz bottle
first spritz to make sure it's moist the pick off with the toothpick Hurray!
The horse is God's gift to mankind. ~Arabian Proverb
(Zone 6a)
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Celene
Feb 10, 2015 8:29 PM CST
Def Team Pick It Off here.
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Georgia Garden Sages Organic Gardener Beekeeper Vegetable Grower
Seed Starter Cut Flowers Composter Keeper of Poultry Keeps Goats Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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abhege
Feb 10, 2015 9:23 PM CST
Pick it off, BUT gently!!!!! Soak it first to get it soft and often it will slip right off.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Oberon46
Feb 10, 2015 9:43 PM CST
My father referred to it as midwifing his plants. I pick off but now will remember to spritz first. I have denuded poor little seedlings when the entire seed and sprout broke off.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: United States of America
Region: Indiana Garden Art Annuals Clematis Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 2
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blue23rose
Feb 11, 2015 3:15 AM CST
Pick it off... very gently!
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Feb 11, 2015 7:46 AM CST
ok I admit I SOMETIMES pick it off....
Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
Magnolia zone
Region: United States of America Region: Arkansas Master Gardener: Arkansas Irises Bulbs Seed Starter
Gardens in Buckets Garden Art Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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grannysgarden
Feb 11, 2015 9:34 AM CST
Most of the time I let nature take its course but if one seedling is growing and still trapped....... I would want someone to help me after all.
I love my garden.... and Jesus, and coffee, and naps.......
Name: Carol Texas
Central Texas (Zone 8b)
"Not all who wander are lost."
Region: Texas Composter Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Organic Gardener Hummingbirder
Herbs Garden Art Dragonflies Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Ecscuba
Feb 11, 2015 9:49 AM CST
I'm mostly a "newbie" when it comes to starting things from seeds .... so I just "stare at it" and wonder, should I do something with that. Haha -- so far they have all taken care of themselves without my intervention.
[url=Www.carolmedfordart.com]Www.carolmedfordart.com[/url]
My passion is painting but gardening is running a close second.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Feb 11, 2015 9:50 AM CST
I'm definitely a 'pick it off' advocate. I love Arlene's idea to soak the seed coat first, though. Hopefully that will reduce the decapitation risk, which, let's face it, all of us who 'pick' must have done more than once.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Feb 11, 2015 10:56 AM CST
Definitely can't leave them alone! But I'll remember that spritz it first idea! And I always have a spray bottle of water nearby.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Critter (Jill)
MD (Zone 6b)
We're all learners, doers, teachers
Charter ATP Member Region: Maryland Bulbs Amaryllis Tropicals Cottage Gardener
Critters Allowed Birds Butterflies Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Bee Lover
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critterologist
Feb 11, 2015 7:11 PM CST
After a couple of days, when all its sister seedlings have sprung free, I just have to do something about any that are still "trapped." I think it might have been Dr. Carolyn who suggested moistening a thumb and forefinger with saliva, holding the seed coat for a moment, then slipping it off -- works great with tomato seedlings. Unlike my spray bottle, spit is something I always have handy, LOL
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris.
Name: Jane
Tobyhanna, PA (Zone 5a)
The "Garden" is my Happy Place!
Garden Ideas: Master Level
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PAgirl63
Feb 13, 2015 11:30 AM CST

I hem and haw for awhile, and then I usually will pick it off. Gently ... very gently. It's kind of like having a "hangnail". Gotta get it off. Big Grin
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
Image
woofie
Feb 13, 2015 11:35 AM CST
Only once have I damaged a seedling picking off the seed. And the one time I left one alone, it died, too.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Margaret
Near Kamloops, BC, Canada (Zone 3a)
Region: Canadian Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Tip Photographer Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member
Morning Glories Critters Allowed Birds Houseplants Butterflies Garden Photography
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mcash70
Feb 13, 2015 2:50 PM CST
Team pick it off, just can't stand to see the trapped leaves. Whistling

Awholenewworld
Feb 14, 2015 2:55 AM CST
I am very touchy with plants. NO WAY CAN I LEAVE IT ALONE! Off it comes!
Name: Christine
Saugerties, NY zone 5a
Charter ATP Member Hostas Container Gardener Hummingbirder Cat Lover Birds
Region: New York Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Dog Lover Tropicals
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Christine
Feb 14, 2015 7:17 AM CST
I cant help myself, I'm with team pick it off Thumbs up

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