Annuals forum: Thinning self-sown annuals

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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
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Bonehead
May 30, 2016 2:09 PM CST
Any tips on how best to thin self sown annuals? I have a really thick patch of nigella and another of calendula. I ran a hand rake through the nigella when they were seedling size, but now both are getting away from me. Do I need to hand prick these to about a 2" spacing? Or just let them go and hope for the best? I get this with feverfew as well, but those seem easier to thin once they've got some bulk to them and sometimes I will actually transplant the thinnings.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Ronnie
Southeastern PA (Zone 6b)
Morning Glories Garden Photography Region: Pennsylvania Charter ATP Member Orchids Dragonflies
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1 I helped beta test the first seed swap Bookworm Bee Lover
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luvsgrtdanes
May 31, 2016 9:09 PM CST
I wait until mine are big enough to transplant. I don't usually thin anything but the morning glories. Shrug!
It happens in a flash, but the memory of it last forever. It can not be borrowed or stolen, and it is of no earthly good until it is given away. So if in your hurry you meet someone who is too weary to smile, leave him one of yours, for no one needs a smile quite as much as he who has none to give...

Name: ZenMan
rural Kansas (Zone 5b)
Kansas 5b
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ZenMan
May 31, 2016 10:42 PM CST
Bonehead said:Any tips on how best to thin self sown annuals?

Hi Deb,

When you are thinning a surplus of seedlings, you have the opportunity to pick the "best" seedlings to save, and thus possibly increase the quality of your stand.

ZM
I tip my hat to you.
Name: Carol Roberts
Huntington Beach, CA (Zone 10b)
Sunset 24
Container Gardener Foliage Fan Annuals
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CarolHB
Jun 1, 2016 7:24 PM CST
I hope a follow-up question is ok. When do you know they are ready for transplant? I read one article that said 2 inches, but is that a uniform measurement, or is there another way to tell?
Can't complain too loud about how the ball bounces when I'm the one who dropped it.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Jun 1, 2016 7:55 PM CST
I don't do any transplanting - my hope was to just let them self-seed and be done with it. A bit trickier than I thought apparently. But, still manageable - some definitely are pretty gung-ho about reseeding themselves so I suppose thinning them will be helpful. And ZM, you are right - some of the seedlings are heads above the rest, those will definitely be 'keepers.' Although, being annuals, I suppose there may be something to have a succession of the same plant. See -- more tricky!
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
north of Kansas city MO (Zone 5a)
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happgarden
Jun 5, 2016 6:10 AM CST
Honestly on the coneflowers I just yank up the ones I don't want and they go to the compost bin. It is hard to yank a pretty growing flower but the end result is so much better. In the spring I do did and transplant into pots for our garden sale, but mostly yank and dispose of the left overs.
Name: Ronnie
Southeastern PA (Zone 6b)
Morning Glories Garden Photography Region: Pennsylvania Charter ATP Member Orchids Dragonflies
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1 I helped beta test the first seed swap Bookworm Bee Lover
Image
luvsgrtdanes
Jun 5, 2016 6:35 AM CST
I have a hard time throwing them away Whistling Hilarious!
It happens in a flash, but the memory of it last forever. It can not be borrowed or stolen, and it is of no earthly good until it is given away. So if in your hurry you meet someone who is too weary to smile, leave him one of yours, for no one needs a smile quite as much as he who has none to give...

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