When to thin out vegetables

This is my first season of growing vegetables and it appears i am
better farmer than i thought i would be! I only have a small patch an an average sized greenhouse and i think i may have planted to much. now have hundreds of seedlings growing of all sorts of varieties an species. I imagine in a few weeks when they get bigger i will have t thin them out and discard some of the seedlings which i don't reall want to do but i don't think i'll have any alternative apart fro giving some to neighbours. What i wish to know if anyone could help m is minimum spacing for individual plants for Brocolli, Cabbage Spinach, Onion, Carrot, Courgette, Sweetcorn, Parsnip and Tomatoe (money-makers)!!! Also, when i should start thinning out, at the momen they are all to small and delicate to move. How many weeks after the seedlings first appear are they strong enough to survive being move about
-- rich79
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I thin out at about two inches, but for example tomatoes, recently repotted, have not yet been thinned at 4 inches. I am waiting to see which ones survive the repotting best.
If you are planting intensively (no rows), the distance between plants should be
- 1 ft broccoli - 2 ft tomatoes, cabbage - 3 ft zucchini - 3 inches carrots, parsnips, spinach - 6 inches onions
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Hi Rich79,
When you thinning out vegetables, you can eat some of them too. I always sow much more seeds in the cabbage and lettuce family. I add them to my meal each time I need to thin them out.
I had help a charity nursery to thin out carrot, those 1" long carrots could be added to salad. However, you must remember not to let any leaves from carrot on the ground and better cover them afterward as soon as possible since carrot fly can smell the scent of carrot from several miles away.
Hope it can help, CK from Aberystwyth, UK
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It's good that you are asking these questions. (I see that you have some good answers so far.) It's human nature to try to "fit in" all the seedlings that you start. One of the big mistakes beginners make is planting the garden so that it looks about right when the plants are small but not thinking about how much room each plant will need when it gets big. I've had people show me their garden and ask why nothing is doing well. Often they will have 4 or 5 zucchini plants where there is room for one. They didn't have the heart to thin the carrots and wonder why they all end up so small. Maybe enough corn in 10 square feet that could use 50 square feet of space for that many plants. They wonder why most of the plants produce nothing or only a small ear of corn. Well, that's a little extreme but do get used to thinning properly and planting out with a decent spacing between plants. Throw away what there isn't room for. The garden will turn out MUCH better in the end.
Steve
rich79 wrote:

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It is a good idea to keep the seed packages. The ones in the US at least have germination time, spacing, size of plant and some have maturity time. They also give suggestions on when to plant and when to plant out as well as other information on growing conditions.
I always start many more plants than I will put in the garden. Right now I have 100 tomato plants and I will only set out about 75. I started even more seeds and some just did not germinate. I will keep one or two extras of most varieties just to make sure that something doesn't wipe out all of a particular one.
The mature size of plants can help you arrange your garden so things that need sun are not shaded by taller plants.
I usually transplant when the plant has at least two true leaves. If they are in individual cells, you can wait a little longer. I planted some by just spreading seed in a tray. A real pain to separate since the roots were intertwined.
--
Susan N.

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