I planted cleome last year and they've self-sown nicely, but the little
seedlings are very crowded into a solid mass of green. Should I thin
them? I've never done this before. Would someone give me
instructions, please? Can I put the thinned ones in another part of
the landscape? Thanks very much.
You didn't say how closely the seedlings had grown. Here's the cultural
info: Height 4'. GARDEN HINTS: Grows best in full sun. Space 15-18" apart.
You can move some of the plants, but only if you can get them out of the
ground without damaging their roots, or the roots of the ones you leave
behind. If you can't do that, then just out the extras and compost them.
Beyond this, there's no way to tell you how close is too close for
successful thinning. It's something you have to learn by trying.
Yes, if they are a "solid mass of green" you need to thin them. You can
try to move some of them but be sure to not damage the root system when
you move them. It is a good idea if you transplant some of them to give
them a feeding with a liquid fertilizer (mixed to half strength) when
you move them and every few days after you move them. Cleome do
transplant fairly well but you will likely lose a few so take that into
account when you move them.
I've always been wary of thinning, never dared to try to prick out
seedlings because their roots are so fragile. I know that good
gardening technique requires it, but doesn't nature handle it? Like I
scattered some wildflower seeds pretty thick. I don't feel like trying
to transplant them and just let the race go to the fittest.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.