Ok so you’ve planted a bunch of seeds and they are all growing pretty good. The only thing is that now they are all too close to really thrive, so it’s time to cull them. It sounds morbid I know and it always kind of hurts my heart a little to end their sweet little lives so soon, but for the good of the mass it must be done.
Why must it be done? Because if plants start to grow too close together then they will not fill out. Things like radishes and carrots will not bulb up on the bottom, cabbages, and cucumbers will not fill out, and whatever vegetables you are able to get from the garden will be thin and spindly. Giving the plants the proper amount of space gives them the most yield.
Here’s how I do it: Wait until the first true leaves appear. Not all of the seeds will produce true leaves at once, making the choice of which ones to let go easier. Using gardeners shears cut the extra seedlings close to the ground.
Side note: I tend to thin the seeds twice, letting some get a little bigger begore trimming them. I do this because not all seedlings survive so the extras are a backup, but also because I then will have larger microgreens later on without harming the plants I want to save.
Once the seedlings have been culled the question becomes what to do with all the trimmed seedlings?
option 1: leave the trimmed seedlings in the garden bed to work as a light mulch or compost.
Option 2: toss them in the compost pile.
Option 3: Use them in the kitchen as microgreens.
Personally, I prefer the third option. Adding microgreens to smoothies, salads, and to garnish a plate is ideal since it means we get the added benefits of all the good stuff those little guys have.