General Interest

thinning zinnia seedlings

Bacterial Leaf Spot: First signs are small translucent spots with a broad yellowish edge that slowly enlarge and become angular or irregularly circular with a reddish center. Sow seeds evenly 12 inches apart and cover with ¼ inch of fine soil. To save the seeds at the end of the season, wait until the flowers finish blooming and then leave them there for the seed pods to develop. Water, and when seedlings emerge, thin them out to the desired spacing. Aster Yellows: Plants are stunted, develop witch's brooms (excessive growth), petals turn green and become deformed. Steve demonstrates how to properly thin a variety of crops, including when to know thin and what tools work the best. Step 4. Burpee Recommends: Remove plant debris. You'll see seedlings sprout in four to seven days. Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. Cut often or deadhead. Aphids: Greenish, red, black or peach colored sucking insects can spread disease as they feed on the undersides of leaves. In a perfect world, every single seed we plant would grow, and it would be super easy to space all of those seeds correctly in the garden from the start. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Plant the seeds in a row, 1/2 inch under the soil. Advertisement. Seedlings should have at least two pairs of true leaves and be about 3 to 4 inches (7.5-9 cm.) Remove infected plant parts and do not work around wet plants. The disease may also affect and disfigure flower heads. Step 3. wait until evening, and water them well again. When the light source is too dim or far away, the seedlings kick into survival mode and grow quickly in height to try to get closer to that light. Thinning seedlings is a common method that’s used to ensure the proper spacing of plants in your garden. Simply grab the stem about 8 inches (20 cm) down from the flower head and gently shake it. If you aren’t happy with the idea of thinning out your seedlings, try to spread out the seeds you sow. One of the main causes of deformed carrots and other root crops is damage to seedling roots when the plants are young. If the stem is stiff and remains erect, it is ready to harvest. Also, crowded seedlings started indoors won’t get enough air circulation, which can cause mold growth in your seed trays. Step 3. Even though the thought of thinning seedlings can be really hard, learning how to thin seedlings is important. Keep plants well-watered during the growing season, especially during dry spells. Spacing: Plant zinnia seeds a few inches apart in rows or clumps. Use low rates of a slow release fertilizer, as higher rates may encourage root rots. Fertilize the remaining seedlings – Once you’re done thinning your seedlings to the proper spacing, give them a shot of plant fertilizer to give them an extra boost! 28–36". They may be red, black, brown or yellow. This settles the plants in, drives out air pockets and results in good root-to-soil contact. Zinnias are grown from seed. Cut often or deadhead for continuous bloom. Sure, some types of plants tolerate a little crowding. Seedlings that were sown directly into the garden rather than started indoors should be thinned to the spacing requirements on the seed packets. I’m new to gardening & this teaches me a lot. If you decide to wait, then plan to thin out seedlings once they get a few sets of their true leaves, but not more than 3-4 sets. Not watering can delay germination for a week or more. Good air movement is also important. Plus, it’s pretty much impossible to plant tiny little seeds one by one, so we sprinkle them over the top of the dirt instead. To properly deadhead a zinnia, locate flowers that are brown or wilting. Your email address will not be published. Seedlings that are growing too close together will eventually end up competing with each other (just like weeds compete with our garden plants). Thinning is necessary when seedlings are growing in a tight group, or there’s more than one seedling growing in a seed tray cell, pellet, or seedling pot. Then thin out the others. Sowing Seed Indoors: Sow indoors 5-7 weeks before outdoor planting date in spring using a seed starting kit. Perfect for mixed borders and the cutting garden. Zinnias require full sun and hot temperatures to grow well and may not perform well in many homes. An easy way to do this is to set the flat, pots or tray in a container of water so the water seeps up into the soil. Spider Mites: These tiny spider-like pests are about the size of a grain of pepper. That’s why learning how to thin seedlings is a necessary seed starting evil, and a very important part of successful seedling care. Thin early to final spacing to increase air circulation and discourage powdery mildew. Accustom young plants to outdoor conditions by moving them to a sheltered place outside for a week. Ht. Step 2. Required fields are marked *. Does anyone have a preferred way of thinning? Thin to one seedling per cell when they have two sets of leaves. Step 4. Then we end up with crowded seedlings! Burpee Recommends: Introduce or attract natural predators into your garden such as lady beetles and wasps who feed on aphids. Transplant hardened-off seedlings to the garden after the frost. Remove plants after they are killed by frost in fall to avoid disease issues the following year. Bring a bucket of water with you to the garden when you cut your flowers and put them in the water as soon as you cut them. A new firey-red scabiosa-flowered zinnia with large domed centers, some single forms appear too. After new growth appears, a light fertilizer may be applied. Thin seedlings to stand 8-24 inches apart, depending on the variety, when they are about 1-2 inches tall. Avoid overhead watering. Follow there rules, they are there for a reason. Rotate crops with plants in a different family. Step 3. Seedlings also love liquid kelp fertilizer or fish emulsion. How To Thin Seedlings Step-By-Step Step 1. Step 2. You could also try to transplant some that you are thinning out. If compost is not available, top dress the soil after planting with 1-2 inches of organic mulch, which will begin to breakdown into compost. All content found on this website is copyrighted materials and any form of reproduction is strictly prohibited. My brand new book Vertical Vegetables is now available for purchase!! Fill with soil to the top of the root ball. Thinning Seedlings and Plants Perhaps one of the most difficult tasks in all of the gardening world, is thinning out seedlings. Step 2. Level with a rake to remove clumps of grass and stones. If you’re new to growing seeds and want to learn how to grow any plant you want from seed, check out my online Seed Starting Course! I know first hand that thinning seedlings can be a really touchy topic for new gardeners. Decide which seedlings to thin out – Choose the strongest seedling in the bunch to keep, and then thin the rest. Absolutely stunning, vibrant pink blooms are about 4-5" across, and magnificently full and uniform. They also spread disease. Compost is a wonderful form of organic matter with a good balance of nutrients and an ideal pH level, it can be added to your planting area at any time. Enroll and get started today! I got my zinnia seedlings thinned out yesterday. We recommend planting Zinnia seeds in pots and containers indoors, then transplanting them outdoors. Chemical fertilizers can cause damage to seedlings, and burn their tiny tender roots. If all the seedlings look healthy, then cut the smallest ones off at the base. Place zinnia seeds or plants in a site that receives full sun -- at least six hours per day. Be sure to protect them from wind and hot sun at first. Burpee Recommends: Avoid powdery mildew by providing good air circulation for the plants by good spacing and pruning. But, here in the real world, planting seeds is not an exact science. Zinnias are attractive to pollinating insects, particularly hoverflies. Burpee Recommends: Remove infected plants and destroy them. Pack the soil loosely with your fingers and water it well. But crowded seedlings will suffer from all kinds of problems if they aren’t thinned out properly. Find the strongest, healthiest, and most compact seedling in the group, and that’s the one you want to keep. Share you tips about how to thin seedlings in the comments section below. I live and garden in Minneapolis, MN (zone 4b). To give your plants a healthy start to life, they need plenty of growing space right from the beginning. But I didn’t throw the ones I pulled out away. Thin my seedlings?!? Consult your Cooperative Extension Service for other insecticide recommendations. Use the mist setting on your watering wand so you don’t wash the seeds away or you might end up with clusters of plants and bare spots. Select a location in full sun with good rich moist organic soil. They multiply quickly and thrive in dry conditions. This means that, as the seedlings grow into mature plants, their growth will be stunted. Decide which seedlings to thin out – Choose the strongest seedling in the bunch to keep, and then thin the rest. My green thumb comes from my parents, and I've been gardening most of my life. Try hot pepper wax or insecticidal soap. Pinch once when seedlings are 6-8" tall to encourage bushiness. Seedlings will grow weak and leggy when they don’t get enough light. Dig a hole for each plant large enough to amply accommodate the root ball. I’m a passionate gardener who loves growing everything from vegetables, herbs, and flowers to succulents, tropicals, and houseplants - you name, I've grown it! You can also subscribe without commenting. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Do not work around plants when they are wet. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating. Always keep mulches off a plant’s stems to prevent possible rot. Burpee Recommends: Remove infected plants. Check with your Cooperative Extension Service for miticide recommendations. If zinnias are planted too closely together they will produce tall plants and much smaller flowers. Pinch young plants to encourage branching unless you are growing them exclusively for cut flowers and want long stems. Burpee Recommends: Avoid getting water on the foliage. Yes, you certainly can try to separate some types of seedlings instead of thinning them out. Burpee Recommends: Spider mites may be controlled with a forceful spray every other day. Have you grown zinnia seedlings? When To Transplant Seedlings Into The Garden, How To Grow Peppers From Seed: Complete Guide, How To Prepare Containers For Winter Sowing, Terms Of Use, Disclaimer and Privacy Policy. I’m glad I found your site, I will try again. Packet: 15 seeds. As soon as seedlings emerge, provide plenty of light on a sunny windowsill or grow seedlings 3-4 inches beneath fluorescent plant lights turned on 16 hours per day, off for 8 hours at night. Cut the seedlings off at the base – Never try to pull the seedlings out of the soil or you could damage the delicate roots of the other seedlings, which could end up killing them too. Place the top of the root ball even with the level of the surrounding soil. Before planting in the garden, seedling plants need to be “hardened off”. Taller varieties may benefit from staking, especially if they are in a windy area. Read More... I’m wondering if it’s too late to thin my beets, Swiss chard & carrots? This is especially important for carrots and other root crops. This is how you know it's time to trim them off and allow the other flowers to shine. Disinfect them by dipping the blades into rubbing alcohol, or use a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol to wipe the blades. When it comes to thinning seedlings, the sooner you do it the better. Shorter varieties may be tried in a warm sunroom during the summer. Perfect for mixed borders and the cutting garden. Burpee Recommends: Remove affected plant parts, avoid watering at night and getting water on the plant when watering. Step 1. Use insecticidal soaps. They handle hot temperatures and full sun quite well. Zinnias need room to grow, so thin out seedlings no less than 12 inches apart. Use the right tool for thinning seedlings – Garden pruning shears are way too big and clumsy to use for this delicate job, and it’s easy to accidentally damage other seedlings in the process. Alternaria Leaf Spot: Small, round reddish brown spots with white to gray centers form on the upper surface of the leaves and along the midrib. Q: if I don't thin my zinnias what happens? Keep in mind that the tallest seedlings aren’t always the healthiest. It thrives in cool wet weather conditions. Try using seeds treated with a fungicide. They suck on the plant juices removing chlorophyll and injecting toxins which cause white dots on the foliage. To do this, carefully remove the whole chunk of soil, seedlings and roots out of their small container. Always follow the recommended spacing on the planting instructions. I have had luck with separating some of my seedlings. Thinning Seedlings. I would definitely try thinning them out to see if that triggers the others to grow larger. Thinning simply means removing some of the plants that are growing too close together so that only one plant is left to grow. Otherwise, if you just need a quick refresher for growing them indoors, then my Starting Seeds Indoors eBook is exactly what you need. If you pack the soil too tightly, you run a risk of breaking fragile roots, and damaging the plant's ability to draw nutrients out of the soil. Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 8 inches. Why are my zinnias tall and thin with much smaller flowers than expected? Control leafhoppers. Zinnia seeds can also be easily sown directly into the garden bed once the soil has warmed and danger of frost has passed. Thinning crowded seedlings ensures that plants have plenty of room to grow. Prepare the soil by removing weeds and working organic matter into the top 6-8 inches of soil; then level and smooth. Keep weeds under control during the growing season. 1. They have been in the ground for 2 months & are only 4”. Cut stems before the flower is open for cut flowers. Special offers, discounts, and new products. You can usually accomplish this by by gently tipping the container on its side and easing the mass out, pushing up from the bottom as needed. Zinnia may be grown from seed sown early indoors and transplanted outside after frost, or sown directly in the garden after frost, or from potted plants. But I don’t do this much anymore. Dead head zinnias when they are around 18 inch by snipping the central bud and using them as cut flowers. You should use a good quality compost fertilizer on seedlings, which you can get in liquid form or buy compost tea bags to brew your own. A micro-tip pruning snip or bonsai pruning shears are perfect for thinning seedlings. Plants are shorter than is characteristic for the variety and the flowers are much smaller: When zinnias are overcrowded they can become stunted and produce smaller flowers. This zinnia easily takes center stage wherever it is planted. I planted them in other pots and a few in the raised garden. I have planted a rather large zinnia patch along a fence and of course didn't think the seeds would take as beautifully as they have. It’s too risky, and it’s a total waste of time to plant damaged seedlings that won’t amount to much. They will not grow to the size, nor bloom well, if at all. Seedlings do not need much fertilizer, feed when they are 3-4 weeks old using a starter solution (half strength of a complete indoor houseplant food) according to manufacturer’s directions. Germination rates typically vary from 70 to 90 percent, so you should plant more seeds than you think you'll really need. Powdery Mildew: This fungus disease occurs on the top of the leaves in humid weather conditions. I live on the coast just south of San Francisco. How do I condition my cut zinnia flowers? Butterflies flutter about these heirloom zinnias. Plant Your Seeds. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. Zinnias attract hummingbirds, butterflies and beneficial insects. Monitor for pests and diseases. In the event your soil is too moist or prone to drainage problems, pour a small amount of sand into the ground prior to planting to get the soil relatively firm and water-free. Remove weeds in the area which serve as alternate hosts to the disease. Sow seeds ¼ inch deep in seed starting formula. This virus-like condition is spread by leafhoppers. Provide plenty of air circulation. Raise the lights as the plants grow taller. Eek! So thin out any seedlings that have started to grow tall and leggy. But even so, don’t underestimate the importance of thinning seedlings when it becomes necessary. But zinnias are easy to direct sow and bloom fairly quickly from seed so direct sowing may be a better option for some gardeners. Press soil down firmly with your hand leaving a slight depression around the plant to hold water. Japanese Beetles: Burpee Recommends: Hand pick early in the morning into a bucket of soapy water. If the stem is droopy or bends, it is not ready to cut. Avg. The chore of thinning seedlings is essential for healthy plant growth and development, to maximize flower size, and to maximize crop production. If they are overcrowded, then that is probably why they’re still so small. If you have good conditions for growing them indoors such as plant lights, a heat mat for germination, then you can get a head start by starting them indoors. It can be difficult to hear, but it’s something that must be done in order to grow strong, healthy seedlings. Gently prick out small seedlings and transplant them into their own cells if you are wary of disposing of extra sprouts. The photo you see above was shortly after I thinned them out. If you really, really hate the thought of thinning your plants and removing perfectly good seedlings, then the best way to avoid it in the future is to take extra time to space the seeds apart properly when you plant them. Zinnia (Zinnia hybrids) Check out our Flower & Plant guide. Thin to 8 to 18 inches apart, depending upon the variety, once the plant has grown four leaves. When and how to water. Contact your Cooperative Extension Service for fungicide recommendations. Thinning out zinnia seedlings. Cut on an angle to give more surface area for the water to be taken up. Plants need about 1 inch of rain per week during the growing season. Your browser's Javascript functionality is turned off. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area. You can also wash them off with a strong spray, or use an insecticidal soap. Be sure to disinfect your tool before thinning. Should I start my zinnias indoors or outdoors? This hardening off process toughens the plant’s cell structure and reduces transplant shock and scalding. Plant the seeds only about ¼-inch deep. Contact your Cooperative Extension Service for fungicide recommendations. Most plants require a dark period to grow, do not leave lights on for 24 hours. It thrives in cooler temperatures. Set seeds about a half-inch deep and a few inches apart. Botrytis: This fungus causes a grey mold on flowers, leaves, stems and buds. Thinning seedlings is a necessary evil when it comes to growing seeds. Many of the best and most unusual varieties of vegetables are simply not available in your local nursery and your only option is growing these plants from seeds. Zinnias actually thrive with less water. Seeds sprout in a week or so, forming seedlings that look very fernlike. If you don’t know when or how to thin seedlings (or why the heck you need to do it in the first place), then this post is for you! Unfortunately, there’s only so much growing a seedling can do and what it gains in height, it sacrifices in girth, resulting in thin, fragile stems. Make sure plants have good air circulation. Pinch once when seedlings are 6-8" tall to encourage bushiness and thin early to final spacing to increase air circulation and discourage disease. The lesions may encircle the stems and cause wilt. The leaves appear to have a whitish or greyish surface and may curl. Take care not to overwater seedlings; be sure to provide good air circulation and ventilation, so tops of seedlings stay dry and standing moisture is kept to a minimum. Leafhoppers: Leafhoppers cause injury to leaves and stunt growth. Step 1. How to fix it: thin and replant seedlings. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees through links to Take care not to overcrowd them or the flowers may be significantly smaller than they should be and the plants may be taller. Raising plants from seeds can be a rewarding and exciting way to add new varieties to your garden. To ensure they can reach the pollen and nectar, grow single-flowered varieties that don’t block pollinator access. The … They leave a sticky residue on foliage that attracts ants. It’s best to use natural fertilizers on seedlings rather than chemical ones. Your browser is currently set to block cookies. So, I thought I’d break it down into simple steps for you to follow, with pictures too (because I’m a visual learner, and some of you probably are too). The longer you wait to thin them, the more you risk stunting the growth of your plants (and, when you have a super short growing season like we do here in MN, plants need all the time they can get to grow to maturity). Always use a commercial potting mix. That with the fact that my back was killing me and in haste I didn't want to pinch all those itty bitty seeds. Proper plant spacing is crucial for growing healthy plants (and harvesting tons of amazing food!). What Happens If Zinnias Are Not Thinned. This allows you to make the proper spacing and not have to thin seedlings. Keep granular fertilizers away from the plant crown and foliage to avoid burn injury. We have a huge range of sizes, colors, and styles of Zinnia seeds. It’s a wonderful, comprehensive and completely self-paced online course that will teach you everything you need to know about successfully growing garden seeds. Make sure the plants are at least 12 inches apart so they receive good air circulation. © 2020 W. Atlee Burpee & Co. All Rights Reserved. Sometimes it can be tough to visualize how to thin seedlings correctly. Thinning seedlings to eliminate crowding is also helpful. Zinnia seeds can be directly seeded into your flower garden, or seeded indoors for transplanting later. If you’re thinning seedlings that were started indoors, then you want to thin them so that there’s only one seedling left growing per cell, pellet, or seedling pot. This will allow them to take up water through the freshly cut stem. Zinnias, our most popular flower seeds, are very easy to start from seed. Can I grow zinnias as a houseplant? Sow indoors 5-7 weeks before outdoor planting date in spring using a seed starting kit, Sow seeds ¼  inch deep in seed starting formula. Zinnias are annuals and can go from seed to beautiful cut flowers very quickly. Zinnias famously hate root disturbance, so it is best to sow directly into freely drained soil with a fine tilth.Sow two or three seeds 2in (5cm) apart at 12in (30cm) spacing. Keep them out of the direct sun. Yardner's Advisor Newsletter provides information just for plants in your yard! We know that some of our seeds won’t germinate, so we plant more than one seed per cell to make sure there’s a seedling growing in each one. Add some sand if the ground is very moist. You can practice what is called succession planting where every two weeks seeds are planted ensuring you’ll have a show of zinnias throughout the summer and into early fall. Keep the soil moist but not saturated. tall before thinning. They are at home in cottage and children’s gardens, and they are often grown in cutting gardens. Do I need to stake my zinnias? Always follow the spacing recommendations for each variety. This site uses cookies to enable shopping cart usage, provide you with relevant product and promotions, and measure performance. This disease is worse in warm, wet or very humid weather. If frost threatens at night, cover or bring containers indoors, then take them out again in the morning. Plant zinnias in mixed plantings with other summer-blooming annuals, or place small groups of zinnias among perennials. Thanks. Thinning Seedlings by Separating Another method used to thin seedlings is by gently separating them. Zinnia seeds can be sown outdoors as early as mid-April through first week of August. Remove spent flower heads to keep plants flowering until fall. Moisten the soil evenly with water before planting the zinnia seeds. Space 25-30cm (10-12″) between plants. Evening hours are a good time to thin seedlings as the cooler temps and darker conditions make it easier for the remaining seedlings to bounce back … Please turn it on so that you can experience the full capabilities of this site. There is often webbing visible on the plant. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. Your email address will not be published. Firm soil lightly with your hand, water and keep evenly moist. For annuals an organic mulch of shredded leaves lends a natural look to the bed and will improve the soil as it breaks down in time. It's best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. After the growing season, a soil test will indicate what soil amendments are needed for the following season. Not only will this give them plenty of room to grow, but it also makes it much easier when it comes time to plant them in the garden. Plus, the task of carefully separating crowded seedlings is way more tedious than just thinning seedlings. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Until plants become established, some protection from extreme winds and direct, hot sunlight may be necessary. Zinnias are considered a “dirty flower” and benefit from a drop or two of bleach in their water. There are just a few simple steps to fix seedling clumps in the garden. Make sure the seed bed is evenly moist before and after germination. Zinnias make terrific cut flowers, and cutting the flowers encourages new blooms. See the “How To Choose Which Seedlings To Thin” section above to figure out which seedlings to thin, and which ones to keep. Water thoroughly, so that a puddle forms in the saucer you have created. They cause the foliage to turn yellow and become dry and stippled. Vegetable plants that are overcrowded don’t produce as much food as ones that have plenty of room to grow, or they might not produce any food at all. The seedlings left behind have not quite recovered from my reaching in and pulling out seedlings to transplant. Keep the soil moist at 70-75 degrees F. Seedlings emerge in 7-10 days. Incandescent bulbs will not work for this process because they will get too hot. Most plants respond well to soils amended with organic matter. Here are the steps…. Question From: l. GUERRA - Austin, Texas, United States . After about two weeks, thin the seedlings to 8 inches apart. Moisten the soil, then use a soil knife to carefully dig up all the roots of some of the seedling clumps in order to thin and replant them. Shorter zinnia varieties are ideal for containers. Once the Zinnia seedlings are about 3 inches tall, it would help their growth to thin them to 6 inches apart. If the seedlings are all the same size, you can just randomly thin them out, or you can give it a bit more time to see if one of them starts to grow larger (but really, in this case, you can’t make the wrong choice, so thin away). If zinnias don't receive enough sunlight, they will grow leggy, flop over and bloom poorly. Zinnias for pollinators. 3,200 seeds/oz. Well-drained soil is important because zinnia seedlings can be prone to rotting in cool, wet soils. Thin out the seedlings, so you end up with one plant every 12in (30cm) or so. Zinnias may be started indoors or directly in the garden. Direct sow seeds in average soil in full sun after all danger of frost. Contact your Cooperative Extension Service for fungicide recommendations.

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