Organic Vegetable Garden (OVG), April 21st:
As heartbreaking as it can be, you just got to yank out some of those cute little seedlings when they start sprouting in a nice green row. Thinning, just like weeding, reduces competition between plants and will give your veggies room to grow. It will also prevent the plants from becoming spindly because they are too cramped. While any plant that is direct seeded can benefit from thinning to the recommended spacing, leaf lettuce, beets, radishes, carrots, spinach, and other greens will really appreciate the space. Thin your seedlings when plants have one or two pairs of true leaves—the plants should be about three inches tall. Try to thin when the soil is damp (or water before starting). Thin in the afternoon or early evening so that the plants can recover during the night.