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Nobody likes to thin seedlings. It's fussy work, and always hard to decide which ones to save and which to toss. Here's and easier way: When the first true leaves appear, snip off the extra seedlings at the soil line. You'll be left with only as many seedlings as you need.
Plant Your Seeds
Germination rates typically vary from 70 to 90 percent, so you should plant more seeds than you think you'll really need. Cover lightly with soil and water well.
Watch for Seeds to Sprout
As soon as the first seedlings pop up, put the tray under bright fluorescent lights for 15 hours per day. Let seedlings grow until they have two sets of "true" leaves.
Snip — Don't Rip! — at the Soil Line
Use a scissors to snip out any weak or crowded seedlings. Remaining plants will have room to develop properly, without having their roots disturbed.
Feed Your Seedlings
For sturdy plants with strong root systems, start applying a water-soluble fertilizer, such as Plant Health Care, about once a week. Keep lights close to the plants — no more than a couple inches from the leaves.
Last updated: 4/27/20
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