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thatbeth
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Sewed seeds, when do I space the plants?

I'm pretty new to gardening, but I'm trying a container garden on my balcony this year. I direct-sewed some green bean seeds and they've sprouted (I live in Florida, so that's not as crazy as it sounds). But I tossed several seeds in there in case they didn't all sprout, and I'm not sure when to pull out the extra plants to leave enough room for one to thrive. How big will they be before the roots make it too hard to pull them? How do I decide which one to keep?
Thanks in advance for any advice :)
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evtubbergh
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Re: Sewed seeds, when do I space the plants?

Can you post a picture of the container and give the size?

(And hope this is not too critical but it's 'sow', not 'sew'. The one with an 'e' you do with a needle.)

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applestar
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Re: Sewed seeds, when do I space the plants?

Yep knowing size of container and also bush or pole variety will decide the spacing.

When would be pull before the roots would entangle each other or clip off the ones that are too close, and generally preserve the strongest (that's thicker and sturdier not necessarily taller).

...and wah! BEANS? I can even direct sow peas yet and there is a day in the forecast when daytime HIGH is going to be 26°F :shock:
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Sewed seeds, when do I space the plants?

When the seeds first sprout, the first leaves that show are the seed leaves or cotyledons, that are shaped differently than any of the rest of the leaves will be. After that, the next pair and all of them after that are true leaves.

Image
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/_6KRo-dmHHWA/S ... dlings.jpg

green bean seedling with cotyledons and true leaves.

So I definitely wouldn't try thinning them until they have true leaves. There is no time when the roots would make it too hard to pull them. You can always moisten/loosen the potting soil and lift the plant out from underneath. What you are worried about is when they are competing with each other too much for light, water, nutrients. So if the leaves are touching, if they look crowded, if there's not air circulation space between them, if they stop growing very fast would be signs that they really need to be thinned.

I like to let them grow for a little while, maybe until they get the second pair of true leaves, because then it will start to be clearer which ones to cull - you want to cull the weakest ones, the ones that aren't growing as fast or as well.

evtub asked about the container size, because bean plants grow mostly vertically and don't take up a lot of room. Unless your container is quite small, there may well be room for more than one plant. One bean plant may produce 20 pods or so.
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thatbeth
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Re: Sewed seeds, when do I space the plants?

Thank you all, that's very helpful. They have cotyledons but no other leaves right now and are quite small. They're a bush variety. I'll wait a bit.
“I will not say that your mulberry trees are dead; but I am afraid they're not alive. ”
- Jane Austen

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hendi_alex
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Re: Sewed seeds, when do I space the plants?

Don't bother pulling the extras unless you want to save them. Just snip them off near the ground, so as to not disturb the roots of the remaining plants.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
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Re: Sewed seeds, when do I space the plants?

Things like beans I don't bother to transplant, they do fine planted in their final location without setback. In Florida you should be able to do that. Are they bush beans or pole beans? Pole beans would need a trellis but bush beans need to be spaced a little further apart. The package will tell you what the final spacing should be.
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