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snip back first true leaves
#88832 March 6th, 2007 at 07:50 PM
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Recently, I decided to get some peat pellets and start a little vegetable garden. I'm somewhat confused with how the instructions read. It states: After first true leaves appear, snip back all except strongest seedling in each pellet.

What is considered "first true leaves"?

I am growing cucumbers, tomatoes, peas and beets. Its only been about 2 weeks and the cucumbers have taken off! In each pod there are 3 tall stalks with 2 leaves at the top. As I'm not sure when I should "snip back", I am hesitant in doing so. Can anyone help?
Also, any tips relating to this would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you so much!

Re: snip back first true leaves
#88833 March 6th, 2007 at 08:11 PM
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The first two leaves that appear are not true leaves. It is the second set (that grows a wee-bit later) that you see, they are the first true leaves. I'm not sure on the technical and more exact words/explanation but that is it, in a nutshell. I think the first set are there for looks and the second set is what does photosynthesis and all that jazz. IF that makes any sense...

I'm sure someone will be by to clarify.

Re: snip back first true leaves
#88834 March 6th, 2007 at 11:09 PM
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oz is right. . . the 2nd set of leaves is the "true leaves" These are destinctly different from the rounded first leaves that come first.

Not sure if i read your question right, but theyre actually intending to say, "sew 3-5 seeds per peat pellet. Once the TRUE LEAVES are spawned, clip back the ENTIRE plants that are lagging behind, leaving the strongest one alive/intact."

Like i said, i'm not sure if i'm reading ur question right, but theres just a lil more FYI for u smile

Re: snip back first true leaves
#88835 March 6th, 2007 at 11:14 PM
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also, this is just from my own 1st year blues. . . but i can safely say you dont need to start cucumbers indoors. or any curcubit plant for that matter (IE: Squash, zuchini etc.). THEY GROW LIKE weeds! Not sure what kinda bean plants your planting, last year i did blue### green beans. They take off like weeds too! I planted them 4th of july (very late imo) and they were up & bearing fruit by august smile

I can only say that in my sites, i only start tomatoes & peppers indoors. maybe some annual flowers too if u get into that kinda thing smile

GL let us know!

Re: snip back first true leaves
#88836 March 6th, 2007 at 11:23 PM
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I tried indoors because in the past, I've noticed birds picking on the sprouts thumbup

Re: snip back first true leaves
#88837 March 6th, 2007 at 11:24 PM
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<3 me some bird feeders smile Dunno if ur married at all but my wife loves having all the birds & seeing how pretty they are with cardinals, blue jays & other species.

Re: snip back first true leaves
#88838 March 7th, 2007 at 05:33 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by sweetsolo:
I tried indoors because in the past, I've noticed birds picking on the sprouts thumbup
You know what you can do to stop some of that, is to take some clear juice jugs *I use Juicy Juice* and cut the very bottom of the jug off..
and keep the cap to the jug as well..

Then I plant either the seed or seedling, and cover the area with the bottomless juice jug..
It acts as a greenhouse, and a protector against
birds, chippiemunks, rabbits, etc.. anything/one that would like a tender new shoot..
**it won't keep out slugs if the top is on, or the bottom of the jug is not firmly in the ground, cause those sneaky bugger's sneak in under it or thru the top**

Keep the top on it over night, if it's cool out.. and OFF during the day, you don't want to cook the tender new shoot..

Re: snip back first true leaves
#88839 March 7th, 2007 at 06:43 AM
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That's a great suggestion! I'm going to do that! You all are a great help and so friendly. Thank you so much! clp

Re: snip back first true leaves
#88840 March 7th, 2007 at 12:51 PM
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Definitely don't snip the cotyledons. The seedlings will die. There is really no reason at all to cut back vegetable plants.

Re: snip back first true leaves
#88841 March 7th, 2007 at 01:56 PM
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Another suggestion--if you are doing beans or peas, just plant them a little deeper. Planted at the depth suggested on the package they will usually come up with a pale colored little crook at first and then the leaves pop out of the ground. While it's just the little crook (u-shaped) part of plant, it looks like a nice juicy insect to the birds so they pull it out thinking they have breakfast. Not very funny for us gardeners mad Planting deeper will get the beans and peas to pop leaves out of the soil first instead of that tempting looking little crook.

Re: snip back first true leaves
#88842 March 7th, 2007 at 07:01 PM
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I planted 2-3 seedlings for each pellet. If all seedlings seem to be strong enough you don't think I'll need to cut back the vegetable plants? As I'm new to this, I've never cut back vegetable plants and think I would have a hard time doing so. It seems so sad. ters

I noticed that with the peas! A couple days later it looked as though they weren't even planted. I'll remember that for next time.
Thanks!

Re: snip back first true leaves
#88843 March 7th, 2007 at 10:28 PM
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If you leave more than 1 plant per pellet, they will crowd each other. They each need plenty of room to develop a good healthy root system. You're not the only one who hates to cut out perfectly healthy seedlings--NOT my favorite job either. After all, we all enjoy growing plants, not destroying them. Unfortunatly, it's an evil necessity in this case eek

Re: snip back first true leaves
#88844 March 7th, 2007 at 10:41 PM
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So true...

I'm such a sap when it comes to them,
I even do it to carrots, pull them out
and stick a stick or pencil in the dirt
and stick'em back in...

I just feel so bad..

But like MLN said.....
Quote
Unfortunatly, it's an evil necessity in this case

Re: snip back first true leaves
#88845 March 7th, 2007 at 10:49 PM
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Good to know. When cutting back on the plants, how or where do I need to remove them? Do I remove them like a weed or cut at the base of the stalk?
Sorry for so many questions. I am very new to all of this!

Re: snip back first true leaves
#88846 March 7th, 2007 at 11:22 PM
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I don't think it really matters exactly, just so long as you don't disturb the best and most healthy plant that you are keeping.

Re: snip back first true leaves
#88847 March 8th, 2007 at 12:47 PM
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Solo, when thinning seedlings, its best to snip off the unwanted seedlings right at the soil level so the roots of the plants you want to keep do not get disturbed.

Re: snip back first true leaves
#88848 March 8th, 2007 at 05:50 PM
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Thanks! I'll be sure to do it that way. thumbup wink

Re: snip back first true leaves
#88849 March 8th, 2007 at 09:10 PM
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If the seedlings are real close to each other and there is a risk of disturbing the roots of the one you plan to keep, then cut the ones you don't want. If there is sufficient space and you think it won't disturb the roots of the keeper, then it would be O.K. to pull out the other two. AND, sometimes when you pull them, you can poke them into a separate pellet/pot of their own and water and they will survive wink I always figure that even if only half survive, it's worth the effort (if I need the extra plants).

Re: snip back first true leaves
#88850 March 8th, 2007 at 09:40 PM
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And that is how you learn what can handle it
and what can't...
Truly, the only way to learn, is yes, by people telling you their experiences, but also by trial and error...
Some plants may have to die in your learning process, and that is very sad...but you learned,
and eventually become very good at knowing what is good for you, works in your garden and is easy to plant and keep going....

They tell people to snip the over crowded babies, because in the long run, for the actual plant you are tryin'g to grow, snipping the others so that ONE can be strong is good for the plant.. *bad for the others* but that's what they need to say on their package in order for the new gardener/new seeder to ensure good growth from their seed....


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