Vegetable seedlings - to thin or not to thin?

To Thin or Not To Thin?

When sowing seeds, using a wider drill for your carrots, parsnips, spinach and beetroot allows your seedlings to spread, negating the need to thin them out. Thinning can sometimes attract pests so it is best avoided. When young carrots reach finger thickness (perfect for early crops), lift them to create more space for the rest. Cover the remaining roots up well straight afterwards. This will help avoid root disturbance and hopefully deter carrot root fly from laying their eggs. The larvae feed on the carrots and leave unsightly brown rings on the roots. The carrot fights back by producing a chemical to put the larvae off and this makes the carrot unpleasant to eat (for them as well as us). If root fly is a problem in your patch, make sure you rotate your carrots every year and remove all of them by the end of September. This will allow six months respite before more are sown. The ultimate deterrent however is the 3m long 'Giant Easy Net Tunnel', which could also be used to prevent cabbage white caterpillars getting on your brassica crops.

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