Which plants need to be thinned out?

Some plugs will arrive with multiple plants growing per plug. Many can be planted without being thinned out, but others will do better if you remove a few plants or separate them out.

Root Veg

For root veg – turnip, beetroot, carrot and parsnips – just pinch off excess plants carefully with your fingers, without disturbing the root ball, to leave just one plant per plug.

Tomatoes, Beans, Squash, Corn etc

For many fruiting veg like tomatoes, beans, corn and squashes, you may be able to carefully tease the plants apart at their roots, and this way you get to plant a few extras. Just very gently separate the plants after you’ve soaked them in water. Alternatively, remove the weaker plants by snipping off at the base and just plant the strongest.

Leeks, Onions & Fennel

You can gently tease apart leeks and onions, and then plant them separately. For spring onions, just plant them as they come as they will grow in a clump quite happily.

Bulb Fennel will be best to be thinned out by pinching off the weaker stems to leave just one stem per plug. Try to handle/disturb the root ball as little as possible.

Cut & Come Again Leaves

There is no need to thin out leafy cut and come again crops like wild rocket, mizuna, lettuces, spinach and chard. They’ll happily grow together and will provide you with plenty of leaves.


Most will arrive with just one plant per plug. If any do arrive with multiples, just carefully tease them apart at their roots, and plant separately. Or, remove the smaller of the plants by snipping off at the base of the stem.