Edible Thinnings | Can I eat vegetable seedlings?

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If you’re wondering if you can eat beetroot or carrot seedlings then take a look at our list of edible thinnings below…

Thinning seedlings is not a task that I particularly enjoy but it is an important one.

It may feel counter-productive to pull healthy seedlings however doing so will help to ensure healthy plants and a productive crop.

Simply put, plants won’t grow well when they are crampt, starved of nutrients and water or with insufficient airflow.

Thankfully, many plant thinning are edible and those young shoots make the perfect addition to salad and stir fry.

Remember that you can also eat shallot shoots (if you only take a few).

Edible thinnings eat beetroot seedlings
Some crops can be thinned more gradually as you harvest leaves and small roots leaving others to grow bigger.

Which thinnings are edible?

Thinning your much loved seedlings can be made more bearable if you treat them as a super early crop.

Young seedling shoots or microgreens are highly nutritious and add a lovely texture and flavour to sandwiches and mixed salads.

Seedlings thinnings edible

Our favourite seedlings to eat as we think are:

  • Carrots
  • Beetroots
  • Radishes
  • Turnips
  • Lettuces
  • Spinach
  • Swiss Chard
  • Rocket
  • Bok choy
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Peas
  • Squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Fennel
  • Dill
  • Sunflowers
  • Nasturtiums

It’s best not to assume that all vegetable shoots are edible and I’d definitely advise checking before adding anything to your lunch!

Although some posts claim otherwise, personally we7 choose not to eat parsnip leaves and stalks and tomatoes and potatoes shoots as they are known to cause irritation due to toxins.

Edible thinnings seedlings you can eat gardening hacks
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What are your favourite edibles thinnings?

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