How to Identify Vegetable Seedlings

Written by stephanie daniels
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Identifying the vegetable seedlings in your garden will help you prepare for when the vegetables will be mature for harvesting and canning. It is not crucial to identify seedlings, however identifying them allows you to treat diseases, fertilise and water properly, and abide by the plant’s other needs and protect the plant against danger. Identifying vegetable seedlings is also very beneficial for shared gardens or to inform part-time gardeners where vegetables are when garden sitting for a friend.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Wooden stakes
  • Rubber mallet
  • Permanent marker
  • String
  • Popsicle sticks

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  1. 1

    Plant your vegetables in rows. Keeping vegetables in rows, according to their types and varieties not only keeps your garden organised but also makes seedlings more easily identified. Keep track of where each type of vegetable is planted to identify seedlings as soon as they emerge from the soil.

  2. 2

    Drive wooden stakes, with a rubber mallet, into the ground at the beginning and end of each row. This should be done immediately after planting the seeds, before dropped seeds are covered with soil, or during planting. A row of corn should start with a stake, and another two stakes placed at the end of the row of corn before a row of beans is started.

  3. 3

    Write the type of vegetable, and the variety, on the wooden stakes. With the sections identified, you will be aware of the seedlings identity as soon as they appear.

  4. 4

    Tie lengths of string between stakes to further identify rows and types of vegetables. Using different coloured strings for each vegetable variety helps to further identify the different varieties, making later harvesting easier for gardeners.

  5. 5

    Push Popsicle sticks into the dirt directly beside seeds before covering. The seeds sprout into seedlings, emerge from the soil, and turn into plants, while the Popsicle stick directly beside the stem warns gardeners of the seedling or plant, so that it is not mistakenly pulled during weeding.

Tips and warnings

  • Seedling not already identified are easily identified by viewing pictures of seedling online at a trusted website. You will need to compare leaf sizes and shapes and blooms to correctly identify seedlings. If you are unable to find an exact match, you may consider photographing your seedling and sharing the photograph with a gardening professional or expert. You may even compare the photograph to potted seedlings at a local nursery or gardening centre.

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