I remember the very first row of seeds I sowed back in September, a handful of spicy Japanese radish seeds placed every two inches, to be thinned out later to six inches apart. But when the time came to eliminate the excess seedlings, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Call me a proud mama, or just a crazy person, but I felt so guilty yanking out a perfectly healthy plant that was capable of providing food. And so I painstakingly uprooted every third seedling and replanted them in a new row. I also did this with my onion seedlings, my carrots, and my beets.
Of course, I knew I couldn’t do this every single time with all of my plants, lest I want to spend the rest of my life bending over a bed of seedlings with my transplant trowel. So when it was time for the gobo (Japanese edible burdock) to come out, I carefully pulled out every third seedling and then… threw them in the compost. Sigh. But what comes out of the earth, goes back into the earth.