As part of our seeding process, we plant a little extra seed to overcome potential germination problems which can include, planting too deep or shallow, poor seed germination percentage, soil crusting, insect and animal issues, diseases, etc. When extra seed is planted, if we achieve full germination of almost all the seed, our planting will become overcrowded and the extra seedlings will become “Weeds” competing for water and nutrients. To remedy this, we thin the seedlings to the correct number. Usually the seed packet will indicate what the proper spacing should be. We usually do this in two or three stages. The first stage is to eliminate deformed or damaged seedlings. The second stage is to thin out healthy seedlings which are just too close together. Sometimes we do this over a couple of weeks so we can evaluate which are the strongest growing plants, in the best position, within either a “hill” or row. When we are done thinning, the planting should have the correct spacing to allow for proper light penetration, water availability and access to nutrients, for the time when the plant is mature and fruiting.