Who says you can’t butterfly garden in the dead of winter?
We spent a cold winter night giving a haircut to the hundreds of Cowpen Daisy seedlings we planted several weeks ago.  Ways to collect the seed–and our weakness for their easy germination–were covered in a recent blogpost.

BEFORE: Cowpen Daisy Seed Sprouts Before Their “Haircut”

When seedlings peek from the vermiculite, perlite and compost mix we use as a seedling starter, it’s important to thin them, leaving only one plant per slot.   Use scissors to give them a haircut rather than rip the seedlings from the soil.  The yanking can disturb the delicate roots of remaining baby plants.
It may seem harsh to toss so many vibrant seedlings, but the reality is that none will do well when they are competing for limited soil nutrients and water.  Crowded seedlings become gangly and weak.  As they start to put out their second sets of leaves, we recommend snipping them to one per seedling slot as shown below.

AFTER: Cowpen Daisy Sprouts thinned to one per seedling slot

This gives each seedling plenty of space, water, and nutrients to shoot roots and reach for the sun.   Stay tuned for Cowpen Daisy seedling updates.