Piquing vegetables: Information for vegetables such as spinach, corn & co

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Piquing vegetables: Information for vegetables such as spinach, corn & co: information

Usually the seeds of vegetables are sown in a planter and germinated in a warm place. Depending on the type of plant, it may take several days to a few weeks for the seeds to germinate and show first leaves called cotyledons. From now on it is important for the young vegetables that they have enough space.


So that seedlings do not die off and hinder each other's growth, it is important to pique them. The term "Pikieren" comes from the French and means "stinging". Basically, in the garden, pecking is nothing more than transplanting seedlings at a greater distance from each other or into their own pot. When brushing, be very careful with the fragile plant and care must be taken that the complete root is planted in the soil.


The simplest solution would be to sow the seeds individually in small pots. This is usually not feasible for reasons of space, so that either several seeds are sown in a pot or in a row in the garden bed. Here, the seed ripens in moist and warm conditions until the seedling has made its way to the light. From now on, the actual growth phase of the plant begins. The vegetables need a lot of energy. The seedlings in the culture dish compete for light, nutrients and water. So that the young salad, kohlrabi or Paprikapflänzchen do not make each other the limited offer, they get a place in a separate pot.

The right moment

One should pique seedlings at the latest, as soon as the first right leaves show up after the cotyledons. In principle: Vegetables should be pimped as early as possible, so that it can develop optimally. If the plants are already larger, they can be handled more easily, but the roots are then already branched and possibly already devoured with those of neighboring plants. So it comes with the Pikieren not only to larger injuries, but the seedlings grow in the new pot also worse.

sort out

Pikieren also serves to sort out small, weak or defective plants. Let only healthy and strong seedlings grow. Even at this early stage of development, it is easy to see which plants have the best chance of growing well.


Carrot - Carrot - Daucus carota

Depending on the type of vegetables and larger distances may be necessary, for example, head cabbage varieties or beans.

Step 5: Insert the young plant into the hole according to the optimal planting depth and lightly press the soil.

Step 6: At a distance of about five centimeters next to each vegetable plant, a hole is drilled into which about 50 ml of water are poured. Do not forget to weed regularly so that the vegetables get enough light and nutrients.

2. Pikieren in seedlings in seed trays

A whole range of vegetables are slightly sensitive to cold and are therefore usually preferred in pots on the windowsill. They stay so long in the warm house or greenhouse, until finally no more frosts are to be expected. Be sure to prepare a sufficient number of individual seed pots in advance. The plants may only be left open (without soil) for a very short period of time, as they dry out quickly. Therefore, you should always dissolve and implement only one little plant after another.

Step 1: First fill the vessels two-thirds with seed or pique soil and lightly press them.

Step 2: First sift coarse or lumpy substrate through a coarse screen to refine the structure.

Step 3: Fill the plant pot with the fine soil. Smooth over the soil on the edge of the pot and press gently.

Step 4: Drill a deep, narrow hole in the center of the pot with a stick or a wooden stick.

Step 5: From the edge, place the bit as far as possible under the first seedling and gently pry it upwards to separate the roots of each seedling. Try to take as many of the fine roots as possible.

Step 6: Carefully pry the small plant out of the substrate with your thumb and forefinger. This works best if you pull it sideways. When removing, you must be very careful, otherwise stems or roots tear off.

Step 7: Very long main roots may be shortened a bit. Light injuries of the hair root always arise when you are pecking. If the roots are not damaged to a greater extent, smaller losses are not bad; on the contrary, they even stimulate root growth.

Step 8: Lay the seedling with the roots across the prepared hole in the new plant pot and then pull or push the roots into the hole. Alternatively, you can also plant the plant vertically into the prepared hole. It is important that the roots remain below the plant and do not bend upwards.

Step 9: Gently squeeze the pique around the young vegetable plant and flatten the surface of the substrate.

Step 10: Repeat the above procedure with another seedling in a new pot.

Step 11: Pour the freshly piked vegetables vigorously with the fine shower on the watering can.

planting depth

Radish - Raphanus sativus

How deeply the individual vegetables are used depends on the type of vegetables. Many vegetables are able to grow roots from the stems, creating a nice, compact root ball and promoting tuber formation or head formation.
1. Deep planting to the first cotyledons
  • Peppers and chili
  • leek
  • tomatoes
2. plant at the same height (to promote tuber formation)
  • celery root
  • fennel
  • salad
  • cauliflower
  • kohlrabi

Rest of the procedure

In order for the young plants to grow well, it is important to put them in a suitable place, as far as they are planted in a pot. Vegetables such as peppers or even tomatoes should be a bit cooler after pickling than during germination, so that the plants do not grow too fast on the windowsill due to the poor lighting conditions in early spring and develop thin, less viable shoots.
  • bright but without direct sun
  • Temperature: 15 to 18 degrees
  • keep slightly damp
If the outside temperatures permit, the piqued vegetables are put out by the hour at the end of April. Avoid the blazing sun and heavy rains until the plants have acclimatized.

Which plants do not need to be pikiert?

Not all vegetables need to be spiked. If the seeds are sown in individual pots right from the beginning, the pecking is of course superfluous. For the individual sowing are especially larger seeds or vegetables that are sensitive to transplanting. These include:
  • tomatoes
  • cucumbers
  • peas
  • pumpkin
  • zucchini

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