Seedlings are young plants raised directly from seed. The young plant that emerges from the germinating seed is termed a seedling.
Seedlings compete for space when sown closely together and need to be thinned to ensure optimal growth of the plants. Readiness for seedlings to be transplanted from the seed-raising container to a garden bed or larger container depends on the plant species and strength of the seedling but generally it is ready when the plant's true leaves appear.
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See also the more specific links on pages above.