For the first time I planted Ginseng seeds last fall and they are coming up now (Great!) However, several of the seedlings are coming up in clusters of 2, 3 or more and close together. Should I leave them alone? Or should I thin them back to only one seedling? What is the correct minimum spacing (if any) between seedlings? Thanks to anyone for your advice.
I am of the opinion that you should just leave it alone. #1 if you start messing with a plants that small you are likely to kill them all. say you have 3 or 4 clustered together and you try to space them, i think you will kill two in the process. if you just leave them, 1 of them will probably survive anyway. maybe two of them will make it. so, i think thinning is a waste of your time.
also, if you think about it, when you're out digging wild ginseng (assuming you hunt ginseng) many times they are growing this way in nature. I have dug roots that are clustered together like they were one big root, but are actually two or three different plants.
I have the same problem while planting ginseng. it's hard to plant by hand and not drop a few seeds in the same spot. I find that they usually grow just fine. just remember, the more you do to you plants the less likely they'll be similar to wild. I'm of the school that you plant it and leave it alone. no pesticide, nothing. maybe pull up a few of the bigger weeds but nothing more.
Sorry, didn't answer all of your question. some people say you should have one plant per squre foot. but i believe that 4-5 plants per square foot is fine. that's how it grows wild. last year i found 16 plants growing wild and they were just inches apart. i think it depends on where it's growing, too. good soil can probably handle more plants per square foot than soil that is not so good. of course planting too close may result in poor air circulation and cause disease. try to get them about six inches apart. if you get some that are clustered, i would just leave them. if they all survive maybe you can thin them out when they are a few years old. the older they are the more of a chance they have for survival.