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Remove the mulch over seedlings or leave it there?

Posts: 13
Location: Southwest Michigan
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Howdy Peeps. I'm not sure if this is the best forum for this question or if I should pop over to the "Plants" forum - thanks for your patience if I'm in the wrong place.

This past fall I planted parsnips and scallions. After they germinated I covered them with a layer of shredded leaf mulch (between 2 and 4 inches) and they've been that wall all winter (I'm in SW Michigan). Today I pulled back some of the mulch to find teeny tiny, not too healthy looking parsnip starts (in some cases they are no longer there when I know for sure they had germinated) and to find good-looking scallion starts. My question is - should I leave the mulch there and just let the plants grow through it, or should I remove it so they can get some sun? The parsnips especially are looking a bit sickly/pale.

Thanks for your thoughts!
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
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If they are growing under the mulch with no leaves above, give them space and light. How thick was your mulch?
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