Seeds or Seedlings

  • Difficulty Rating: Beginner
Seeds or Seedlings

Seeds or Seedlings—That is the Question.

I love February and March because it signals the start of my gardening season. Lest you think it’s too early to begin digging in the dirt, it’s not, if you consider that starting seeds indoors counts. And why wouldn’t it? Sowing seeds and watching them germinate under a clear plastic top is as exciting to me as harvesting that first homegrown tomato of summer.

Although starting plants from seed does lengthen the growing cycle, if you’re doing that indoors in winter, who cares? They’ll be ready to set in the garden as soon as the risk of frost has passed. Personally I love growing my plants from seed. The choices of what you grow are vastly greater than what may be available from seedlings at the garden center. In addition, I love the hands-on process of being involved in the growing cycle from the very start. Not only do you learn so much more about gardening, but for me, I enjoy the greater sense of accomplishment at harvest time.

If starting seeds indoors a couple of months ahead of outdoor planting doesn’t float your boat, you can also easily sow seeds directly into the ground once the soil temperature is right for the plants you choose to grow. Nothing could be easier. But this is where seedlings can offer a couple of timesaving advantages.

Unlike newly sown seeds that require several weeks to develop, store-bought, ready to plant seedlings can provide an instant garden that also cuts down on the time you’ll have to wait before your first harvest. In addition, most seedlings have been grown under ideal conditions, receiving optimal light, water and nutrients. This ensures you are getting a strong sturdy plant at the time of purchase and offers a great way to get a jump on your garden with plants that have been given the best possible start. And plants that start strong can increase the chances of a more successful and bountiful garden experience.

So if you’re trying to decide between seeds or seedlings, I say do both. I do and I love every part of the process. Either way, as long as you do one or the other, you’re likely to have success, learn a lot, and I’m betting you’ll love the experience as much as I do.

Happy gardening everybody!