Starting a Garden: To Buy Seedlings or Seeds?

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Each spring, reputable garden centers in Minnesota and everywhere in the country fill up with a plethora of baby plants just waiting to be adopted. While it can be very tempting to just choose a couple of them, particularly if you are a newbie gardener, is this the best way to start your own garden? To help you decide, below are advantages and disadvantages of growing your very own seeds and buying nursery-grown seedlings:

Should You Buy Seeds or Seedlings?

Purchasing plants from a garden center is certainly more convenient since they are already visible and growing and they seem much simpler to plant than seeds. Nursery-grown seedlings are likewise handy if you start late in the planting season and cannot possibly sow your seeds. In some instances, like when planting perennial plants that require years to mature, spending money on seedlings is worth the additional cost. Generally speaking, however, a pack of hundreds or lettuce seeds typically cost about as much as one lettuce seedling. These seeds might even be enough to occupy your entire garden for a couple of years if you store them properly.

Nursery-grown seedlings are oftentimes less healthy and hardy than homegrown seedlings since they may have come from another nursery somewhere and not cared for as meticulously as you would have liked. Likewise, you will have a better selection to choose from when buying seeds and opt for interesting heirlooms perfect for your climate. Additionally, because most garden centers stock up on vegetable seedlings later in the season, you will be forced to start planting your vegetable garden later.

Evaluate Your Gardening Goals

When choosing to go with seeds or seedlings, remember your specific goals and which plants you really want to grow. Do you want a steady stream or veggies at your disposal, or are you fine with buying them at the grocery store sometimes? Additionally, it is best to start some plants from seed, while it is best to just buy some plants as seedlings.

Plants Best Bought as Seedlings

When selecting among various seedlings, the best ones to buy include melons, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, and squash, as well as perennial herbs like rosemary and lavender. Perennial herbs in particular can take a really long time to mature from seed, but they will keep producing for many years. Purchasing them as seedlings is more sensible.

Plants Best Grown from Seed

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These include carrots, beets, other root crops, beans, peas, corn, lettuce, and other salad greens. Salad greens are especially best grown from seed since you probably need to plant some seeds every week for your continuous supply. They grow easily, particularly during spring and fall. You can also plant them in soil directly.

Growing your beloved veggies and herbs begins with assessing your gardening goals and which plants you want to grow. Yes, the decision between buying seeds or seedlings is not easy since there are advantages and disadvantages to both options. Whichever way you choose to go with, make sure that you are comfortable with it.