This is the choice we have every spring. Should we raise our flowers and vegetables from seed or just pop down to the garden center and buy established plants that are ready to be transplanted into the ground? There are advantages and disadvantages to both methods as Niki Jabbour explains in her article which I found on her Savvy Gardening website.
The great spring gardening dilemma; should you start from seed or buy transplants for your vegetable, herb, and flower seedlings from a local nursery? Personally, I do both, growing hundreds of my own seedlings beneath my grow-lights, and also buying from a handful of favourite garden centres. There are benefits and drawbacks to starting your own seeds as well as buying pre-grown seedlings.
3 reasons to start your own seeds indoors:
- Diversity – Buying seeds from mail order catalogues or local nurseries, and then starting the seeds yourself, allows you to choose from a MUCH wider selection of varieties. For example, there are thousands of tomatoes available to gardeners through seed companies. But, if you rely on your local garden centres for your seedlings, you’ll be choosing from just a few dozen varieties, at best. Plus, I like to grow a lot of global and unusual vegetables, which can be difficult to find locally. So, if I want my cucamelons, Yellow Pear tomatoes, Lemon cucumbers, and purple tomatillos, I need to start them myself.
- Save money – I have a large garden and buying transplants for all the crops that I want to grow would cost me big bucks. Starting my own seeds has proven to be very cost effective and saves me hundreds of dollars each year. Obviously, there was some initial investment for equipment and supplies; grow-lights and containers, as well as annual items like potting soil and seeds. To save money, I built my own grow light stand, using inexpensive shop light fixtures, fitted with fluorescent bulbs. However, new or small space gardeners, don’t need grow-lights for seed starting and may want to try sowing a small number of seeds in a bright, south-facing windowsill.
See more at Savvy Gardening