Seeds or plants?

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by MoonjavaSeed, Jun 2, 2006.

  1. MoonjavaSeed

    MoonjavaSeed Yeah, Toast!

    Which do you start your gardens with?

    I started with some pre-grown plants from the nursery for some things like tomatoes and cabbage and peppers, but I planted all my beans and okra from seed... :D
  2. poor_old_dad

    poor_old_dad Senior Member

    Seeds, and here's why. Actually, there are five reasons:

    (#1) - Variety - even if your local garden supply center (Canadian translation: centre) has a couple dozen vatieties of tomato or pepper, they can't match the many hunderd vatieties available via mail order. Also, garden supply centers seldom have heirloom, open-pollinated varieties, ordering seeds allows you to choose.

    (#2) - Contamination - nursery grown plants are a possible source of disease and/or insects and/or their eggs carried in the nursery soil or on the plants. Or the nursery, trying to control disease/insects, could have sprayed the plants with who knows what. You may think there's little chance of a soil carried disease coming from a nursery, but ask yourself, how did something that lives in the soil travel to your garden. For diseases and/or insects, a nursery is an un-natural concentration of food.

    (#3) - seed saving - When you work with seeds, you have this real good way to improve your garden. Over the years I've saved the best seeds for next year's planting. I've found this very helpful with tomatoes (and basil), but for me it didn't help the peppers much. Seed saving is a farm expense because it involves time and trouble, so I don't do it for everything.

    (#4)- cost - I think this applies mostly to those of us who plant a lot. The tomato and peppers that I plant cost me a little less than 7 cents each (less for the plants using saved seeds). I plant a lot of tomatoes, peppers, basil and cilantro each year, so it helps.

    (#5) - timing - I can control when the transplants are ready to go out into the garden. I start tomatoes and peppers from middle to the end of January (basil and cilantro are direct seeded into the garden in late april) . I start a lot more than I'll need, each in 3 inch plastic, reusable pots. I start putting them out into the garden the week of the average last frost date (2ed week in March). Some won't make it, so I have lots of spares, to replace those who don't. That flexibility would not be there with purchased plants.

    Of course, some things must be purchased as plants because they're difficult (Rosemary) or impossible (French Tarragon) to grow from seed. Mints, thyme, oregano and a couple other things I purchased as plants, then propogated by cuttings. For those things, here's what worked for me. I got locally what I could. That way I could see, smell and taste what each plant was like. For those I couldn't get locally, I mail ordered. I looked into many suppliers and choose based on a lot of reasons, but without considering price.

    Well, that's what worked for me.

  3. MoonjavaSeed

    MoonjavaSeed Yeah, Toast!

    :D wow thanks so much for all that insight!

    I never planted seeds before now, mostly because.. ahah well I was afraid they wouldn't grow for some reason. But my okra and bean plants were put in last sunday and are already 2-3 inches high :D I started to try and grow some things indoors in early spring to transplant outside, but that didn't work out so well, so it kinda put me off on seeds...

    Anyhow, a lot of that opened up my eyes a bit more. Thanks for posting :)
  4. Floyd Soul

    Floyd Soul The Walkin' Dude

    For me it's pretty much all seed grown.

    I love seeing something grow from seed into a big plant. Right now, I've mint, lemon balm, runnerbeans, celery, pumpkin, sunflowers, redwood trees, sequoias, and nasturtiums to name a few, coming along nicely from seed.

    Also, the garden centre plants can be really expensive compared to a packet of seeds that has the potential to give you alot more plants.
  5. Sorsha

    Sorsha Member

    when I had an acreage and lots of room, I did everything from seed, including starting plants as early as february under lights

    I now have a tiny place, no room for starting stuff indoors, so I buy seedlings for things that need an early start...
  6. Kris

    Kris Visitor

    Normally I grow from seeds, and I would have done so this year. However, due to me finally getting a job I have been so busy. I ended up having to get pregrown stuff, however, I purchased it from a group of people at the market who grow organically, so I was assured I was getting good product.

    I am dissapointed I could not grow from seeds this year, but at least I still have stuff. Next year I will start earlier and grow from seeds again. I love doing it that way.
  7. purplesage

    purplesage Ah, fuck it...

    Cabbages and snow peas have started sprouting from seeds. No success with my onions, carrots and sping onion (scallion?) seeds so far... might raise a batch inside and then pot them when they've grown to seedling stage. I have some lettuce and spinach seeds that I'm going to sow soon.

    I've saved some pumpkin and capsicum seeds from produce we have eaten which I will sow when spring comes to my part of the world.

    Broccoli were bought as seedlings. Only 50c on special! That's my kind of price.
  8. mamaboogie

    mamaboogie anarchist

    it depends. I do have much more that I've grown from seeds, but I have had to do some experimenting. Some seeds never grow for me, others do really well. Oh, you're asking about a veggie garden? seeds, all the way. I don't want scary genetically engineered crap in my garden, or hybrids that won't produce viable seeds, and you just never know what you are getting from most garden centers, or what toxic chemicals have been put on them, either.
  9. poor_old_dad

    poor_old_dad Senior Member

    I don't know how many of ya'll saw last month's Mother Earth News, but there was a real good article about mail ordering heirloom, hard to find, or gourmet tomato plants. There's a list of 17 suppliers, a couple have no minumum order and one ships only in Canada. So if you wanted to grow a pair of Arkansas Traveler, a couple Mortgage Lifters, a German Red and a Cherokee Purple, you can. Anyway, some folks may find it interesting:

    I'm going to put a copy of this in the "What kind of tomatos are you growing" tread too. I think it applies to both.


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