There are many reasons why you should start your garden plants from seeds – from health reasons to saving money!
What exactly is in there?!
One reason to start your own seeds is because you then know exactly what you are growing in your garden. Seed packets should tell you if the seeds are organic or not. If you buy plants from a store or even a farmer’s market seller, you have to take their word for it.
Some larger corporations spray their soil compound with insecticides – which can affect bee populations! Many plants need bees to pollinate. So save our friends and use safer options.
When you buy plants from a big-box store, a local greenhouse or even farmer’s market, limits you to what they have available. There are many wonderful varieties of heirloom plants that are worth investigating. Many greenhouses grow only what they consider to be top sellers, since they are in the business to make money.
Some of my favorite places to look for tasty and beautiful heirloom seeds include:
Buying your own seeds also means you have control over how many of each plant. Instead of being forced to buy a 4-pack from a store, you can plant just one or two of each type. This is one of my main reasons for starting plants from seed. Since we certainly don’t need 12, 16 or 20 tomato plants (!!), if I limited my purchases to 4-packs, I would only buy a couple of varieties.
I’ll admit that last year I spent money buying plants instead of seeds. (The beginning of the year got away from me). Since I try to avoid the big-box stores with their 4-packs plants, I paid at least $3-4 each for the larger plants. For the same amount of money, I could have purchased seeds – and received 25-50 of each! Purchasing that many seeds is still a large cost savings – even when you take into a account that some won’t germinate over time.
I would encourage you to even make your own seed starting mix! Again, to know what is in it but also because the individual components are often less expensive than pre-mixed soil. There are many recipes on the internet, but the basic components are perlite, vermiculite or sand and peat moss, coco peat or compost.
Extend the season
If you live in a colder climate like we do (US Zone 3), you need every growing day you can eek out of the spring-fall calendar. If you start seeds indoors, sometimes you can plant outside before you are able to purchase plants in your area. Your growing season can be further extended by using helpers like row covers, cold frames or a greenhouse!
And one reason not to seed…
Starting plants from seed is a wonderful idea, however, there may be cases where it doesn’t make sense:
- You are a small-time gardener that only grows two or three plants a year
- You aren’t able to plant a garden every year so your seeds sit in storage a long time.
In these cases, it may be more cost effective to buy your plants. However, even small-time gardeners can often trade seeds and plants with friends. This would increase variety and limit the amount of plants you need to make room for.
Planning your Garden
Ready to buy some seeds? Here are some articles to help you plan your garden: