The Victory Garden- Plants Vs. Seeds

Choosing your vegetables is obviously as unique as each garden, so what we want to talk about today is plant starts vs starting seeds indoors, and direct seed sowing.

The clear advantage to plant starts is their ability to save you time and labor. Pop them in your garden and grow! The challenge can be the availability of unique varieties as well as cost, especially if you are planting a large garden, and also the issue of succession planting. Most garden centers stop carrying vegetable plants in the middle of the summer, but then start up again in the fall. This is where direct seed sowing and starting seeds plays a role.

Vegetable garden seeds collections are always a more economical alternative, especially if you are a seed saver. The other advantage of seeds is the wider variety of options within each vegetable type.  If you’re starting seeds indoors for planting after the last frost, many types of plants will need to be started in February here in Tennessee. Additionally, for those seeds to grow healthy and strong you will need some basic equipment. Trays, soil, grow lights, and heat mats. We will discuss the steps to successful seed starting in a future post.

If you’ve never started seeds indoors don’t panic. There is a learning curve to everything and we will help you be successful!

Direct sowing means that you are planting your seeds right into your garden. Certain vegetables don’t do well when started indoors and struggle when transplanted into the garden. These are the vegetables you rarely see as plant starts in garden centers such as carrots, beets, radishes, and turnips. Other vegetables (mostly your warm-season vegetables) can be bought as plants, but some have such a fast germination and growth rate it can make more sense to sow these directly into the garden. Cucumber, squash, melon, zucchini, beans, and even cool season peas are all examples of plants with very fast germination and growth rate.

What this all boils down to is, your Victory Garden may be a combination of all three methods. Your garden is a living work in progress and we are happy to help you navigate the best options for you!

Part 8 of The Victory Garden – Succession Planting & Crop Rotation