Seeds or Plants: Which Should You Choose?
You may wonder whether or not you should choose seeds or plants already started when planning your garden. We do a combination of both and I will tell you which ones do well.
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We always have a fairly large garden–between a large garden and a truck patch–over the years we have learned what works best for us regarding whether or not we buy seeds or plants.
Any lettuce we plant always comes from seeds. In our area, Valentine’s Day is when everyone usually plants their lettuce seed.
However, we have a low garden spot that always takes a while to dry out after the spring rains so we wait until a lot later (around Mother’s Day) before we plant our lettuce. I love buttercrunch lettuce.
Basically, we plant our whole garden around the same time. Our lettuce always does well even though we plant it that late.
Carrots are one of those things we always plant directly in our garden with seeds. Once the seedlings emerge, you do have to go in and thin those puppies out to produce good carrots. Get organic seeds here.
3. Green Beans
Green beans are one of our largest crops. They are one of the few green vegetables my whole family eats! We can a lot of green beans.
Also, we always plant bush beans so I can’t give any recommendations on pole beans. Bush beans do fantastic planted directly into the garden.
When you plant zucchini, you hill up a mound of dirt and plant three seeds. One hill will about feed a county, so unless you have a plan for getting rid of all that zucchini, plant one hill!
If not, you might find yourself eating things such as zucchini pizza, zucchini apple pie, zucchini anything you name it.
Okra is another one of those plentiful producers. A few plants will do you. So you probably won’t need the whole seed packet unless you have a plan.
However, okra should be harvested when it is small. If you let it get too big, it gets tough. We freeze it instead of canning it. If you like gumbo and all that jazz, you may use it more than we do. We basically just like it fried.
While these are not “seeds” per se, they are grown from the eyes of the potato. We always plant these in a hilled up row in our garden and when they start to vine, my hubby keeps adding dirt on top of the row until it’s a foot or more high. We’ve never had the problem of having vines only and no potatoes.
7. Sweet Corn
We love to grow sweet corn. Usually, we just grow enough to eat on through the summer. If you want to have enough to freeze for the winter, you need to grow a lot! Always plant at least two rows for pollination. These do great from seed. We love Peaches and Cream.
We usually buy candy onions which come in a small six pack and take a lot of separation because there are multiples in one pack, but those are the only sweet onions that do the best here in the Ohio Valley. Plant them far enough apart to allow them room to get big.
2. Tomato Seeds or Plants?
We always buy these as small plants to transplant, although they can be grown from seed, these just have a head start. We plant a few different varieties and always can a lot of tomato juice and sauce. Last year, we had around 100 tomato plants! I like to killed my husband when it came time to can lol!
I always buy plants for my herbs rather than trying to get those seeds to survive or produce, but I’m sure you could. Read my post on herb container gardening.
I always buy pepper plants rather than starting from seeds most of the time, although my husband started some Carolina Reapers from seed and they did pretty well but they took a long time to mature.
All other pepper plants like green, red, yellow bell peppers, banana peppers, jalapenos, habaneros, and the like we’ve all done from plants.
Also, you may need at least two pepper plants to help with pollination. Even if they are self-pollinating having more than one seems to help them bear more fruit.
Now if you plant hot peppers close to sweet peppers there is the possibility that some of the sweet peppers could have some heat. Depends on how much on the wild side you like to live!
- Green Beans
When it comes to small scale homesteading and vegetable gardening, there are many options for getting started. One of the most important decisions is whether to use seeds or plants in your garden.
Using seedlings is often a great option for those who want to get their vegetables growing quickly and don’t have much space (or the patience!) to get started with planting seeds.
However, starting your garden from seed can be incredibly rewarding and will provide you with a greater variety of plants, as well as the satisfaction of watching them grow from tiny seeds into fruitful vegetables! Ultimately, it’s up to each individual homesteader to decide which route is best for their specific needs and goals.
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