Friday, May 11, 2012

Vegetable Seeds vs. Transplants: The Benefits of Each

A common question among aspiring green thumbs is, “Should I use seeds or transplants?” While both have their benefits, my advice is to use a scattering of both. Why? Some vegetables don’t transplant well and some have short days to maturity so transplanting really isn’t required.

On the other hand, some vegetables take the entire growing season to mature, sometimes a little longer, so a head start during the growing season is welcomed.

4 Benefits of Using Vegetable Seeds

  • More Options: Using vegetable seeds gives gardeners a wide array of options when it comes to choosing varieties to suit their wants and needs
  • Better Prices: Seeds are less expensive
  • More Room for Error: If the vegetables you grew from seed don’t do well in the beginning, you can sow another patch using leftover seeds
  • Availability: There’s always a large supply of vegetable seeds in stores, catalogs and online for purchase
I use a mix of seeds and transplants in my garden each year. I grow vegetables like corn, beans and peas, carrots and radishes, and cucumbers and squash from seed. These types of vegetables grow well in Maine’s short growing season. I choose early varieties that suit my needs.

Sayan Samana /

4 Benefits of Using Transplants

  • Less Work: Planting a row of transplants takes less work and time than direct sowing seeds. Plus, there is no thinning required
  • Head Start: Transplants give gardeners a head start. There is no waiting for germination, which is great for vegetables that take a long time to mature - something the Maine gardener has to be weary of
  • No Waste: Buy only what you need
  • No Guess Work: Plant nurseries sell transplants that grow best in their specific USDA zone

When I head off to my local nursery I’m looking for tomatoes, potato and onion sets, broccoli and cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and pumpkin and watermelon transplants.

Which vegetable transplants will you be on the lookout for at your local plant nursery?

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