Growing Seeds versus Buying Starts

What should we plant in the garden this summer?

It is February 3rd and the wild man is 9 months old and as you can see from the photo, he is already flipping through heirloom seed catalogs to help plan this year’s garden. Although he is not eating a lot of solid foods just yet, we know we are going to be planting more blueberries and acorn squash as those seem to be his favorites. 

Garden planning is a great way to quell the winter doldrums and get ready for spring and starting seeds. The Baker Creek Heirloom Seed catalog is my favorite. Their colorful photos and fun, detailed plant descriptions can help pass several hours on a cold, rainy weekend.

Planting Seeds versus Buying Starts

People always ask me, “should I plant seeds or just buy starts.” Both are great ideas.  I love starting plants from seed but, I also love shopping for starts. I typically do both.

Pros and cons:

Seeds – Flip through catalogs on your sofa during winter, when spring comes, buy soil and pots to grow the seeds, find them a warm, sunny spot, water them daily, then transplant into the garden. This process can take about four to six weeks. Cost $ for seeds, starter pots, and soil.

Starts – Leave your house and head to the nursery. Pick out the variety you like, bring them home, pop them into the ground. This process takes one afternoon. Cost $$.

Okay, so for convenience, buy starts. But, for the experience of planning what to grow, buying the seeds, and starting the seeds yourself – it is so rewarding. You can gather seeds from your plants in the fall and grow them the following year to save money. If you have children, have them grow seeds for the garden as a magical learning experience and wonderful way to make a connection with plants and where their food comes from.