This next step in the garden planning phase may look different depending on your gardening goals, items you’ve placed on your wish list, and how much knowledge you have of where these plants/flowers/vegetables will take root.
If you are already familiar with the growing conditions and space in the garden is not a concern to you, the next best step is determining if you want/need plants or seeds. Some varieties may only be available in a certain form, so the decision may be an automatic one depending on what you want to grow. For example, I’ve looked at greenhouses for sweet pea plants with no success, so the only option is to grow from seed if I want them. Seeds it is!
It’s helpful to know which one you need/want as many items require sowing seeds indoors several weeks before the fear of frost has passed, some even require cooler conditions in order to germinate.
In the past I’ve gone with both options, but have chosen plants/seedlings more frequently than starting seeds. I’m trying to grow from seed this year for the experience and challenge. There are pros and cons to each, let’s take a look:
Pro: As soon as the fear of frost has passed, you can plants that are typically taller and ready to bloom faster than seeds you may have started indoors.
Cons: More expensive. If you are buying plants online, you may also have to pay for shipping.
Pro: Most of the popular/mainstream varieties of flowers, foliage, plants, veggies, etc. are available in plant form at local greenhouses.
Con: Unique varieties can be harder to get from a local greenhouse.
Pro: Less work and time required but yields great results.
Pro: More varieties and options. Heirloom seeds are available and that’s cool.
Con: Requires a bit more planning to ensure you don’t have seedlings ready too early or late.
Pro: Less expensive and if done properly you can have more plants.
Con: Takes more time, especially if you are starting seeds indoors, and seedlings require hardening off before they are transplanted outside.
Pro: If you are starting seeds in early spring, it gives you something to do! 😉
Con: May require additional equipment and supplies including potting soil, seed starter trays, and sometimes growing lights depending on your indoor situation.
Pro: The joy and satisfaction of growing something from a teeny tiny seed to a plant that bears flowers, fruit and more.
Places to find plants:
- Local greenhouses
- Home improvement stores
- Plant stands
- In late spring/early summer, you may be able to find a local perennial exchange
- Farmers Markets
You can find a lot of places online to purchase seeds, here are just a few:
- Floret just launched their exclusive seed line this year
- Baker Creek for heirloom seeds
- Johnny’s Selected Seeds
What have you decided to grow this year and how?