Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Should You Transplant or Sow Seeds?

Should You Transplant Herbs or Sow Seeds?
If you want a faster harvest choose small plants rather than sowing seeds. I usually purchase seeds and start my own plants in containers rather than buying live plants to transplant. 

Most seeds germinate within 5 days. Before you know it, you have a lovely row of seedlings reaching for the son. Starting seeds at home is easy. You're just needing a warm well lit space to do so. 

Growing plants from seed is cost efficient and there is usually a better variety of seeds to choose from at stores and nurseries than live plants. It's fun to grow seeds indoors and within a month, you have a plant ready to be transplanted outside or re-potted into a larger container. 

Live plants are convenient. You'll get a head start on your growing season because, nurseries start seeds months before the actual planting season. 

Purchasing live plants also give you a bit of an idea of what the plant will look like at maturity and how much space it will take up in your garden plot.

If you have patience, give growing your own plants from seed a try. 

There's a benefit of purchasing plants or seeds from brick and mortar retailers as like Lowe’s, Walmart or Home Depot verses purchasing from online auctions is that stores often guarantee plants and seeds. 

Before making a purchase, be sure to consult your store’s purchase policy just in case your plants die after a few weeks of transplanting them. I recommend holding onto both your store receipt and container. Most retailers don't want the actual plant returned to them. Home Depot and Lowes are are very considerate to backyard gardeners. Their garden centers usually lead to bigger sales inside the stores. If you going to plant simple seeds.. you're going to need tools, right? 

Seeds are available and cost from a few cents to a couple of dollars. I've found 20¢ seeds at Walgreen's in their garden aisle and at Walmart in their garden section located at the end of aisles. There's a seed company called American Seed Co. that are well known for their quality heirloom seeds which are the 20¢ found at Walgreen's or Walmart seasonally.

I've never understood why retailers located in America's sunbelt don't carry seeds all year round. As you and I both know, we can pretty much grow seeds throughout the entire year with an exception to a few months. January and February are my garden prep months and I grow seeds indoors for Spring planting. I've actually sent letters and ask store managers to stock seeds all year long. They usually tell me that their isn't a demand for them. Okie Dokie. Radish, lettuce, cabbage and some root vegetables can be grown indoors all year long. 

Remember, the larger the plant the more expensive it is. Did you know that plants and seeds can also be ordered by the store’s manager or customer service? If you're looking for a particular of variety of live plant or seeds, just ask. You may just get it.  if not, you can order via postal mail or internet. Many times you can avoid the cost of shipping by asking your local nursery or garden center to order it for you. The next time they place an order from their supplier, it's put on the truck and they'll give you a call for pick-up.

You can also ask your local grocery store, hardware or pharmacy to keep a stock of vegetable seeds. Grocery and pharmacy stores actually like to keep a little hardware and garden section within their store as a convenience to their shoppers. Plus it's often an impulse item which is a money maker for the stores. Win-Win 

Vegetable seeds are considered edible and can also be purchased with food assistance programs as like WIC Program (Women Infant Children), SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer). I learned that live fish can also be purchased with most of these programs. 

*Remember, if you purchase heirloom plants or seeds, you can collect and save seeds for a few years. Visit my vegetable page for more information on how long you can actually store seeds before the germination ratio begins to fall. 

There are many factors in deciding if you choose live plants over seeds. Consider if convenience, cost efficiency or time is important to you and you'll have your decision on whether you should transplant or sow seeds. 

Happy Gardening!

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Thank you very much for your comments and questions.I will be sure to reply as soon as I can. With Regards ~Emma