Start from Seed or Go to a Greenhouse?

Every Spring, I ask myself the same questions: how do I start my garden? Do I start everything from seed, or do a I go to a greenhouse and buy plants? Or, do I maybe do a little of both?

Several years of asking myself this question (and answering it different ways) has taught me a few things! It's taught me that the answer depends on things like experience, budget, and the type of plant I want to grow. 

Starting From Seed

There are a lot of benefits to starting your garden from seed!  Generally, it's less expensive, you can find plants that are unavailable in your local greenhouse or big box store, and, I'm not gonna lie, there is a certain DIY thrill in growing a plant from seed!

However, there are some downsides to consider too.  First, if you don't have a nice sunny windowsill, you may have to invest in growlights and other accessories . . .and that can get expensive.  

Second, you need some know how.  In order to thrive, seeds must be planted at the right time, should be watered regularly and properly, and need to be hardened off before you plant them outdoors.

Starting from seed is a great choice if you want to grow something rare or unusual, or if you want to save money, or if you just want to challenge yourself!

Buying from a Greenhouse

Buying from a greenhouse also has pros and cons. The major downside is that you pay more per plant, however you should keep in mind that part of what you're paying for is the time it took someone to grow that plant and their expertise (hopefully).

If you decide to buy from a greenhouse, make sure you have a budget and a garden or landscape plan in mind (it's much too easy to overspend!).  Also, be aware that most greenhouses and big box stores treat their plants to deal with pests and diseases. . .even if they are an organically focused company.  If that's something you're concerned about, ask what chemicals are used.

As For Me. . .

Now, as for me, I buy from both places.  I start with a plan, list what I want to grow, and then decide if it's better for me to start from seed or go to the greenhouse. Also, as I become more confident and experienced, I try to pick one or two plants each year that are new to me, and that will be a challenge to grow from seed! 


Linda KelsoComment