Seeds and transplants in the vegetable garden…when to use them and when not to. If you have a vegetable garden you’ve probably used both seeds and transplants. But there may be some confusion on when to use seeds over transplants and vice versa. So I have written up a little guide to seeds and transplants in the vegetable garden to help you in your gardening ventures!
So if you’re confused about seeds and transplants as we start, I hope you’ll feel more confident by the end. Don’t let choosing between seeds and transplants keep you from getting out there and gardening!
How to Use Seeds and Transplants in the Vegetable Garden – Seeds
Vegetables to Plant With Seeds Only
Almost any vegetable can be started from seed. The advantage of seeds being planted where the vegetable will grow is not throwing the plant into any shock when transplanting it. Seeds give you a lot of control over what you’re growing too – versus buying transplants from a nursery or big box store. You have control over what type of seed, the soil in which it starts, the type of fertilizer that it is exposed to, etc.
Seeds can also be a very cost effective means of starting your garden. You can usually pick up a organic / heirloom seed packet with 100+ seeds in it for just a few dollars. However transplants can be twice the cost for just 1 plant.
However planting seeds directly in your vegetable garden does require a little more work. You’ll need to be diligent on watering, weeding and thinning some vegetables to give your new plants their best chance.
I, personally, prefer to grow from seeds.
There are a few vegetables that should only be planted via seeds sown directly in the soil. These include root vegetables like:
Root vegetables should never be planted as seedlings or transplants.
Other Vegetables that Do Not Like to Be Transplanted:
- Peas (though I see them sold as transplants all the time)
- Squash (but you can plant seedlings)
- Melons (again, you can but the prefer not to be moved)
How to Use Seeds and Transplants in the Vegetable Garden – Transplants or Seedlings
Let’s face it, sometimes we miss the window for planting seeds and we need to buy some transplants or seedlings so we don’t miss the current season of gardening. Others of us like to get our vegetable gardens off early by starting seeds in the house and transplanting with the weather allows. There are advantages to planting seedlings in your garden,
- Less thinning needed
- Easier to space your veggies
- Transplants can give your plants more fighting power against pests and disease, because they are already maturing.
- They can save you money over seeds in one specific way – MORE SUCCESS! Planting seeds can be a gamble, a seedling gives you a head start towards a happy harvest.
- If you’re starting your own seedlings you can still control a lot of the environment over buying someone else’s transplants.
- Hey, you might even be able to make a little cash selling your extra seedlings on Craigslist, garden clubs, farmer’s markets, etc. (See other ways to make money on your homestead here).
Make sure if you are growing your own seedlings that you have an area that is warm and gets plenty of light.
Vegetables That Thrive as Transplants:
- Most Herbs
- Squash (again it prefers to be planted directly but it can be transplanted)
- Chard (although it is SUPER easy to grow via seeds)
- Brussels Sprouts (one of the best started early indoors and transplanted)
- Sweet Potatoes….ok those are slips but you get the idea. See how to grow sweet potatoes.
I hope this guide on seeds and transplants in the vegetable garden helps you to feel confident in your seed vs seedling choices. Remember, whatever you buy (seeds or transplants), get them from a reputable organic source and preferably heirloom.