Seeds vs Seedlings, which is better? As I have grown up, one of the questions I have heard asked most when talking about gardening is whether to plant seeds or spend the extra money and buy seedlings.
My unhelpful answer to this is ‘both are good methods’. Now, if that is all I was to say to this then you would all be mightily unhappy with this entry! So I won’t.
Seeds vs Seedlings
Which method is ‘better’ really depends on the grower themselves and can even depend on what you are planting.
I ‘personally’ prefer to grow from seedlings for most plants but that has more to do with my lack of patience than anything! So what I will do now is give some pros and cons to each method
Pros and Cons of Germinating Seeds
- Can have complete control over what goes into the plant. This is particularly important if you are growing vegetables and want an entirely organic veggie garden. If this is the case then growing from seeds is a must.
- Can get many plants from the one packet.
- May be able to obtain the seeds from friends plants or other plants you have access to. However, many shop variety seeds do not grow very well if at all due to the growth processed and chemical treatment they receive.
- Small cost output can equal big return.
- No idea how many plants you will get.
- Many seedlings may sprout close together requiring transplanting.
- Longer time for plant to grow to the size you are after.
Pros and Cons of Planting Seedlings
- Complete control over where the seedlings grow and how close together they are.
- Shorter time between planting and maturity.
- Can do everything at once, planting, pest control, soil prep, staking etc.
- More Costly
- Don’t know what has gone into growing the plant to that point
- More chance of less plants if seedlings die
There are some good pro’s and con’s for both methods. Seedlings are probably the easier option but you could argue what you get for the extra time spent with seeds is worth it.
What may be a happy medium is to grow seedlings from seeds in some seedling trays, then plant your own seedlings into your vegetable garden plot. This again is a little more time consuming but it can mean that you get more of the pro’s of both and less of the con’s.
It also is a good way to keep your veggie crop continually growing as you can harvest some seeds from your first batch of plants (from veggies that produce them in easily harvested form) and get some seedlings growing while your mature plants produce their crop.
And then some plants are very difficult to grow from seeds yourself or hard to actually acquire seeds for. Ultimately whether go seeds vs seedlings depends on what plant you are hoping to grow and that only comes from experience or asking people for advice specifically!