Knowledge from Olle Garden Bed: Seeds or Transplants Which is better?

Which is better? When considering whether I prefer seed planting or transplanting, I have to reflect on the fact that I've done more transplanting. However, I also do seed planting. I think most people do both. The following content also has some reference value for raised garden beds.

Planting Flowers from Seeds

I've tried starting seeds indoors, but they usually don't survive. They start to sprout, but often succumb to damping-off disease. I wait until the last frost has passed and then plant them outdoors, which has yielded greater success. So, that has become my pattern. In May, or when I'm close to it, I scatter the seeds of my easy-to-grow annuals onto beds reserved for these flowers. It's usually tall marigolds, Mexican sunflowers (Tithonia), and two types of annual milkweed. Sometimes I add different seeds to the mix, such as cosmos or love lies bleeding. The seeds always sprout quickly and easily from the seeds. Most of them come back from the previous year because I let the seeds mature and drop. So, it's usually July before I see them popping up.

On another bed, a few years ago, I started removing spent blooms and letting the flowers produce seeds. When the seeds mature, I shake them onto the bed, and now the larkspur comes up on its own. I also found that purple coneflower grows easily from seed, so I took a few seedheads from one garden and put them in another. Voila! The next year, I had coneflowers on the second bed.

Growing from Transplants

I enjoy visiting all the garden centers in the spring and picking out transplants. I'm not as eager to plant them as I am to buy them because I have no more space to plant. I need to start a new bed, but where? There are many underground cables in the yard that interfere with my gardening life.

I also like purchasing transplants from online nurseries. I have my favorite online nurseries that I frequent. I particularly buy irises, daylilies, hostas, and spring- and summer-flowering bulbs online. I'll buy plants online that are hard to find locally.

If I want to try fruit or vegetables, I'll even buy vegetable transplants. I sow herbs and lettuce from seeds because they're easy. Every year, I always sow parsley, dill, and cilantro from seeds for the swallowtails. If the bounty gets eaten and I still have caterpillars, I'll rush to the local garden center to buy more parsley, dill, and cilantro transplants. If I run out of the annual milkweed, I'll also go to the store for transplants. Sometimes it's hard to find them toward the end of summer, but we have a country nursery that has a lot of butterfly plants, so I usually find them there.

So, I think it boils down to what's most suitable for me at the time and how long I'm willing to wait for flowers or vegetables. I always have plenty of perennials coming back each year, so waiting a few months for seed plants is not a problem.