Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Why seeds instead of plants?

I like starting my own plants from seeds for several reasons.

I like that it gives me an opportunity to start gardening earlier in the year while there is still snow on the ground.

You also get better variety with seeds.

There are so many different varieties of plants, but only a few of them are available to buy as plants.

There is also the quantity issue - you can start any number of plants, not be limited to the idea of buying them only in six packs.

I also feel that they are not truly organic if I buy plants - I don't know what has already been done to them before I get them. I also feel that I can grow healthier and more sturdy plants than I can buy in the nursery.

While I love going to a nursery and looking at new plants, I just hate the crowds there in the spring - no waiting in lines if I have already grown my own plants.

And I have the freedom to start them and grow them at my own pace - if you want the best looking plants at a nursery you have to buy them early and they are not ready to be planted out then - and sometimes they get splindly and not so good looking by the time you actually plant them - or you go ahead and plant them too early and lose them.

The only plants I buy as plants are onions. I used to use sets - they are so easy to buy and plant, but I just have never had the luck with sets - they just don't grow the beautiful onions that I love, so about 8 years ago I started buying onion plants and will probably always do so. I buy a bundle of plants which contain 50-75 plants and that is a lot onions - I just don't have the space to start that many plants. I started 100 plants total in my basement this year and that was several varieties - I would need another table and set of lights just for onions - and I just don't see that happening.

Every night Andy (my son) and I go down in the basement and check to see if there are any sprouts yet. Having all of the plants on a table under lights makes it so much easier for a 6 year old to learn about plants and gardening. He is alreading picking out what he wants to plant in his section of the garden, but he says he is going to wait to see which plants are the biggest before making his final decision - at 6, biggest is always best!

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