You have more choices with seeds and it can be cheaper.Photo: © Marie Iannotti
The choice between direct seeding and transplanting seedlings comes down to 2 basic questions:
These two questions often over-lap. For instance, tomatoes would need a 4 or 5 month growing season to mature from seed, which gardeners in warm climates can provide. However, thankfully, they transplant very well and can be grown just about anywhere, if plants are set out instead of seeds.
Root crops and vegetables with tap roots generally don't transplant well and need to be direct seeded. Some quick growing crops, like peas and summer squash, really don't benefit from being started indoors as seedlings, because plants direct seeded in the garden will quickly catch up to transplants.
Seed packets will give you most of the information you'll need about whether to direct seed in the garden or whether you'll need to start them so many weeks before your last frost. The lists below will give you some idea of what to plan for.
Then there are a handful of vegetables that aren't usually grown from seed at all. They're grown vegetatively. [See list below.]
Whatever your choice, direct seeding, seed starting or purchasing seedlings, it's best to decide while you are planning your vegetable garden. You'll want to get your plants in the ground as early as possible, to give them time to acclimate with the warming weather and to give them the longest growing season possible.
Plants Usually Started From other than Seed
|Asparagus||1-Year Old Roots|