Seeds Or 6 Packs?


The best way to get plants growing depends on what you’re growing.

Each year when the first warm breath of spring has tickled your inner gardener awake from winter’s drowsy hibernation, it’s easy to surrender to the seduction of a seed catalog with its color pictures of glossy veggies and pretty blooms. Equally alluring is the sight of tender green spouts aligned in neat rows at your favorite center.

Seeds or six-packs? That is the question. The answer is…. both.

Some plants are easier to get going from started plants. Others grow best sown directly in the ground. Before you roll up your sleeves and start digging, a little advance planning can help you have the best of both worlds.

Even gardening veterans will seek out seedlings for such staples as tomatoes, which need a lot of TLC if started from a seed. Other vegetables that benefit from a head start before being set in the garden include squash, cucumbers, peppers, broccoli and herbs such as basil, thyme, oregano and dill. Starter plants are available at nurseries, garden centers and even at some grocery stores. Farmers markets are a great source of plants, especially varieties that grow well in your area, and the farmers selling them can offer handy tips on plant care, pest control, harvesting and using your crops.

If you want to add color to your vegetable garden, pick up a couple of flats of flowering annuals to accent your rows.

Other garden goodies are easy to grow from seeds, including lettuces and other greens, radishes, peas, beans and root vegetables. It’s one of the satisfying things in a gardener’s world to watch a bare row turn green with tiny seedlings that will produce tasty food.