Seeds or Transplants: Which Should You Choose?

When planning a garden, one of the important choices you will make is whether to grow your plants from seeds or transplants. Each approach has its own unique advantages and disadvantages and choosing the right method for your needs can be the difference between success and failure.

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Seeds or Transplants: Which Should You Choose?

There are pros and cons to each approach that will help you decide which is best for your garden. There are types of plants that are best for seed starting, as well as the best plants to purchase as transplants.

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Personally, I like to mix it up when it comes to gardening. I love growing my own seedlings under my grow lights, but I also enjoy picking up plants from my favorite garden centers. Both approaches have their pros and cons, and I think it's important to try both.

Starting Seeds Indoors

Save Money with Seeds

I have a large garden and buying transplants for all the crops that I want to grow would cost me big bucks. Starting my own seeds has proven to be very cost-effective and saves me hundreds of dollars each year.

Obviously, there was some initial investment for equipment and supplies; grow lights and containers, as well as annual items like potting soil and seeds. But I am able to reuse most things every year now.


Buying seeds from mail-order catalogs or local nurseries, and then starting the seeds yourself, allows you to choose from a much wider selection of varieties.

Satisfaction of Growing Something

There is no better cure for spring fever than sowing some seeds indoors. By the time February rolls around, I’m ready to start planting seeds for slow-growing plants.

Buying Transplants for Your Garden


It may take a bit of time to grow your own plants from seeds, yes it's worth it in the end, but most vegetables need 6 to 8 weeks of growth before they can be hardened off and moved outdoors. If you don't have the time to tend to your little sprouts, purchasing transplants is probably the better option for you.

It's Easy

When your garden beds or containers are prepped and ready for planting, it’s ridiculously quick and easy to just buy the seedlings that you want and need. There is no shame in buying seedlings. I am working super hard now in other areas so I have the time and energy to garden come spring, not everyone can.

Space and Light Constraints

At the start, these pots or trays don't take up a lot of room, but as the plants start to grow bigger, you may have to find them a bigger pot or tray, and it can be hard to find the space in your home to keep them, and to make sure they are getting the light they need.

It’s important to remember that some plants should be direct seeded in the garden and not started indoors or bought as transplants.

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