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Discussion in 'Gardening' started by Smithyard Farm, Jan 24, 2014.
~~seeds vs starts.... which do you prefer and why?
I prefer seeds. I like to know that my plants are not 'adulterated' with GMO stuff. I recently read an article stating that several plant starters bought at Lowes' were GMO - not labelled so, of course.. I will not be buying from them again.......
It makes for more work, but at least I know what I have. My favorite seed companies are Vermont bean, Jungs, Pinetree, Johnnys & Natural Gardening Co. - they all subscribe to the non-GMO pledge.
Seeds because it is cost effective. You just have to get weather predictions and plant them on time. It's a bit more work but a lot cheaper. Boskelli1571 what was the brand of that seed?
Seeds....they are cheaper...but more work. In my neck of the woods you have to start them inside fairly early. But you do get a wider variety of plants that way.
I always order from Gurneys, Park Seed, and Seed Savers. I am not really concerned about non-GMO seeds.
OK - the article was in this months Mother Earth. It doesn't refer to seeds but to nursery plants than contain neonicotinoid pesticides. The pesticide residue lingers for a very long time, so can contaminate your soil. Admittedly it would be a minute amount from 1 plant, but the cumulative effect has the potential to be serious.
The article states that plants such as strawberries,tomatoes & zucchini were 'contaminated' along with flower plants.
I almost always start all of my own plants. I save seed where practical, buy a few sets here and there, especially flowers. Marigolds, cosmos, calendula, petunia, nasturtium always get started from seed. Currently going through a medical crisis involving recurrent lapses of concentration, frequently wandering to the mail box, repeated review of literature, and a loss sensation which will only be alleviated by having the sun on my back, and feeling the warm soil beneath my fingers.
I buy starts for tomatoes, squashes, peppers, eggplants, melons, pumpkins, swiss chard, lettuces and herbs. We have a local nursery that's part of our county's developmentally delayed program, and they produce wonderful, hardy, disease resistant seedlings. I feel the money's going to a good cause, and since indoor space is at a premium here, it makes sense for me. Plus, instant gratification!
Things like carrots, beets, peas, beans are from seed--I'm not sure you could buy those as starts?
Totally depends on how big your garden is and whether or not you have room to start the seeds.
We plant 50+ tomato plants each year. I start those from seed since that's cost prohibitive at $3/plant vs. $4/seed packet. We grow super-hot chiles, and those have to be started from seed in early January because the growing season is so long. We start flowers that cost $10/plant at the nursery. Things like melons and squashes and basil are silly to buy plants, since you can just stick those seeds straight in the ground in May.
We buy as plants things like bell peppers because I just need a plant or two. I'll buy a plant of a new tomato variety if I don't know if I like it yet.
Starting from seed is cheaper, but to do it effectively you need a small greenhouse set-up with lots of plant lights or the perfect windowsill. We have a two-tier starter house with a space heater in the bottom to start seeds.
One side note--I would not buy plants from a big-box store. Companies like Bonny are not the best actors in the world, and Bonny even was the cause of a country-wide tomato blight about five years ago. I don't trust their quality, and I don't trust their care. I buy plants from a fantastic family-run nursery near me if I'm going to buy plants. And this is from someone who doesn't care one hoot if the plant is bioengineered (what is plant breeding, other than less-efficient and less-targeted bioengineering) or whether the plant was sprayed with pesticides in the greenhouse (I see flea beetles, the Sevin is coming out at my house any way).
I was just thinking about the same thing last week when the weather was warm up here. I've decided to try square foot gardening and will be growing (hopefully) a couple of dozen tomato plants from seed. I want plenty to share with the ladies as they love them. I was going to order some seeds but found 3 packets in the shed that I bought 2 years ago, they should still be good. Thought I'd try to start them in a Jiffy seed starter greenhouse.
thanks everyone! I have a bunch of catalogs I requested and am now so overwhelmed, I don't know what to do! more research on the seed side I guess...
here's to spring!