Seeds vs Seedlings

Those on a budget are faced with a huge decision on whether to purchase a packet of seeds (average quantity 10 to 20 seeds depending on plant) or purchase individually priced seedlings.  The following is a list of pros and cons for you to consider before making the decision.

Seeds

  • Average price of seeds is $2-$3
  • Average packet contains 10 – 20 seeds

Pros:

  • More (potential) plants for only a couple dollars.
  • For those who are patient, it can be exciting to watch the seeds sprout into life.

Cons:

  • Seeds are not usually sold in proper packaging and therefore are exposed to both physical and element/temperature damage.
  • Depending on the plant, the seeds are often too small to be able to see damage. Even a hairline fracture on the exterior of a seed can compromise germination and future health. Seeding your garden bed in a particular arrangement you may be disappointed when faced with gaps because some of the seeds did not make it.
  • Seeds often require an extra step prior to planting them in the soil. The seeds must be allowed to germinate first in a moist environment. If not to the stage of a full seedling (better to assess the health of the plant) then at least to the stage where growth becomes is visible. This can often take days if not weeks.
  • Seeds can often be pretreated to ensure expedited growth. This causes a problems as plants who are not allowed to grow at their own pace will often develop weaker stalks and health problems.

Seedlings

  • Average price of a seedling is $2-$5 per seedling

Pros:

  • Nurseries normally have trained professionals to monitor the growth of the plants to ensure their health.
  • As you are purchasing a ready to go plant, you have the option to be selective and make sure the roots, foliage and stalks are healthy and strong.
  • Some nurseries have warranties on the plants dependent on certain conditions.
  • When creating a flower bed design it is often helpful to visualize the design and the required spacing when you can physically see what the finished project will look like.

Cons:

  • The perks of deciding on seedlings over seeds come at a price. You are looking at spending a minimum of $12 on plants alone to do a small garden bed.
  • If you do not have a vehicle to bring the seedlings home, it poses a problem as you want to be as careful as possible to not damage the plants and decrease trauma or their health will be compromised by the time you get them home to plant.

In the end, it’s not the quantity of pros and cons for each option, it’s the validity of each and in the end what works best for you.

Message from Timbers

We encourage everyone to use some of our tips and let us know how it worked for you. If you need more detail or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Alternatively, if you lack the time to do the work yourself, drop us a line or give us a call and we’ll give you a hand with the project of your choice at a fair price as always!

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