Gardening and growing plants has been a large part of life ever since the first nomadic people settled and created a city. Growing takes time and patience and can be a great way to relax and enjoy the fresh air out of doors. Gardening has evolved over the years and has changed from those early peoples who dug in the earth with pointed sticks and has become a very popular pastime among people from all walks of life. In many cases, modern gardeners eschew the process of putting seed in the earth and opt to buy seedlings that have already been sprouted and simply transplant them. With the slow part of waiting for the hand-sown seeds to sprout so easily taken out of the equation is there any point to still planting and growing with seeds? What are the disadvantages and advantages of growing with seeds?
Growing plants from seeds has a couple disadvantages that make it slightly harder to grow than from nursery sprouted seedlings. Nearly all seeds need specific soils and need to be at the appropriate depth in order to sprout correctly. The seed also needs to be watered consistently but not over watered so that the correct moisture balance is struck to cause the seed to germinate without drowning it or causing it to simply rot in the ground. If planted too shallow the plant may grow too fast and fall over because it doesn’t have the depth and strength needed in its root system. Plant a seed too deep and it will never show its head above the earth and will die in place. Growing from seed may also make the seed subject to changes in temperature and a late frost can quickly kill an unprotected sprout.
Despite the disadvantages, growing plants directly from seed does have distinct advantages that, in most cases, counteract the few disadvantages that are present. Seeds, especially in food bearing plants, can be saved from one year’s harvest and used the next year to produce more plants which in turn produce more fruit and vegetables, giving the gardener an endless supply of vegetables without ever having to purchase seeds or seedlings. Growing from seed is a way to save a ton of money simply because of the fact that seeds are generally much more economical than seedlings and can be bought in bulk relatively easily. Some plants simply grow better when grown from seed than when grown by any other method, and some plants, especially heirloom varieties can’t be found in anything other than seed form. Seedlings grown on site allows the gardener to transplant to a different location later with very little trouble, and with no worrying about the ‘hardening’ process that must be undertaken when transplanting hothouse grown seedlings
Growing plants from seed has many advantages and is well worth the little extra time and trouble it takes to grow the plant on site instead of transplanting hothouse grown seedlings. Most gardeners take a great deal of pride in and gain a great deal of satisfaction from the literal fruits of their labors, and in the gardening world there is nothing quite so satisfying as watching the seed you placed in the ground with your own two hands grow into a beautiful plant.