Did you know that some plants should NEVER be started indoors? It's true! In this post, we're going to talk about sowing seeds indoors vs. outdoors plus I'm sharing a list of seeds you should never sow outdoors, and why that is.
Growing from seed is a great way to get more out of your garden for less money, but you only save money if your plants grow. So let's talk about the best place to sow your precious seeds.
If you're like me, time is precious. And you also care about saving money. When I spend time gardening I want both my time and my money to be spent well. I buy organic / heirloom seeds and I want them to really take off after planting them.
One thing I didn't know when I started gardening is that some seeds do better started indoors vs. outdoors, and there are some seeds that you should never start indoors. So here's what I learned.
Previously, we talked about the basics of starting seeds indoors, as well as money-saving ways to start seeds on a budget. Today, we'll be looking at another aspect of starting seeds - deciding where to start your seeds and which location is best for starting a variety of seeds.
Growing From Seed
Growing from seed is true labor of love that has lots of benefits. When you start your garden from seeds, you can save money, increase yield, and also have control over the quality of your plants.
However, you can only do all of those things if your seeds take root and your seedlings thrive. That's why it's important to know as much as possible about starting seeds.
One question you might be wondering about is whether to start your seeds indoors or outdoors. Another thing to know is that they are some plants that you definitely should NOT start indoors.
We'll cover both of those topics today and hopefully the information in this post can help you decide the best option for your plants.
Sowing Seeds Indoors vs. Outdoors
Indoor Seed Starting Pros and Cons
Pros: Indoor seed starting gives you lots of control. You can adjust moisture and warmth as needed, and seedlings started indoors are less prone to pests and diseases.
Cons: Indoor seed starting takes quite a bit of space. You also typically need to provide light and warmth, which can be a challenge depending on your living situation.
Outdoor Seed Starting Pros and Cons
Pros: Outdoor seed starting is quick and easy for the most part, once your soil is ready.
Cons: Sowing directly outdoors can be unpredictable. You might have to water the plants quite a bit, the weather might not cooperate, and a critter might decide to destroy all of your hard work. You’ll also need to keep a close eye on weeds, especially during the first few weeks.
Seeds You Can / Should Start Indoors
Some seeds work best when started indoors.
One reason why some seeds do better starting indoors is that they transplant well. Seeds that start well indoors are typically more tender and heat-loving plants.
The following plants are perfect for growing from seed indoors. Although some of these plants are more finicky than others, if you're careful when transplanting (as you should be with any plant) and harden off your seedlings well, you can better insure success.
- Brussels sprouts
- Sweet Potato
- Lemon Balm
Here's an easy to read list of plants that are better suited to starting outdoors.
- Winter Squash
Seeds That Can Be Started Either Indoors or Outdoors
The following seeds can either be started indoors or directly sowed into your garden when the weather warms up. Growing from seed indoors will help you get a jump start on the growing season, but the seeds are hardy enough that it won't wreck your growing season if you don't do it.
- Unusual varieties of squash
6 Plants You Should NEVER Start Indoors
No matter how careful you are, there's bound to be some kind damage when transplanting, so sowing outdoors can often be the best way to go, regardless of the plant. However, the following plants are especially prone to trouble.
One thing that's helpful is that most of these plants are some of the fastest growing vegetables, so even if you can't start them indoors, you can still harvest them pretty quickly!
1. Root Crops
Root crops simply don't transplant well. This kind of makes sense because the plant is really the root. If the root gets damaged, then the plants won't do well at all. Directly sowing all root crops including parsnip, turnips, carrots, beets, radishes, and potatoes is the way to go. (source)
Squashes (squash, zucchini, pumpkins) and cucumbers grow extremely fast and large. As a result, they're also tough to transplant. It's easy to snap their stems, they are easily damaged and unmanageable.
Also, if you need to hold off transplanting them due to a weather change, they can get very unwieldy indoors and they get stressed, making it even harder.
Corn typically doesn't transplant well. You can try it, but it's tough. This article has some tips on how to make it work should you wish to try.
Beans grow quickly as well. Starting them indoors will result in the same problems as with the squash and cucumber plants.
Peas are similar to beans. As such, they will also grow very quickly and again, moving them will prove to be problematic.
Cucumbers are similar to squashes in this respect. They grow quickly and don't transplant well.
OK so this is #7, but, I'm adding it in here anyhow.
Actually you can start lettuce indoors as well as outdoors, but lettuce grows really well being planted outdoors so many people choose not to start these plants inside. Also, if you are going to plant in a high intensity manner (pick and go), then transplanting doesn't make sense; it's better to plant quickly and efficiently directly outdoors.
Sowing Seeds Indoors or Outdoors?
Growing from seed is one of the oldest ways of saving money in the gardener's arsenal, but it's a little more complicated than just tossing seeds in the ground.
Growing from seed is a fun, money-saving option for anyone who gardens, and knowing whether to start them indoors or out can be a huge help.
Now that you know about sowing seeds indoors vs outdoors, you'll be able to begin growing both ways without the extra expense of buying plants. So give this list a good look, remember which seeds to never start indoors, and let's get planting!
I would love to hear your thoughts / tips about sowing seeds indoors vs. outdoors!