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Thread: To grow from seed or not? That is the question!

  1. #1
    AllotmentMummy is offline Seedling
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    Default To grow from seed or not? That is the question!

    I'm torn between whether to grow from seed for my first year on the allotment or whether to just buy plug plants. Rocket Gardens have some nice selections of veg patches and from memory I think I worked out the average price per plant could be quite low if you went for a bigger collection. Problem is they have quite a few plants in those collections that I am not so interested in. I'm already planning on growing quite a few perennial and annual flowers from seed for my cut flower patch, so am not sure if I also have time to grow lots of veg from seed. I'm thinking a mix and match approach might be the best idea - growing some things from scratch like pumpkin, squash etc, getting a root veg collection from Rocket gardens (pretty good value at 15 for 60 plants I think?) and then buying some more plug plants from the garden centre. What sort of cost is it per plug plant from the garden centre? I saw them years ago but can't remember now. I know it'll be much cheaper to grow the veg from seed but realistically how much work is it? I have a seven bay heated progagator arriving in the next few days and I have a greenhouse at home so I do have some good resources to grow from seed. I also have two very small children who keep me quite occupied! If I am going to grow some which are the easiest to grow from seed yourself, and which are best picked up from the garden centre? Would love to hear your experiences, thanks

  2. #2
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    mcdood is offline Sprouter
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    I grew everything from seed in my first allotment year, apart from onions and shallots from sets. I sowed most into modules but a lot can go straight in the ground in fact some are better that way (carrots, parsnips). Seeing plants growing from seed is what gives me the biggest gardening buzz to be honest.
    You can multi sow beet , spring onions, turnips and even leeks in modules and plant out that way which saves on pricking out tasks. I'd be filling that greenhouse with seed trays

  3. #3
    veggiechicken's Avatar
    veggiechicken is offline Warning!! Contains Nuts
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    I grow from seed -its cheaper. Some plug plants can cost almost as much as buying a fully grown veg from the shop.
    Also, the last thing I would buy as a plug plant would be Root vegetables because its so easy for the roots to be stunted or damaged when transplanting. Best sown direct.
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  4. #4
    Small pumpkin's Avatar
    Small pumpkin is offline Gone Fishing
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    Seeds

    Or you will miss out on the most exciting part of gardening. Watching seeds germinate. No matter how many years you've been growing things the excitement and fascination never leaves you.

  5. #5
    toomanytommytoes is offline Seedling
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    Looking at the Rocket Garden's root veg collection, for 14.99 (+5.99 postage) you get:

    10 parsnips
    20 carrots
    10 beetroot
    5 swedes
    10 turnips
    5 celeriac

    The parsnips and carrots won't transplant well and you'll likely end up with stunted and grotesque roots (I've tried transplanting seedlings of both and neither time went very well, even trying my hardest to keep the taproot straight). Beetroot is really easy to grow from seed, direct into the soil seem to do better than module sown for me. Last year was my first growing swede/turnip and they were very easy to get going sown direct. I find most brassicas simple to get going from seed in module trays in an unheated greenhouse, but protecting them from pests later on in their life much more tricky! Celeriac I have never grown so cannot comment.

    Probably the only plugs I would consider buying from them are peppers/chillies/tomatoes/aubergines, but you should be OK with the heated propagator and greenhouse.

  6. #6
    Nicos's Avatar
    Nicos is offline 'Allo 'Allo !
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    I suppose it depends on how pressed for time you are.
    It's so much easier with plug plants, but very little variety within the type of veg. TBH it does take some time to realise what variety of beetroot you might prefer!

    If you are very pressed, and can afford to , then go down the root of plug plants for this year at least.
    I always buy some plug plant lettuce to fill in gaps when our own sown lettuce aren't yet ready to put out.
    Always buy baby leeks too and a couple of tomato plants. And a few different varieties of brassicas.
    I have almost no windowsills, no greenhouse nor polytunnel and just a tiny blow away. You do what fits in with your lifestyle, which might vary from year to year.
    Do try sowing a few things directly into the soil for sure though!!!! It's incredibly exciting regularly checking on their germination and growth!
    Last edited by Nicos; 01-01-2019 at 01:27 PM.
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    Nicos's Avatar
    Nicos is offline 'Allo 'Allo !
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    ^^^^ see, you are going to get loads of different advice on here!...that's the fun of it. Listen to what others do, and importantly..why. Then decide for yourself
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    Quote Originally Posted by Small pumpkin View Post
    Seeds

    Or you will miss out on the most exciting part of gardening. Watching seeds germinate. No matter how many years you've been growing things the excitement and fascination never leaves you.
    I couldn't have put it more succinctly myself!
    My Majesty made for him a garden anew in order
    to present to him vegetables and all beautiful flowers.- Offerings of Thutmose III to Amon-Ra (1500 BCE)

    Diversify & prosper



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