Seeds or Transplants?
Many gardeners become confused about whether vegetables should be planted
from seed or transplants. Transplants insure a reliable plant population
and usually produce earlier than crops planted from seed. The main disadvantage
of transplants is the cost per plant.
Because of cost, only certain vegetable crops should be transplanted. Consider:
Vegetables which should always be transplanted in spring include eggplant,
onions (bulb), pepper, sweet potatoes and tomatoes. Vegetables which can
be seeded into the garden in early spring or transplanted a little later
include broccoli, collards, cabbage, lettuce and cauliflower. Seed all other
vegetables directly into the garden area because transplants are not economical.
Timing and varietal selection determine the success or failure of directly-seeded
crops and transplanted vegetables.
Success in seeding vegetable crops depends on factors such as seed vigor,
soil moisture, planting technique and soil fertility. Use new, viable seed
to insure a good plant population. Seeds need to absorb moisture before
growth can begin. During dry weather, water several days before planting
When planting, do not cover the seed with too much soil. A general rule
of thumb is to cover seed approximately 2 to 3 times their widest measurement.
Seed thickly with the intention of thinning to an optimum stand later.¶