Direct Seed vs. Transplant

If you’re new to gardening, a common question that arises is should you start planting from seeds or should you purchase transplants. We are here to tell you the pros and cons of each!

First off, you may be asking yourself, ”What's the difference?” Starting from seeds consists of directly planting seeds into the ground whereas transplants are pre-grown baby plants that you transplant into the ground.

Pros of direct seeding:

  • Some plants don’t like to be transplanted so you’ll need to direct sow them into their final location.These usually consist of plants with a delicate root system.

  • Plants that germinate and mature quickly are best grown from seeds, like beets and radishes.

  • More cost effective; a packet of seeds will provide you with tens if not hundreds of seeds!

Cons of direct seeding:

  • Sometimes nature doesn't go as planned. Seeds are more susceptible to droughts and floods.

Best seeds to start by direct seeding:

  • Best veggies include zucchini, beans, beets and carrots.

  • Best flowers are sunflowers and zinnias.

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Pros of transplants:

  • Transplants are more mature once you place them into the ground. This allows them to be more resistant to insects and pests.

  • Transplanting also gives you a more predictable garden with more controlled results. By planting baby plants you are getting a huge jumpstart on your gardening.

  • Plants that have a long growing season are best transplanted.

Cons of transplants:

  • Transplants can introduce unwanted weeds into your garden.

  • Transplants also assume the risk of transplant shock. This is the result of directly planting into a home garden after being in a controlled environment for so long.

  • More expensive than purchasing seeds.

Best seeds to start as transplants:

  • Best veggies to transplant are tomatoes, onions, eggplants and broccoli.

  • Best flowers to transplant are petunias and snapdragons.

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Overall, if you've reached the point where you're deciding whether to seed or to transplant, you're already moving in the right direction! Our Fresh Start Kits provide seeds, as well as other locally sourced supplies like compost, to start your growing experience. Some of our seeds (such as in our Herbs Fresh Start Kit) like dill and cilantro, don’t transplant well and should be planted in their final container. This frees up the biodegradable egg container to plant parsley and arugula from seed. Our pamphlet and downloadable growing guide help guide our Fresh Start Kit owners through the process, explaining the difference and allowing them to learn and grow at the same time!

Giana Spear