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Green Thumb
Posts: 337
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:01 pm
Location: Merritt Island, Florida

Transplants vs direct sowing

I realize in some areas transplants are the best because of weather, but I live in FL and it is warm alot, well actually hot alot. Anyhow my questions has anyone ever compared transplants to seeds and see which perform better. I do seeds in one planter and they seem to take foreveeeeeer! :shock: Then I transplant, and I guess I am afraid it will be to hot or to wet directly in the raised bed. Any thoughts or suggestions Would I gain more time by doing it right in the raised bed, I know every time you move a plant it needs time to adapt. Some of course like squash shoot up as soon as I put a seed in the ground - others it is like watching snails race. :roll: I am impatient and wth fall around the corner I have no idea how long in advance to start some of these seeds. Right now I have eggplant in a planter and it has been 10 days and they have all spouted - but it seems so slow - they are so tiny. I was hoping to get a second bunch before fall - Should I use something on the seeds, or add something to make them get a better head start. Or do I just need to get a good book and wait. Thanks in advance. I appreciate all advice. One thing in FL - transplants are hard to come by in FL in mid-summer - they have moved on to other items at most places :P

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3065
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:01 am
Location: New Orleans

Sherry, here's my take on this. I now have 24 tomato plants I started by seed 2 weeks ago and just today I separated them from the small tray to larger peat pots so they will grow in a less restricted pot. I will transplant these in about 3 weeks and set them deep in the garden so as much of the stem will be underground to set lots of roots. I've also started Broccoli, more pepper plants, 2 different varieties of cucumbers and have many new packets of lettuce and leafy greens that will be sown directly in the ground when it cools off a bit.

Like you, there is not much in the local nurseries right now in the form of vegetable plants in 3-6 packs for direct planting. Think of it this way, for the price of a 4 pack of any veg. plant, you can purchase a packet of seeds and will have a lot more but it will require more work and tending to----especially watering in our climates.

You should have lots of time to get a decent harvest living in Fla. no matter how you get the plants in the ground. Your winters are as mild or milder than what I experience and my garden overwintered last year with hardly any issues.

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7447
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:20 pm
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

I have planted all garden crops with seed planted directly in the garden where it will be grown. The two things I still like to plant with nursery plants or start myself are tomatoes and peppers. I also plant onion sets for large onions, but grow some from seed too. Everything else I direct seed.

Direct seeding is great because there is no transplant shock. It saves a step. No pots nor starting soil needed. The plants are in direct sunshine from the start so they never get leggy. Less costly.

Sometimes insects or birds will get your newly emerged plants. (Sprinkle the row with Diatomaceois Earth at time of planting.)
Sometimes the soil will dry just before the plants emerge and the plants will die.
If the weather happens to turn off cool and damp the seed may rot instead of germinate. Can't see this being a problem in Florida. :)

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

For me, depends on the weather and kind of plant. I start a ton of things indoors in late winter, because I can give them a head start that way when it is still too cold for them outdoors. Not much of an issue for you in FL.

Otherwise I tend to start the quickest sprouting and growing things directly in ground, Your squash, melons, etc are great e.g. of that, but peas and beans and other things also sprout and grow quickly. The longer it takes the seed to sprout and the slower the seedling is to grow to a reasonable size where it's not so vulnerable, the more it is exposed to all those dangers jal_ut mentioned. During the time a slow germinating seed is sitting there in the ground waiting, it can dry out or rot out or get washed away or eaten or whatever. So the slower sprouting and growing things I start in pots, so that I can maintain controlled environment for them while they are getting going. Peppers are a good example of that, but also rosemary, lavender, and most perennials.

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3062
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:40 pm
Location: ohio

A lot depends on your climate and the variety. Plant like squash and beans are fast growing and do well enough just direct-sown whereas crops like tomatoes and peppers do benefit well from being pre-started indoors up here in the north. Where you are at, you may be able to get away with direct-sowing some of the crops that we can't up here.

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