Growing plants from seeds indoors is such a win win to create a bountiful harvest. I am in zone 6 and we have unpredictable weather from cold wet springs to really dry summers. If I want to grow a descent harvest, then I have to grow seeds indoors to take advantage of that perfect window of growing time. But I have more reasons to grow indoors besides our lousy weather. Here are my top three reasons why you will want to grow seeds indoors. (You will thank me later.)
But Anna, the thought of growing indoors scares me/gives me anxiety/not sure if I can do it. (You fill in the blank.) Growing plants from seeds indoors isn’t as hard as you think. I got you covered later.
Watch the video below!
#1 Weather is unpredictable:
I have been growing plants from seeds indoors for over 10 years. In the last five years, the weather has become so unpredictable. I am in zone 6. (When I started gardening, I was in zone 5. Climate change anyone?)
Spring is when you might want to sow your seeds in the ground. However, our springs have been very wet and very cold. In fact, we had frosts around Mother’s Day even though our “official” frost date is May 10. I don’t dare plant my basil and tomatoes until Memorial Day.
Last year, I planted my peas in April and waited.
Waited some more.
Then a few came up and time stood still.
I thought I was losing my mind. What gives, Mother Nature? Sometimes, I think that the peas just didn’t want to grow in that wet and frigid cold environment. I don’t blame them. I hated going outside too.
Finally it warmed up and they started to grow. Then *boom.* Summer pushed Spring aside and said, “let there be heat.”
The peas just whimpered and told me they never had a chance. (Peas don’t like heat.)
In fact neither does broccoli, turnips, radishes and a host of other cool weather plants. Consequently they bolt, which means they flower. Good-bye beautiful broccoli head.
So what should you do? Grow seeds indoors 8 to 10 weeks before your frost date. (See HERE when your frost date is.) By the time, you plant them outside, they will be nice size plants and you have a chance at harvesting them in time before the heat.
Understand, I don’t want to promise you the moon but I want to give your plants a fighting chance.
#2. Variety and Organic
I have been known to grab a vegetable plant or two from the local gardening store.
Here’s my problem:
- It is tough to find organic plants in my area. I guess the demand isn’t there yet. I am not interested in buying plants that could have been sprayed with pesticides. Some plants may be sprayed with neonicotinoid pesticides, which hurts the bees and other pollinators. You know the drill. No bees then no food.
- If there are organic plants, then the selection isn’t that great. I don’t blame the garden stores. How do they know which particular tomato plants that I want to buy? (Hint. Check out Baker Creek’s site. Tomato porn. Seriously.)
- By the time it is warm enough to plant, I find the plants are root bound (meaning their roots are circling around the pot) and desperate to get out of their pots. I have lost more plants from gardening stores than my own seedlings. Maybe that is just me.
- If you fall garden, the selection is even worse!
#3 Fall Gardening.
I am a fall gardener. I love the fall because the weather is cooler and I don’t have to worry about my fall plants bolting from the heat.
Here’s the problem.
The garden store selection in the fall is horrible! Most people don’t like to fall garden so why would the garden stores sell a great variety of plants?
They don’t. So how many peas can you grow?
#4 I am cheap.
Okay. I admit it. It pains me to buy a $4- $5 plant that I know I can grow myself. If I buy seeds, I will be paying about $3 to 4 a seed package. In that package could be anywhere from 50 to 100 seeds.
Seeds don’t last forever so maybe I can get two seasons from some packages and longer for others.
If you do the math then seeds of course are cheaper.
You can even collect them from your plants and have more seeds if you grow heirloom seeds.
Plus, I can swap seeds with my friends who may have bought other types of seeds.
Have I Convinced You Yet?
There is still time to grow plants from seed. I haven’t started my tomato seedlings and a few of my flowers.
But in case you are thinking about growing from seed or struggled in the past at growing from seed, watch my short video of three must have items to help your seedlings survival.
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Let’s start growing together!
Megan Stevens says
Thanks for this inspiring perspective. I look forward to watching your seedling video!
I’ve tried growing plants from seeds and some plants are easily grown from soil directly and I do those but I’m enjoying the convenience of getting organic starters at my farmer’s market. I also have friends and family who sell their heirloom and organic starts. I know, I’m super spoiled.
Anya, our season isn’t that long so I have to start indoors. You are lucky to get starters!
linda spiker says
Great info as always! My husband is the gardener in our family. I need to suggest he read this!
Emily @ Recipes to Nourish says
I love this idea and I’ve never done it yet. #4 makes so much sense to me! Such a great savings.
These are all excellent reasons to grow from seeds. My biggest issues are 1) Texas heat and 2) container gardening (balcony), 3) enough light for all three seasons and 4) fertilization after plants being stuck in the same pot for so long. There is so much to learn it’s overwhelming, LOL.
Elaina, water the pots twice a day when it is really hot and give them liquid fertilizer every 3 weeks during the growing season.
Lucy M. Clark says
It is right decision to grow vegetables and flowers inside your home when the weather is unpredictable outside. I always go for organic plants.
Hi Anna, Thanks for these tips! I’ve experienced similar issues with some plants whimpering in the heat. This is a good reminder to be more organized next year with more indoor growing ahead of time! Do you have a favorite online store to buy organic seeds?
Kenneth, I have list HERE. Anna