Return to the Vegetable Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Starting from seed or plants?

Posted by seanomac76 MA (My Page) on
Thu, May 3, 12 at 13:58

I am planning to start a new garden in my yard this year (4' x 8'). Based on some articles I've read, I was thinking of setting up my garden like the one in the link below, maybe with some substitutions since he grows a lot of lettuce and radishes. I live in Massachusetts and this is the first real garden I have attempted. I've had mixed results in pots.

Do you think it's better to grow my plants from seed, or just buy small plants from the garden center? I'm wondering if it's too late to plant the seeds since it's already May.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Starting from seed or plants?

Depends. What do you want to grow?

RE: Starting from seed or plants?

He has a lot of wasted space with all those paths for one thing.Otherwise, as macky said, it depends on what you want to grow. Some things like tomatoes and peppers need to be transplants, somethings like squash, radishes, lettuce and such work best from direct seeding, others can be done either way.

Since it is already May, then yes it is too late to plant many things from seed so I'd just plan to use transplants this year - whatever you can still find available.


RE: Starting from seed or plants?

You can still plant squash, cukes, and beans from seed. It's actually still too cool to plant those seeds in Massachusetts. You've got a few weeks for them.

RE: Starting from seed or plants?

Thanks for the replies. I'll go with transplants this year and plan ahead next year for seeds.

Here is what I would like to grow. Please let me know if you think it would work in the space I have. It did look like he had some wasted space in the plan, but I don't want to overcrowd things either.

Tomatoes (1 cherry, 3-4 large)
Lettuce (head lettuce or a spring mix)
Bush beans
Various herbs (basil, cilantro, parsley, mint, etc)
Hot peppers (probably 1-2 plants, jalepeno, maybe something hotter)

I saw some tomatillo plants at the garden center. Was thinking of substituting one of the tomato plants for this to make some salsa verde.

I'm open to suggestions and input based on a 4x8 garden in terms of layout and plants. I don't have a ton of yard space, so I figured I'd try this.

RE: Starting from seed or plants?

I like variety and have limited space, so for me it makes more sense to buy seedlings rather than start tomatoes, squash, cukes from seed. I'm doing 8 toms and 10 sweet peppers this year, all different kinds.

Plant the mint in a container, it's very invasive and will take over. I grow loose leaf type lettuce, mainly b/c nobody else in my family really eats it so I like to be able to just pick a few leaves here and there.

RE: Starting from seed or plants?

Go ahead and buy the bedding plans for all you listed there except the bush beans and lettuce. Both of those will grow from seed lickity split and aren't worth the cost of bedding plants (I've never even seen bush beans sold as bedding plants here).

Do you have room to let anything tumble over your 4x8 space or must it be contained in that space? If it has to stay contained, you'll need trellises for the zucchini and cukes (unless they're small bush types), which then necessitates them being on the north side of the space (so as not to shade). Given the space, it may be easiest to just arrange things tallest to shortest, north to south respectively.

RE: Starting from seed or plants?

"I saw some tomatillo plants at the garden center. Was thinking of substituting one of the tomato plants for this to make some salsa verde."

You need 2. Tomatillos are not self-fertile. I made that mistake my first year growing one.

RE: Starting from seed or plants?

I have room for some spill over. I was trying to keep the garden just out of the shade from my fence. The fence faces south. I assumed I should plant the zucchini and cucumbers on the opposite end from the tomatoes so they could spread over, but will they shade the shorter stuff behind them?

Thanks for the tip on the tomatillos. I hadn't thought about growing them until I saw them today. Good to know.

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Vegetable Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here