5 Reasons You Should Start Your Own Seeds Instead Of Buying Seedlings

It's a little extra work upfront, but the benefits are pretty astounding.

January 31, 2017
seedlings in biodegradable pots
vaivirga/ Shutterstock

Sure, it’s easy to pick up a few “six packs” of tomatoes and marigolds at the garden center. But why do that when you can have a greater selection of veggies (and fruits), huge yields for way less money, and plants that have never been treated with chemical fertilizers or herbicides? Seems like a no-brainer to us. 

Here, we cover the 5 most compelling reasons to start your own seeds this growing season. 

(On just a quarter-acre of land, you can produce fresh, organic food for a family of four—year-round. Rodale's The Backyard Homestead shows you how; get your copy today!)

field of petunias
SOMJAI/ Shutterstock
Bigger Yields For Less Money

Even after you figure the cost of seed-starting supplies, growing your own transplants is still cheap. At the garden center, a flat of 36 petunias, for instance, will cost you about $12, but a packet of 100 seeds costs only about $2. (Petunias are one of these 13 annual flowers you can easily grow from seeds.)

pouring seed pack into hand
Air Images/ Shutterstock
Organic Is Guaranteed

No need to worry about chemical fertilizers and herbicides ever coming into contact with your plants. You can make sure your garden is organic from seed to fruit and flower by purchasing organic seeds. Reputable online companies that offer organic seeds and growing supplies include Burpee and Eden Brothers.

Related: 6 Tips For Storing Your Saved Seeds

rainbow carrots
Anna Shepulova/ Shutterstock
The Huge Selection

Nurseries tend to stock only tried-and-true varieties such as cucumbers, tomatoes, string beans, and lettuce. If you start your own seeds, on the other hand, you can get a little crazy, opting for less conventional options such as rainbow carrots to heirloom tomatoes to kohlrabi.  

Related: 14 Plants You Should Never Grow Side By Side

two people gardening
bikeriderlondon/ Shutterstock
Seed-Swapping With Friends

Seed packets often come with more seeds than you need, so instead of letting them go to waste, consider swapping some with a friend. You'll both expand the variety of your gardens' offerings, so everybody wins. Better yet, plan this from the start by buying seeds that you both like, then splitting them up so you save some money. 

Related: How To Start Your Own Seeds


sprouting seedlings in various stages
wk1003mike/ Shutterstock
Strong Healthy Plants

Who knows how long those store-bought seedlings languished in the greenhouse? By growing your starting your own seeds and making sure they are appropriately watered, getting enough light, and are kept in a warm or cool enough environment, you control quality, and ensure that you have strong, healthy transplants for your garden. 

Related: 7 Secrets For A High Yield Vegetable Garden, Even If You're Tight On Space