Buying plants: Seedlings, Pros and Cons.

Very good to all gardeners. The purchase of already formed horticultural plants, seedlings , is a very useful alternative for those of you who are starting to cultivate a garden or do not have time or skill to take care of a seedling … But like everything, buying your already formed plant or seedling has its things positive and negative, so before deciding to start with your garden I leave you this recommendation:


Advantages of buying seedlings

Buying already formed plants, seedlings, can save you a lot of headaches, the most important things I summarize below:

You avoid buying seeds of different species to make the seedbed:

If you only want to have a couple of tomato plants or a few onions, it is more convenient and economical (in the short term) to buy the seedlings than an envelope full of seeds, of which you will only use a couple …

You avoid failures in seed germination:

Whether you make a seedbed or if you sow the seed directly there is always a risk, the seed may not germinate for many reasons, lack or excess of irrigation, bad substrate, lack of light, lack of time to take care of the seedling etc … The seedlings They are already germinated plants and somewhat developed, so you avoid that complicated phase of the growth of your plant.

You avoid buying substrates rich in organic matter and disinfected to make the seedbed:

Many times buying good land to make the seedbed means traveling far away so, for simple convenience, we resort to cheap land, the one we find closest, “entirely at € 1”. This soil is very deficient in nutrients, poor in organic matter and many times it is not well disinfected, so it can harbor the eggs of different harmful insects that end up becoming pests for our crops.

In the event that you want to make a flowerpot this is not true, since you will also have to buy a substrate rich in nutrients, organic matter and disinfected to fill your pots.

Ease of management and variety of species:

These seedlings already have a well-formed root ball with a considerable number of roots, so you can directly transplant into the final space that your plant, orchard or flowerpot will occupy. You will also find a multitude of different species to try new things in your garden.

Disadvantages of buying seedlings

Buying seedlings is the easy option, but if you really want to have your own garden it is healthier and more educational to see how your seeds grow from the beginning, the cons of buying seedlings I summarize below:


Finding nurseries in the interior of the cities that sell horticultural seedlings is complicated, in addition its central position increases its price so it is often necessary to take the car for a medium trip to peripheral areas or surrounding towns to find your seedlings to a most affordable price. This is not very ecological to buy a few seedlings … If you decide to buy seedlings, I recommend that you speak beforehand with friends or family who also want to start with their garden to make a decent purchase of seedlings and substrates and thus amortize the trip.


The seedlings range from € 0.20 (in the case of the most popular vegetables: Peppers, tomatoes , onions, lettuces …) to more than € 0.40 (in the case of permanent species , seasonal cucurbits, grafts and hybrid species: Melon , watermelon , artichoke , strawberries …). An envelope of seeds is around € 2 so in the long run it will come out better economically.

The best option in this case is still to ask for the seed from a horticulturist you know, they usually let a couple of species glean to have seed for the following year and it will not cost you anything to give it to you.

Difficulty finding organic seedlings:

Finding spaces that sell seedlings within the city is already complicated, as it is much more difficult to obtain seedlings from certified organic seed. If you want to have an organic garden, this first step fails. By simple marketing, the seedlings usually come from hybrid seeds, improved, so their offspring are infertile, something logical since it “forces” the consumer to buy more seedlings if they decide to continue with the garden or pot-garden the following year, if not with a single seedling we would have seeds forever.

You are not going to learn anything:

If you really want to have a garden, you have to learn all the steps to achieve it, from sowing to harvest, through germination, transplants, pruning, harvesting and finally ending the planting . Buying a seedling implies that you lose experience on how to make a seedbed and how your plants develop in it. Even if things go wrong, that experience will help you to improve the following year and in the long run you will not have any problem with germination.

Little more, I hope that with these pros and cons you will have a clearer final decision. Buying seedlings is neither better nor worse, it depends on your desire and circumstances. I have done it many times when the time is short to make a seedbed or I do not have seeds of the species I want to plant and the end result is practically the same.


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