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Why Seed Starting: 10+ Reasons To Fall In Love With It

by on March 20, 2024
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Oh seed starting. If you already do it, you likely love it. But if you’ve yet to start, you might be wondering “why should I put in the work?” My goal is that you fall in love with seed starting by the time you’re done reading this post…and then start some seeds promptly afterwards!

5 Reasons To Love Seed Starting

Reason 1: Extend and get a head start on your growing season.

If you garden in a Zone 3 climate as I do, there’s only about 120 available growing days (the number of days between the last and first frost dates). But if you start seeds indoors early, you can extend that up to another 100+ growing days.

Seed starting allows you to hack the number of available days you have to garden by giving plants an extra 20, 30, 40+ days of growing time indoors.

This means you can grow wildly unusual things that aren’t native to our climate, like ginger and turmeric or hot peppers!

If you’re new to growing in Zone 3, I definitely suggest checking out my blog How I Plan Out My Zone 3 Veggie Garden, which has tons of tips and tricks for gardening in a short season.

Reason 2: Grow new foods you wouldn’t typically be able to grow in a short growing season.

As mentioned, I love experimenting with growing tropical foods like ginger, turmeric, lemongrass, sweet potatoes, okra and more by starting them indoors in the Winter.

The possibilities are endless! There’s so many fun foods you can start indoors early in the Winter and then transplant outside once your last frost date has passed.

Reason 3: Plan out your garden ahead of time.

Seed starting indoors allows you to have a clear plan of how much food you’re going to grow in your garden space. You can be more strategic about feeding your family.

To really maximize how much you’re growing, I suggest starting seeds monthly.

But when do I start each seed, you ask?

Follow my monthly seed starting guides, covering January Seeds To Start Indoors, February Seeds To Start Indoors, March Seeds To Start Indoors and April Seeds To Start Indoors.

Reason 4: Allows you to set goals for the gardening season.

Seed starting provides a plan and alllows you to more clearly see how much you need to grow to achieve your goals.

I especially love that seed starting mostly happens during the “off months” from the outdoor gardening season, meaning I have more time to plan, take a step back and evaluate what I need/want to grow in my garden.

Reason 5: Allows you to get your hands in soil during some of the darkest, coldest months.

If you haven’t resonated with the other 4 reasons why you should love seed starting, then I hope you can love this one, which is that seed starting is good for the soul, good for your mental health and good for your creativity. 

Does Seed Starting Lend To Better Performing Plants?

Maggie holding tray and seed packets under her arm in greenhouse

This is a common question I get from first time seed starters. And I’m pretty confident in the answer….YES!

If you start your plants indoors from seed they will perform better than plants from a nursery. Hands down.

I’ve found time and time again that seeds I start fair much better than transplants from a greenhouse. And here’s why:

Your seedlings started at home are already adapted to your lifestyle, your practices, the fertilizers you use, your water at home and more. This means by the time they’re ready to head outdoors to your garden, they’ll already be comfortable and familiar with their growing environment.

When you compare all that to plants started at a nursery or greenhouse, it’s clear that those plants will inevitably suffer from a bit of shock when they’re moved from their cozy growing environment at the greenhouse to a new one.

So, it’s safe to say that yes, starting your own seeds also leads to healthier plants in the long run.

Can Seed Starting Save You Money?

Tray of pepper seedlings under grow lights

The biggest question I get is whether seed starting can actually save you money.

And I always have a hard time answering this because it’s so specific to each person, right?

There’s dozens of factors that go into this questions, such as how much you’ve invested in grow lights and seeds, how big your garden is, how much you’re harvesting, if you’re succession planting, etc..

But I wanted to try and paint you a clear picture, so I pulled some figures from Statista to help!

According to Statista…

  • The average Canadian household spends $200 on gardening supplies annually.
  • The average size of a Canadian’s backyard garden is 600 sq ft, which can yield approx. $600 of produce/season.
  • And the average Canadian spends $1,300 on groceries/month.

So you could say in June and July gardening allows you to cut your grocery bill in half.

You could also say that there’s a better ROI on $50 spent on seed starting supplies vs. $50 spent on already started seedlings from a greenhouse. Because you could easily buy 10+ packs of seeds for $50 which could grow you hundreds of dollars of groceries whereas $50 on started plants might only get you 6-7 individual plants.

So all this to say, yes seed starting can save you money. But I don’t believe saving money is the most impactful reason to seed start.

4 More Reasons To Seed Start This Season

Here’s a few more quick and dirty reasons why you should choose seed starting this gardening season.

1. You get to be in nature and engage with nature.

2. You can grow healthier food for you and your family by knowing the entire lifecycle from seed to plate (or from soil to soul…hehe).

3. You can help rebuild the soil in your own backyard.

4. You can reduce your carbon footprint,

Share this post with a friend who needs a little inspiration to try their hand at seed starting!

And if I’ve convinced you to start seed starting with these 10+ reasons, then be sure to read my other seed starting content that will set you off on the right foot.

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Latest Comments

  1. March 27, 2024

    Reason 5 has always been huge for me. as you know where we live, march-may can feel very long for the gardener. starting seeds indoors on april 1 allows me to do something with all that excitement. great article!

    — matt