The Q&A Archives: Starting Seeds

Question: Is it ok to start plants indoors even though the seed packet suggests to sow them directly outdoors? I work in a Nursing Home and we are trying to get the residents involved in the planting process.

Answer: In most cases, the packet recommendation is based on the fact that the plant does not transplant well or that it grows so fast from seed that it is difficult to hold it indoors for any length of time or that it needs cooler than average household temperatures or some other practical reason for why it might be better started outdoors. Having said that, you can always give it a try and see what happens as long as you are not bothered by an increased risk of a flop. Some plants that might do well started indoors would include many annuals such as the typical marigolds, but also plants such as chives (herb) and coleus (decorative foliage) and even leaf lettuce (edible) that will go on to make nice windowsill plants.

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