Gardening Articles: Care :: Seeds & Propagation

Seedlings by Mail (page 2 of 2)

by Jack Ruttle

Advantages of Plugs

  • Convenience -- if you're sure of what you want, you can plan sections of the garden in winter and be ready for the plugs when they come.
  • Unusual varieties -- most plugs are popular plants in special or exclusive varieties that may do better than ordinary pack plants. A few things offered as plugs are rare.
  • Unstressed plants with healthy root systems that start growing quickly. Plugs aren't root bound, so they won't dry out so quickly.
  • But, you'll need to plan ahead. Orders must usually be in two months before the planting date. And you need to buy in quantity: Minimum orders may range from 16 to 48 plants or more.

Advantages of Garden Centers

  • The fun of shopping -- it's helpful to talk to knowledgeable staff and you can see exactly what you are getting.
  • You can buy small amounts, sometimes just one perfectly grown plant.
  • Bigger transplants can mean earlier yields of things like tomatoes.
  • The lowest prices -- on many things, you could hardly raise them cheaper yourself.

But, you need to go early and often to be sure of getting the things you want before they become root bound or otherwise stressed.

Jack Ruttle is a former editor at National Gardening.

Photography by John Goodman

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