or seeds

Ideas for first-time gardener in Chicago December 01, 2008 – I am a first time gardener, so I know very little about planting. I live in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Can you give me some flower ideas that I can plant that are easy to maintain? I don’t . view the full question and answer.

Some bulb-producing wildflowers, such as the rain lilies ( Cooperia ), grow relatively rapidly from seed and are usually seed-sown. Growth rates vary a lot among different species of plants and some non-bulb annuals are very fast-growing, but usually a bulb-producing plant started as a bulb at a favorable time of year will set flowers more rapidly than a non-bulb-producing plant started from seed at the same time.

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Germination of bluebonnets from seed December 16, 2007 – I am having problems getting my bluebonnet (Alamo Fire and regular bluebonnets to germinate from seed). Usually I soak them in lukewarm water overnight then plant in a potting mix. I am only getting. view the full question and answer.

If you mean, “Does a bulb-producing plant produce flowers faster if started in the garden by seed or by bulb?” the answer is “by bulb.” However, even the bulb that was planted started as a seed at one time.

More Propagation Questions.

Cultivation of Gossypium hirsutum, Upland Cotton February 08, 2006 – I got a cotton boll (seeds and all) at a spinning workshop. I spun the cotton and the lady who brought the cotton boles said the seeds could be planted and the plant could be grown in a container on . view the full question and answer.

From: Carson, CA Region: California Topic: Propagation Title: Comparative speeds of flowering from seeds or bulbs Answered by: Dean Garrett.

The stem tissue of some plants thickens below or at the soil level and becomes surrounded by fleshy, modified leaves that contain stored nutrients used to support growth. This short, thickened area is called a bulb. Bulb-producing plants are often sold by their bulbs for propagation, though they started from seed themselves at some point in the past. Setting out already-established bulbs of such plants produces blooms faster than starting the same plants from seed. For example, some of your California camas wildflowers ( Camassia ) will not bloom until at least the second year after planting if you start them from seed in the fall, because they first have to develop bulbs. However, if you set out already-developed bulbs of the same species at the same time, they'll bloom the following summer.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

If you mean, “Does a plant that doesn't produce bulbs take a shorter time to flower than a plant that produces bulbs?” the answer is, “Depends on the species and whether the bulb-producing plant was set in the ground as a seed or as a bulb.”

When is it safe to mow wildflowers in Castroville, TX? May 26, 2010 – Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, My yard in Castroville, TX sprouted many wildflowers early in April. By now the Blue Bonnets are seeded and gone. However, I still have a lot of Mexican Blankets. My husba. view the full question and answer.

My Niagara grape cutting is not growing; be patient May 19, 2008 – Hello. I live in a city about 10 miles from Chicago IL. I like grapes they are my favorate fruit to just eat. I bought a niagara grape plant that was a cutting (it looked like nothing more then a st. view the full question and answer.

I think the answer to your question is "It depends."

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Although it is possible to grow just about any vegetable from seeds, more slow-growing vegetables are often planted as seedlings that have been started indoors. The following are usually more convenient to transplant into the garden as established seedlings:

When planting a vegetable garden in the spring, you can either plant seeds or purchase seedlings from your local garden center. While seeds are inexpensive when compared to the cost of vegetable seedlings, there are other factors to consider in making your decision.

Root crops and vegetables with long taproots, such as carrots, generally don’t transplant well and need to be direct seeded. Some quick growing crops, like peas and summer squash, don’t benefit from being started indoors because plants direct seeded in the garden will quickly catch up to transplants. Here are some common vegetables that are normally direct-seeded:

Then there are a handful of vegetables that aren't usually planted from seeds or seedlings at all, but from root divisions or bulbs:

Answers to these three questions will determine how you plant your vegetable garden. To some degree, your answers will depend on your regional climate. In southern gardens where the growing season runs from February to November, there is plenty of time to grow tomatoes and peppers from seed, but in a northern climate where the growing season is only five months long, a gardener may run out of time.

Vegetables That Are Usually Direct-Seeded in the Garden.

The Spruce / K. Dave.

Growing vegetables from seeds may not be practical for long-season plants in regions with short growing seasons. That's why, when it comes to long-season plants such as tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant, most gardeners purchase seedlings or established potted plants from the nursery—or start their seeds indoors weeks before planting time.

The choice between direct seeding and transplanting seedlings comes down to a few basic questions:

However, even in southern climates, some plants, like tomatoes and peppers, benefit from seed starting indoors–or purchased transplants. These plants often face challenges when started from seeds directly sown in the garden. Tomato, pepper, and eggplant seedlings, for instance, are highly susceptible to fungal disease that may be present in garden soil. They may succumb to "dampening off"–which can be better controlled in a warm, indoor environment. They also need warm soil and good light, which is easier to achieve inside with a heat mat and grow lights. So even in long-season gardens, it may be better to start seeds inside or purchase transplants of these trickier plants.

The seed packet itself provides a wealth of information to help you make your choice:

The Spruce / K. Dave.

Whatever your choice, direct seeding, seed starting or purchasing seedlings, it's best to decide on a strategy well before planting time. Get your plants in the ground as early as possible so they have time to acclimate to the warming weather and to give them the longest growing season possible.

Everything You Need to Know About Starting an Edible Seed Garden.

Vegetables That Are Often Transplanted as Seedlings.

Plant the cuttings around the rim of a small pot. Four or five cuttings to a pot are fine. The cuttings don’t need much water, by the way. If the potted soil gets too moist, the cuttings will rot. Keep the pots with cuttings nice and warm in a propagator with a transparent lid. Keep your cuttings in there until they’re well rooted. After that, they get their own pots.

You’ve chosen to take cuttings from an existing plant. But how does that work? A cutting is usually a branch or a small plant growing beside the mother plant, still connect to it by roots.

Check our Start products to start your growth safe and sound or contact our Grow Expert via Service Desk.

Pros and cons of propagate from cuttings.

You can start your cultivation from seeds that you need to germinate, grow, transplant and prepare for planting. But for many plant species you can also grow from cuttings. You either make or buy cuttings. What are the advantages and drawbacks of growing from seeds and cuttings? And how do you take cuttings?

How do I take cuttings?