Information On Which Vegetable Seeds To Sow Indoors Or Outdoors

Tomato starts growing in a windowsill
Image by mscornelius

By Nikki Phipps
(Author of The Bulb-o-licious Garden)

Vegetables can be planted indoors or outdoors. Normally, when you plant seeds indoors, you will need to harden the seedlings off and transplant them into your garden later. So which vegetables are best started inside and which are best to direct sow in the garden? Read on for information on where to sow vegetable seeds.

Starting Seeds Indoors vs. Direct Sowing Outside

Depending on the particular crop planted, gardeners can go about sowing seeds directly in the ground or starting them inside. Typically, plants that transplant well are the best candidates for vegetable seed starting indoors. These normally include the more tender varieties and heat-loving plants too.

Sowing seeds indoors allows you to get a jump on the growing season. If you start your vegetable seed planting at the right time for your area, you will have strong, vigorous seedlings ready to go into the ground once the regular growing season begins. In areas with short growing seasons, this method is ideal.

Most of your root crops and cold hardy plants respond well to vegetable seed planting directly outdoors.

No matter how careful one is when transplanting a young plant, there is bound to be some minor root damage. Many plants that do well directly sown do not respond well to being transplanted because of the potential root damage.

Where to Sow Vegetable Seeds and Herbs

To help get you started with where to sow vegetable seeds and common herb plants, the following list should help:

Vegetables
Vegetable Start Indoors Direct Sow Outdoors
Artichoke X
Arugula X X
Asparagus X
Bean (Pole/Bush) X X
Beet* X
Bok Choy X
Broccoli X X
Brussels sprout X X
Cabbage X X
Carrot X X
Cauliflower X X
Celeriac X
Celery X
Collard greens X
Cress X
Cucumber X X
Eggplant X
Endive X X
Gourds X X
Kale* X
Kohlrabi X
Leek X
Lettuce X X
Mache greens X
Mesclun greens X X
Melon X X
Mustard greens X
Okra X X
Onion X X
Parsnip X
Peas X
Pepper X
Pepper, chili X
Pumpkin X X
Radicchio X X
Radish X
Rhubarb X
Rutabaga X
Shallot X
Spinach X
Squash (summer/winter) X X
Sweet corn X
Swiss chard X
Tomatillo X
Tomato X
Turnip* X
Zucchini X X
*Note: These include growing for greens.
Herbs
Herb Start Indoors Direct Sow Outdoors
Basil X X
Borage X
Chervil X
Chicory X
Chives X
Comfrey X
Coriander/Cilantro X X
Dill X X
Garlic chives X X
Lemon balm X
Lovage X
Marjoram X
Mint X X
Oregano X
Parsley X X
Rosemary X
Sage X
Savory (Summer & Winter) X X
Sorrel X
Tarragon X X
Thyme X

This article was last updated on

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