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Plants, Seeds, and Bulbs

Deciding on which seeds, plants, or bulbs to buy can seem daunting, but if you follow a few simple rules, you can start to narrow your choices down and find the right fit to grow your indoor or outdoor garden.

What should you consider when choosing plants?
  • Sunlight: All plant species have differing needs for light. Consider the amount of sunlight your chosen piece of ground receives throughout the day. Make the same consideration if you’ll be growing your plant inside.
  • Watering: All plant species have differing needs for water. If you are planting outdoors, consider how rainy or dry your area is. Also, consider whether you will be supplementing with hand watering or sprinklers.
  • Agricultural zone: The growing season for any plant species will differ from zone to zone. If you’re planting outside, consider whether a plant will need to be protected from winter weather in your zone.
  • Soil Conditions: Soil PH can be the difference between a plant thriving or withering. Consider plants that match your local soil conditions.
Should you get adult plants or seeds?

Seeds have to be germinated and then moved through a progression of potting trays before being planted in the garden. Some may take months or years to reach maturity and flower or fruit. If you choose adult plants, you get to skip those steps. So if you enjoy the process of propagation, seeds may be a better choice. If you are in a rush to have larger plants, consider adult plants.

What is the difference between an annual and a perennial?
  • Annuals die in winter and do not come back in the spring. They will need to be replaced each year with new plants. This is a great option if you want to change what you display in a garden bed each year.
  • Perennials may die back in the winter, but they will generally regrow on their own starting in the spring. Perennials are a great choice if you wish to have the same plants again each year without having to dig up and replant the same bed each spring.
What is the difference between a seed and a bulb?

A seed is the product of a pollinated flower that sits dormant until germination. Depending on the size of the seed, small plants will emerge from the seeds once they are exposed to the correct germination conditions.

A bulb is a dormant section of root material that some species of plants use to store food for lean times, like winter. Contained inside a bulb is a growing point that will emerge once conditions are right. Roots emerge from the bottom of the bulb, and a stem emerges from the growing point in the center of the bulb. Bulbs can usually be planted directly into a flower bed or pot, whereas many seeds have to be germinated and then moved up in pot sizes before they can be transferred to a flower bed.

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