When I was a newbie gardener and finally got brave enough to start my garden plants from seeds, I thought I needed to start all of my seeds indoors. Although I was pretty successful starting lots of types of seeds indoors, I had many failures too, and finally gave up starting some stuff from seed because it was too hard.
After a few years of trial-and-error, I started to experiment with seeds to start indoors -vs- sowing (i.e.: planting) them directly into the garden. I literally started tossing my leftover seeds into the garden in the spring just to see what would grow. It turns out that some seeds will grow better when sown directly into the garden, while other seeds are easier to start indoors (especially if you have a short growing season like I do).
Seeds To Start Outdoors (Direct Sowing)
There are tons of types of seeds than can be sown directly in the garden. These are seeds that have a short enough growing season, and grow quickly from seed. Most of these are also frost tolerant and can be sown in the garden as soon as the ground thaws in early spring.
- Morning glory (I love to grow morning glory Heavenly Blue and morning glory Grandpa Ott’s)
- Chard (Bright Lights is a gorgeous and delicious!)
- Radish (I love these super cool varieties: Round Black Spanish and Watermelon Mantanghong)
- Lettuce (Add color with Garnet Rose and Romaine Rouge D’Hiver Lettuce)
- Chives (I grow both regular and garlic chives)
- Spinach (spinach bordeaux is super cute)
- Squash (Zucchini, Butternut and Delicata are my favorites)
- Moss rose
- Peas (I love to grow snow peas and sugar snap peas)
- Sunflower (autumn mix is gorgeous and great for attracting bees to your garden!)
- Cucumber (my favs are Marketmore and Picklers)
- Pak choi
- Beet (Bull’s Blood Beet are gorgeous!)
- Summer savory
- Lemon balm
Related Post: How To Test Viability Of Garden Seeds
Seeds To Start Indoors
Some seeds perform their best when started indoors weeks before it’s safe to plant them into the garden. Many warm weather loving seeds need warm soil to sprout, and a long growing season to fully mature. If they were planted directly into the garden in early spring, they wouldn’t have time to fully mature before frost kills them off in the fall. These are the seeds to start indoors…
- Marigold (my favorite varieties are french marigold and marigold Crackerjack)
- Peppers (Some of my favorites are sweet bell peppers, cayenne hot peppers and jalapenos)
- Brussels sprouts
- Castor bean (Red castor bean is my fav ornamental)
- Cosmos (cosmos bright lights and cosmos sea shells are my top picks)
- Kale (I recommend Chinese Kale and Red Kale)
- Okra (Red Burgundy is a must!)
- Zinnia (zinnia Fireball and zinnia California Giant are two of my favs)
- Coleus (coleus Black Dragon and coleus Rainbow mix are gorgeous!)
It is fun to experiment with seeds, so take these lists and try growing your seeds indoors -vs- out to see what works best for you.
More Seed Starting Tips:
- Easiest Seeds To Grow Indoors
- 5 Easy To Grow flower Seeds
- Easiest Vegetables To Grow From Seed
- Tips For Starting Seeds Indoors
- How To Test Viability Of Old Seeds
For more information about how to start seeds inside, and tons of tips for starting seeds indoors, click here… Sowing Seeds
Leave a comment below and tell me your favorite seeds to start indoors -vs- direct sowing in the garden.