Can You Be A Gardener and Not Sow Seeds?

It started as a few questions on seeds and seed sowing, a few thoughts put out as a blog post as I prepared to end the holiday celebrations and return to work. It evolved into several longer than normal comments and many more posts from fellow seed-sowing, garden-blogging gardeners from all around.

It showed that many gardeners enjoy sowing seeds! Yeah! It is not a dying aspect of gardening, in a society that wants, and expects, instant results. Many of us are willing to sow seeds and wait, to start literally from the ground up when it comes to growing the plants we want.

But I suspect that there are many gardeners who are still not quite sure of themselves when it comes to seeds. For those gardeners, whoever and wherever you are, I’ve tried to pull together a list of all the gardeners who commented on their seed sowing habits. I would guess that any of these gardeners would be flattered by any requests to provide more information or answer questions on their particular methods of seeding sowing.

Here is the list, everyone I could find, in alphabetical order by whatever name I know them by. If I missed your post on seed sowing, please comment and I’ll add you to the list.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose
Anthony of Compost Bin
Carol (me ) on Buying Seeds, on Sowing Seeds, and on Seedy Tools
Christa at Calendula & Concrete
Colleen in the Garden Online

Cyndi at Riverrim
El at Fast Grow the Weeds
Girl Gone Gardening
Jenn at Garden Djinn
Kathy at Cold Climate Gardening
Kim at A Study In Contrasts
M Sinclair Stevens at Zanthan Gardens
Molly at Life on Tiger Mountain
Old Roses at A Gardening Year
Patrick at Bifurcated Carrots
pmo3ws at Blog from Illinois
Sissy at Got Serenity
The Contrary Goddess
Tracy at Outside

So, if you “don’t do seeds”, read about how these gardeners “do seeds” and decide today to join this seedy crowd!

One more question, can you be a gardener, truly, if you don’t sow seeds?


  1. Thanks for the list Carol! I am curious as to how others "do seeds" and will be checking it out...

    As for the last question, Can you be a gardener, truly, if you don't sow seeds? Well, maybe if you cultivate those "seedling starter plants"...but it's a stretch!

  2. Most certainly you can be a gardener if you don't sow seeds. You also can have somebody do all the work for you in your gardens, and you're still a gardener!! I will probably garden until the day I am ready to push up daisies myself, and there'll come a time when I neither sow seeds nor lift a hoe, and I will still consider myself a "gardener."

    And yes, it'd be nice if I could just go to a store and buy flats and flats of little plants. But noplace near me is selling the funky heirlooms I want, much less for the price I'd pay, so it's DIY dirt digging around here!

  3. "One more question, can you be a gardener, truly, if you don’t sow seeds?"

    Oh, absolutely. You just know you are heading into the critical stages of addiction when you start thinking about seeds, and you have hit the hard core when you start thinking about seeds that require a greenhouse or are otherwise exotic.

    I'm growing japanese maples from seed. I know the parent plant, and will get to see what the babies grow up to resemble. This year is their first winter. It's all very exciting.

    I am one step away from hard core. These guys I can at least plant out in the yard once they get a bit bigger.

  4. Thanks for the list. I find that time is my worst enemy and sowing seeds takes alot of time in the garden. That is one of my new years resolutions find more time for the gardening

  5. This one's tougher than I thought. My first instinct was to say, yes, of course a "true gardener" is one who grows from seed, at least a little bit. Maybe I don't want to sound like a garden snob or something. Is someone who buys all of their plants, but cares for them like one of their children, any less of a gardener than those of us who start from seed? I don't know. I can't help thinking, and maybe I'm biased here, that those of us who take the time and spend the effort learning about how to grow from seeds have a more intimate relationship with our gardens. So, going out on a limb, and at the risk of sounding snobby, I'll say, yeah, to be a true gardener, you should have at least TRIED growing something from seed at some time in your life. Trying and failing at least shows an interest in how plants grow, and interest and curiosity, to me, are two trademarks of a true gardener. So there :-)

    Jeez, I'm starting to agree with one of the other bloggers on this--you are a trouble maker, Carol ;-)

  6. Dear Carol,
    Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog. As I said on it, I learn so much from blogs such as yours. Can I truly be a gardner if I don't grow from seed? As Colleen so eloquently put it, you sure do have a more intimate relationship with your garden if you do. It is absolutely miraculous to watch a plant sprout from seed! Actually, I get as excited watching my perennials come to life after a long winter's nap. The least fun is plopping a plant (grown by someone else) in the ground. Am I good growing something from seed? No way. But I try. I've got the seed package collection you'd ever want to see! :)

  7. I think you can consider yourself a gardener whether you sow or not. I would guess that there are many in the garden world whom don't sow for some reason or another. For myself I am always more proud of my "from seeds" plants or plants from bulbs than any that I have bought ready for planting. Kind of like raising kids I suppose!

  8. I think a gardener at some point in time WANTS to sow seeds, to give them a try. But I know many gardeners aren't in a situation that allows them to sow seeds. So, do all gardeners want to try seeds?

  9. Hi Carol,
    I posted my comments about seed sowing, too, and would be happy to answer questions about my experience here in a Zone 7 garden.

    "Can you be a gardener, truly, if you don't sow seeds?" Well, I suppose it all depends on how one defines gardening. There are all types of people who consdider themselves "gardeners" -- and they all have different approaches and levels of involvement. And that's fine. But I'm leaning towards agreeing with Colleen. I think true gardeners at some point get curious about sowing seeds and they at least give it a try. Gardeners are a nurturing type... and what is more satisfiying than having a plant - a flower, vegetable, or fruit - that you've nurtured from a tiny seed?? No pre-potted things from Home Depot really do it for me.

  10. P.S. Carol, thanks for asking all of these thoughtful questions. I am enjoying your blog!

  11. I am really not interested in starting seeds indoors (too fussy, and not really all that interesting to me) I plant a few annual seeds like morning glories, but those go straight into the ground after the frost.

    I grow tomatoes in containers, so I buy the patio varieties at Lowes. As far as flowers go, My most favorite thing is planting bulbs in the fall and watching them come up in the spring. I guess that's kind of like planting seeds?


Post a Comment

Comments are to a blog what flowers are to a garden. Sow your thoughts here and may all your comments multiply as blooms in your garden.

Though there is never enough time to respond to each comment individually these days, please know that I do read and love each one and will try to reciprocate on your blog.

By the way, if you are leaving a comment just so you can include a link to your business site, the garden fairies will find it and compost it!