Posted: 25/03/2014 at 07:29
I direct sow most things - I don't have a big greenhouse, just a small one, like a three tier cold frame - but in this garden the soil is good and warms up quite quickly too so direct sown seeds usually get away quickly and don't suffer from any delay which they could do if planted out.
However I appreciate that I'm lucky and that some people living further north or on more difficult soils aren't as fortunate and find that it speeds things up to sow indoors and then plant out.
But I know what Mike means - the way that some GCs market 'equipment' for growing veg makes you wonder how we ever used to manage before the invention of the Grow bag, Potato Bag, strawberry pot etc.
Last year some of my outdoor beefheart tomatoes were planted direct into the veg patch instead of into big pots - one of my visitors was totally bemused - he didn't know you could do that
But on the other hand, buying in brassica seedlings ready for planting out is useful - it means that I don't have to give up part of my small veg plot to a nursery bed. And last year I bought 3 small Apache chilli plants for virtually the same price as a packet of seeds - they grew on and cropped beautifully and we're still using chillies from that crop.
So I direct sow and buy plants in - the thing to do is to plan ahead and make the best use of your space.