7 Plants To Never Start Indoors - Backyard Boss
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7 Plants To Never Start Indoors

At the beginning of a new year, gardeners often start getting the itch to dig in the soil again. After several months of cold weather and a few more to go, it is hard waiting to get outside and start sowing seeds! For some plants, starting seeds indoors set them up for a successful season, but it is important to know that this process is not beneficial for all plants.

Don’t start the growing season off on the wrong foot! Learn which plants require direct seeding and how to plant them right.

Check out this list of plants that should never start indoors.


close up dill seedlings
Image credits: knipsling via Pixabay

While it may be possible to start dill indoors, it is not advisable. Dill grown indoors are often of less quality due to limited light and do not transplant easily. To get the best quality dill, start these seeds outdoors directly in the soil.

After the threat of frost is over, start sowing seeds 1/4 inch deep and 2 feet apart into well-draining soil. Dill can produce multiple harvests throughout the year by planting seeds every two to three weeks.


Bean seedlings beginning to emerge from the soil
Image credits: Anna via Pixabay

Beans are another vegetable that should never start indoors. Sowing seeds directly into the garden sets these plants up for a successful growing season!

Sowing seeds begins once the threat of frost has passed, typically from mid-May to mid-July. Place seeds 1 inch deep with a spacing of about 2 to 4 inches apart into warm soil of at least 48 degrees Fahrenheit.

Root Crops 

Root crops are a grouping of vegetables known for their edible roots. Transplanting root crop plants carries risk, due to damage to the taproot in the process. While this does not pose a problem to the actual plant, it means there is nothing to harvest. The following vegetables fall under this category.


Freshly harvested carrots
Image credits: Jonathan Kemper via Unsplash

As a root crop vegetable, sowing seeds directly outdoors is crucial to a successful carrot harvest. If seeds begin indoors, as the root system develops, it forks.

Plant carrot seeds directly into the soil once it is at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit, typically around mid-April. Insert the seeds around 1/4 to 1/2-inch deep and space them 2 to 3 inches apart, keeping the soil moist during this time. Germination occurs within three weeks after sowing seeds.


close up of radish in ground
Image credits: Wenzlerdesign via Pixabay

Radishes are vegetables that benefit from direct seeding. Much like other root crop veggies, transplanting can damage the taproot. However, with radishes, even if the transplant is successful, it can still stunt the growth. Radishes thrive when able to grow rapidly in a stress-free environment from seed.

Radishes will produce two crops per season if desired. Sowing seeds begins from early April to early May and again from the beginning of August to the beginning of September.

To plant radish seeds, start by loosening the soil anywhere from 6 inches to 1 foot deep. Next, plant the seeds 1/4 to 1/2 inches deep with a spacing of about 1 inch between. Seedlings will appear around 10 days after planting.


Turnip label in a garden
Image credits: Charlotte Lake via Shutterstock

As another root crop vegetable, turnips should not begin indoors due to potential damage to the taproot.

Plant the seeds approximately 1 to 2 inches apart in soil that has reached 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Germination will occur within six to 10 days, with only 30 to 50 days until harvest. Sowing seeds in mid-April and again in August can produce two yields in a year.


Harvested Rutabagas
Image credits: Pin Add via Creative Commons

Rutabagas are another root vegetable that needs direct seeding to avoid damage. These vegetables are slow growing and do not do well in heat therefore, sowing seeds begins in mid-June to provide a fall harvest. Plant rutabaga seeds in well-draining and deep soil about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch apart. Germination occurs six to 10 days after.


Parsnip harvest
Image credits: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com via Creative Commons

As part of the carrot family, it is no wonder that parsnips make the list. Like the other root crop vegetables, damage to the taproot occurs if sowing seeds indoors. Also, a common reason for sowing seeds indoors is to protect the plant from cold temperatures. As one of the hardiest vegetables, parsnips should be planted two to three weeks before the last frost! Exposure to cool temperatures enhances the flavor of parsnips.

Plant the seeds 1/2 to 1/4- inch deep into deep well-draining soil. Germination occurs anywhere from 14 to 21 days.

Start The Season Right!

While this is just a few plants, these are the most common ones that should not have their start indoors. A number of root crops veggies and most large-seeded plants such as pumpkins and corn thrive with direct seeding. Now that you have this information, your next growing season should be off to a great start!

Which of these plants is going into your garden next year? Share about your garden dreams below!