It's the middle of March. Today I am going to the local feed store with my friend, Betsy. I am asking myself whether I will plant seeds or purchase young plants which are already established. Of course, starting from seed is very satisfying and is a skill worth developing. But, some plants are easier to start from seed than others. Many plants, such as tomatoes, must be started indoors. If you don't have a greenhouse, this can be messy and takes a lot of space. For the first time gardener, I would suggest that you do most of your planting with established seedlings. I have aways found it helpful to conquer one thing at a time.
There are vegetables which even the novice gardener will want to start from seed.I really encourage growing my own root vegetables. Since they grow in the soil and are the most prone to absorb chemicals from the soil, it is important that they grow organically. "Seed potatoes" (potatoes which have sprouted) can be found now in local feed stores. Vegetables like beans, peas and corn grow very easily from seed and come up very easily. These plants also do not like to be transplanted. So, you will have greater success if you start from seed.
One of the benefits of living in the South is that we naturally have a longer growing season. But, anyone who has lived in the South knows that the weather changes as frequently as a teenager's moods. Today's mid 70s weather might be followed by tomorrow's freeze. It will be important to protect young plants from the effects of a freeze. Plants in containers should be moved indoors when the temperature drops. Plants in beds will have to be covered, being careful that your cover doesn't touch the plant itself. A milk carton cut in half or a box can work well.