What Is The Difference Between Planting And Gardening?

Gardening and planting are two different things. Gardening is a hobby that keeps you busy, while planting is a process of creating an environment or setting up the mood in which plants can grow.

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Planting is the process of putting seeds in the ground. It can be done to grow plants that you’ll harvest later, or it can be done as a hobby. 

Gardening is the broader term that includes planting, but also caring for plants and harvesting them at the appropriate time. This means that gardening includes growing crops from seedlings all the way through maturity.

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There are certain activities that are better suited to the planting season and others that are better suited to gardening. This is because different approaches and tools are needed for each task.

Planting is done in spring, fall, or winter when the ground isn’t frozen or too wet. It’s usually done in rows with seeds or plants placed in the ground at regular intervals. The goal of planting is to get your garden started quickly so that you can enjoy the fruits of your labor as soon as possible!

Gardening doesn’t have such a clear seasonality; it can be done year-round if you’re growing indoors or outdoors all year round. 

Time Frame

Planting is a short-term activity. You plant your seeds, water them and then wait for them to grow.

Gardening is a long-term activity, which means you have to maintain it all year round by adding fertilizer and mulch, weeding the garden beds and keeping everything tidy as well as pruning your plants when needed so that they look lush and healthy.

Planting usually takes between 1 to 2 hours while gardening can take all day or even longer depending on how much time you want to spend working in your yard or garden plot!

Planting Time Frames

Time FrameDescription
Short-termPlanting is a short-term activity where you plant your seeds, water them, and wait for them to grow. The process can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
Medium-termMedium-term planting typically involves planting crops or plants that will take several weeks or months to reach maturity. This might include vegetables like tomatoes or cucumbers, which require regular care and maintenance.
Long-termLong-term planting involves planting trees, shrubs, or other plants that will take several years to reach maturity. This requires more planning and maintenance, and may involve regular pruning and shaping to encourage healthy growth.

Kind of Plants

The most obvious difference between planting and gardening is that one is done in the ground and the other in containers. 

This can be for many reasons, but generally speaking, if you plant your plants directly into the soil of your garden (or any area where they will grow), you’re gardening. 

If you keep them in pots or other containers which are then planted into your garden (or any area where they will grow), then you’re planting.

Plants grown in containers tend to be smaller than their counterparts grown directly in the ground because they don’t have as much room to grow outwardly. However, it’s easier to water plants grown inside pots since you can just tip them over and give them a good sprinkling whenever necessary.

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There is a lot of overlap between gardening and planting, but there are some key differences in how each is done. Both are about growing plants that you want to use for something, but the approach to getting them there differs. 

Gardening involves working with nature and respecting its rhythms, while planting can be more like going out and buying what you want from a nursery or garden center. In gardening you might plant seeds directly into the ground, transplant seedlings from starter pots into your garden bed or dig up bulbs from last year’s flower beds. 

Planting usually involves purchasing plants from nurseries or garden centers; in this case, it’s important that they match your lifestyle: Are you going to plant annuals? Perennials? Herbs? Trees? Shrubs?


While gardening usually refers to growing a variety of different crops, planting is often used to describe the act of growing one crop in a given area. 

For example, if you want to plant tomatoes, you might go out and buy seeds or seedlings for your tomato plants and then plant them in the ground. 

You could also plant some herbs next to your tomatoes—you can use basil for pesto sauce or thyme for cooking chicken breasts, for example.

In gardening, on the other hand, there are many different types of gardens. Some gardens focus on vegetables only; others grow flowers; still others specialize in herbs or trees instead of vegetables or flowers. 

Gardening also includes activities like landscaping projects that include more than just growing crops: they include things like adding ornamental stones around a house’s foundation as well as planting new trees in an established garden space so it looks neater overall (though these would fall under “landscaping” rather than “gardening”).

Variety in Gardening and Planting

GardeningGardening is typically characterized by a wide variety of plants that are grown in a given space. This may include vegetables, fruits, flowers, and herbs, among other things. The focus is often on creating a diverse and beautiful landscape that provides a range of benefits, such as food, aesthetics, and natural pest control.
PlantingPlanting usually refers to the process of growing a single crop in a given area. This may be done for a number of reasons, such as to produce a high yield of a particular crop, or to create a uniform, aesthetically pleasing landscape. However, planting generally involves a more limited range of plants than gardening.

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Space Requirement

Planting and gardening are both ways to grow plants. The major difference between the two is that planting requires more space than gardening, while gardening takes up less space than planting. 

This means that when you garden, you can get started with a smaller area than if you were to start planting in the same area.

If you’re going to be growing your own vegetables or herbs for food purposes, it’s best to learn about both of these methods so that you can get the best results possible out of your gardening efforts!

Design Skill

Planting is more about choosing the right plant for the right place. The goal is to create a beautiful display, but it requires a lot of design skill. Gardening requires patience and knowledge of how things will look in different seasons, as well as what plants grow best together.

Are you interested in starting a garden but don’t know where to begin? Our easy guide on how can I get into gardening can help you get started on the right foot. Learn about the benefits of gardening, as well as some tips and tricks for getting started.

Maintenance and Water Usage

Gardening is more labor intensive, requiring you to prune and weed your plants regularly. Plants also need more water than seeds because the roots are getting established and growing deeper into the soil where it’s harder for them to reach moisture.

People who don’t like gardening can still get an indoor plant that requires little maintenance. For example, a succulent needs only minimal watering once every few weeks if it’s in a well-lit area.

Budget and Cost

Budget and cost are two different things. A budget is a financial plan for the future, while cost is the amount of money spent on a specific project.

Gardening can be done on any budget, but it will cost more if you need to buy your own supplies and tools. Many communities offer free gardening resources such as seed packets and compost bins for residents to use!

The cost of gardening depends on the size of your garden and what materials you choose to use in it:

Pests can be a major problem for any gardener, but there are ways to keep them away from your plants. Check out our article on how to keep pests out of your herb garden to learn about some of the most effective pest control strategies, as well as some tips on how to prevent pests from infesting your garden in the first place.

Tools and Equipment

Planting tools tend to be more rugged, while gardening tools are designed for precision work. Planting tools include shovels and trowels; gardening tools such as rakes, hoes and shovels are designed with a more delicate touch in mind. 

In general, you use the two sets of tools in different ways: planting requires digging up the soil around your seedlings or bulbs, while your other hand is usually occupied holding onto a watering can; gardening involves more tending of plants already in place—mainly pulling weeds from around them.

Environment and Equipment

  • What is the difference between planting and gardening?

Planting is done in a controlled environment, such as a greenhouse or even indoors with artificial lighting. 

Gardening, on the other hand, is done outside in an uncontrolled natural environment. This can be anything from your backyard to an entire farm where you grow crops using traditional methods or hydroponic techniques (which don’t require soil).

  • How do I determine which type of gardener I am?

If you enjoy growing plants outdoors, then you’re most likely a gardener! If you like working inside where it’s warm and comfortable then you might enjoy being a planter instead!


It is clear that ‘planting’ and ‘gardening’ are two different things, but there are also many similarities between them. Both activities require a lot of time and dedication. 

Both involve some level of risk, whether it be physical injury or financial loss. These risks should always be considered before starting any project related to plants or gardening!

Further Reading

Gardening vs Landscaping – Learn about the differences between gardening and landscaping, including their goals, techniques, and the types of plants involved.

Gardening vs Planting – This article explains the differences between gardening and planting, including the scope and scale of each activity and the level of commitment required.

Farming vs Gardening – This article explains the differences between farming and gardening, including the scale of each activity, the types of plants involved, and the level of commercialization.


What is the difference between gardening and landscaping?

Gardening is the cultivation of plants in a yard, garden, or other outdoor space for ornamental, edible, or other purposes. Landscaping refers to the design and maintenance of outdoor space to enhance its appearance and functionality, which may or may not involve gardening.

What is the difference between gardening and planting?

Gardening involves planting, cultivating, and harvesting plants in a yard, garden, or other outdoor space for ornamental, edible, or other purposes. Planting typically refers to the act of putting plants or seeds into the ground, which is just one aspect of gardening.

What is the difference between farming and gardening?

Farming involves the large-scale cultivation of crops or livestock for commercial purposes, often using heavy machinery and other specialized equipment. Gardening typically involves smaller-scale cultivation of plants in a home or community garden for personal use or enjoyment.

What are the benefits of gardening?

Gardening has many benefits, including improving physical health by providing exercise and fresh produce, reducing stress and anxiety, improving mental health, and providing a sense of accomplishment and connection to nature.

How do I get started with gardening?

To get started with gardening, you can start small by planting a few herbs or vegetables in a container or small plot of land. You can also read gardening books and articles, take classes or workshops, join a gardening group, and seek advice from experienced gardeners.