Here’s my explanation for you consideration.
In Gen 1, we get a ‘God’s eye’ view of creation. Creation proceeds and plants are ‘brought forth’ before man is created. All is very good.
A detail that sticks out in this first creation narrative is the mention of seeds when the plants are brought forth. Then again, when God sums things up as very good, he tells man he has given him ‘every seed bearing plant’ and tree that has ‘seed bearing fruit’. Directly following this God says he gives the animals all the ‘green plants’ for food, however, now there is no mention of seeds with these plants.
Why all this detail regarding seeds? No mention of seeds for the animals - why? Plants are unique in the narrative regarding these added details of their seeds. We are given no such extra details about the make up or capabilities other created things, especially regarding their future propagation.
But it makes sense. Man is going to cultivate the plants using their seeds, the animal won’t cultivate so seeds aren’t mentioned for their food supply. So the summary at the end of the sixth day has everything in place for humanity to begin its agrarian existence - which was probably the living reality of the original ancient audience.
But here we leave our God’s eye view and come down to earth. This change in perspective is even emphasized by the verse 'At the time when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens…'
At the beginning of Gen 1 it was ‘…made the heavens and the earth,…’ Notice the words in the phrase are reversed, Gen 1 is ‘heavens and earth’ Gen 2 is ‘earth and heavens’. A typo? I don’t think so.
So now we are in our ‘earth eye’ view, if you will, and we are going to take a closer look at the creation of man.
So the author needs to back the story up a bit, back to before man was created within the sixth day. To accomplish this the ancient author tells us we are at the time when ‘no field shrub was on (in) the earth, and no grass of the field had sprouted’. In other words, nothing has been planted and nothing is sprouting. Also, there is no man to till, because he isn’t made yet. Why mention ‘to till’ if the field shrubs just mentioned are not crops? The author is deliberately not backing up to ‘day three’ by giving us these details. The Hebrew word for field, in this verse, refers to a cultivated field the majority of its usage in the rest of the bible.
The author is backing us up to the point where everything else has been made except man. The plants are here with their seeds - the seeds just haven’t been planted yet - so they are not in the ground or sprouting.
This explanation also allows for the document hypothesis approach. If these were two divergent sources brought together some harmonizing between the two would have likely occurred.
They wouldn’t have been pasted as news clippings in a scrapbook. Possibly Gen 2:4-5 is an attempt to read smoothly from one source to the other. This is only if you adhere to the document hypothesis. If you don’t, don’t worry about it. I dismiss it most of the time.
Another interesting side note about the seeds always being intended for an agrarian purpose is that it shows man was always intended to labor for his existence. Work has always been part of the plan - sorry utopians.
Thanks for taking the time to read all that.
Hope this helped,