Rest strokes -- what you call the planting technique -- afford both dampening/muting and also more power and emphasis. In a the Carcassi curriculum, rest strokes are taught first; free strokes are addressed much later. Rest strokes are so named because the picking finger comes to rest on the (lower) neighboring string.
One of the hidden advantages of rest strokes is that the rested finger provides a reference to the next note -- whether on the same, neighboring string, or skipped string. This avoids the oft-seen reference pinky planted on the soundboard -- where it dampens the overall vibration of the guitar.
Rest strokes will require some attention to your manicure. The desired nail shape simply emphasizes the release ("snap"); the nail should not be long enough to "trap" the string.
Personally, I would echo the Carcassi Method and recommend beginning with the rest stroke. Save the free stroke for future development. Enjoy yourself!
Followup: as it turns out, the emphasis for teaching rest strokes first came from my teacher, Irvin Kauffmann, not necessarily the Carcassi Method which he also used. I recently scanned the Carcassi Method and did not notice any specific stroke advice. During Irvin's prime, he was both principal guitarist and cellist for the Pittsburgh Symphony. I trusted his teaching, and would advise you to follow his recommendation to build your foundation upon the rest stroke.