In preparation for your home and garden that will need planting here real soon, think about the different types of seeds you can grow. There are some differences that you may want to consider when putting in your garden this spring.
What is an heirloom seed?
- An heirloom seed is one that can re -seed itself and has not been modified so it is in its originally form. When a plant grows from this seed the plant will produced more seeds at the end of its growing cycle. These seeds can be planted for the following year’s crop.
How plentiful are the plants produced from heirloom seeds?
- The crops grown from an heirloom seed will not be “round-up ready” so poison should be used wisely if you have planted heirloom. The plants are able to flourish just as much as a hybrid seed but may need a little more attention. When well cared for and fertilized heirloom will produce generously.
Where can I get heirloom seeds?
- Some feed stores sell a small variety of heirloom but ordering these seeds online is probably your best bet.
How much do heirloom seeds cost?
- Heirloom seeds are very affordable! Think of how in the future you will not need to purchase more seeds ever again!
Are heirloom seeds easy to harvest?
- This is a simple yes answer. Each plant has its own “going to seed” time. Fruit like cantaloupe and tomatoes and watermelon just have their seeds inside the fruit. 1 plant yields enough seed for you whole next year’s planting. Harvest your seeds, dry them out and store in jars or vacuum seal them if you plan longer storage. Storing them in a fridge or freezer will extend their life, as well.
What variety of plants can you get in heirloom seeds?
- Anything that has been kept heirloom and that you can grow! There are many varieties out there that are not sold as hybrid because they were not rated as popular enough to breed in bulk.
Note: An heirloom garden will grow the next year when you have seemingly forgotten about your garden! If you leave your plants to mulch for the winter you will get a sweet surprise the following spring….without even re-planting.
What are hybrid seeds?
- A hybrid seed has been modified to not produce seed (in most cases). The seed has been made “round- up ready” so you can poison weeds easily. A hybrid seed is specifically owned and cornered by one general company. This seed produces the best of whatever plant it is for.
How plentiful are the plants from hybrid seeds?
- One word, Very! Hybrid seeds are, no question, bred to produce and produce well. You will still need to prepare your ground and fertilize but a hybrid seed does not leave one to wonder if it will produce a plant. However, some hybrid seeds have been known to give you something different than what the package says so fair warning, a sweet watermelon could end up being an orange mess of gross meat and seeds. This is rare but does happen.
Where can I get hybrid seeds?
- Anywhere seeds are sold. The bulk of the seeds out there that are sold in grocery stores, feed stores and garden centers are, in fact, hybrid seeds. You will not have a problem finding these beauties.
How long do hybrid seeds last?
- Hybrid seeds can last a few years but it is recommended that you get new seeds every year.
How much do hybrid seeds cost?
- Fairly inexpensive, but remember you must buy all new seed every single year. A hybrid seed garden is not self-sustaining.
What variety of plants can I get in hybrid seeds?
- There is virtually every variety you can think of except older plants that have died out because they were unpopular such as purple beans and many heirloom variety squash to name a few.
Overall, you will get a great product with both types of seeds. What you need to ask yourself is whether you want a sustainable garden or not? Do you want to use poison to control weeds or not? The choice is yours!
Images from wikimedia and oneacrefund