When I first started gardening, I bought the least expensive seeds with no regards to quality. I believed a seed was a seed and they were all the same. But then I decided I want to save my own seeds and maybe save money in the process. I began researching and wow! I have changed my mind. Let’s talk about 4 reasons why you should use heirloom seeds.
The Different Type of Seeds
Genetically Modified Seeds— Seeds that have been altered genetically to be resistant to pesticides and insecticides. This means the plant can be sprayed and not die. These types of seeds are only sold to commercial farmers at this time.
If you want to learn more about GMO seeds and the effect they are having on agriculture and the environment please read GMOs–Top Five Concerns for Family Farmers
Hybrid Seeds— Hybrid seeds are made by crossing two different varieties of the same plant by manual pollination to get a specific trait. The downside of hybrid seeds is that the next generation will not stay true to the original plant and you may end up with a slightly different fruit or vegetable.
Organic Seeds–Organic seeds are from plants grown by farmers that follow federal organic standards for growing and processing which excludes the use of synthetic pesticides and genetically engineered/genetically modified or “GMO” technologies. These seeds can be either heirloom or hybrid.
Why you should use heirloom seeds
Heirloom seeds are seeds taken from plants that have not been cross pollinated. They have been passed down from generation to generation dating back over 300 years. The fact that I am planting something that our ancestors used in their gardens makes me totally geek out!
I can imagine one of my grandchildren or great grandchildren growing tomatoes that I have passed down to them!
2. Higher Quality
Heirloom seeds are selected for the hardiness of the plant, adaptability to the environment where they are grown. I have noticed a big difference in the hardiness of the plants I have been growing. They have a higher germination rate and the plants are strong giving a good harvest.
3. Seed Saving
As I mentioned above a skill that I am currently learning is how to save seeds. Not only do I want to save money by not buying seeds, but I also want to have plants that have adapted to my environment. This way I can select from the strongest plants to grow from.
Heirloom seeds are open pollinated by bees, birds, or self-pollination. Each year the seeds will produce plants that bear fruit true to the mother plant. So, year after year you can have the same delicious fruit or vegetable you have come to love.
I absolutely love how God has given us abundant variety to choose from. With GMO seeds and hybrid seeds we have lost the variety to the push for production and perfection. I don’t know about you, but I have a desire to try all flavors, colors, and beautiful variety that my garden can produce!
I hope you have fun in your garden and try some heirloom seeds his year!
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