02.11.2023 - 08:15 / gardeningknowhow.com
Understanding the terminology used in reference to seeds will ensure you get exactly what you want. For instance, the differences between GMO and hybrid seeds revolve around science. Add heirloom seeds to the mix and the differences become even more unknown, albeit with a more natural genesis.
Farmers and home growers have many different seed choices. The selections depend upon many factors such as pest and disease resistance, variety, and origin concerns. Knowing which type is best for you will often hinge upon a true understanding of the definitions of the various types of seed.
Heirloom seeds are the ones our grandparents grew. They may be hundreds of years or decades old. These varieties are making a comeback, supplanting the hybrid seeds that became popular in this century. Many gardeners feel heirloom seeds are more “natural” than hybrid or GMO.
Heirloom seeds are also referred to as open pollinated or standard seed. These have one or two specific traits that make them desirable. Because of open pollinating, over time the plants can cross pollinate with others in the same family, leading to unusual fruits. To avoid this, heirloom plants should be grown apart from others in the same group. This will prevent pollution of the strain, and keep viable the traits you want in the plant.
Hybrid seeds are more expensive to produce than heirloom. This is because their production is in a lab and relies upon trials and careful scientific method to create varieties that have specific traits.
Breeders select male and female plants with the desired traits. Pollination between the two plants is carefully controlled. The result is an offspring that carries those wanted characteristics. Each plant must be hand pollinated, and the
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