Heirloom vs regular seeds?


Joined
Aug 16, 2014
Messages
34
Reaction score
1
I have been looking at Etsy.com for heirloom seeds and I have found some of the coolest things I have ever seen. For instance, hedgehog cucumbers - I had never seen or heard of such a thing. The packets do seem to be a bit more expensive than dollar store packets - maybe $3 or $4 each. Do yall grow heirloom seeds or just regular seeds from the store?
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Sep 20, 2012
Messages
5,377
Reaction score
1,796
Hardiness Zone
7a
Country
Poland
I have a question, but I feel silly asking it. I should already know things like this. Could someone explain me the difference between heirloom seeds and regular seeds?:oops:
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Messages
7,647
Reaction score
3,684
Location
Tarpley Tx
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
I have a question, but I feel silly asking it. I should already know things like this. Could someone explain me the difference between heirloom seeds and regular seeds?:oops:
Heirlooms are plants that can replicate themselves from their seeds, year after year without changing and thus you have heirloom seeds. You can buy these seeds once, plant them and then save the seeds that you have grown from now on into the future. Then there are hybrid plants and this is where an easy explanation becomes difficult. Without getting into the science of it, hybrid plants are plants that have been cross pollinated with 2 or more other plants. The seeds from these plants will not come back true like the heirlooms do. There is a LOT more to it than this simple explanation and the science behind it is befuddling at best. Then there are the GMO's, which I won't get into, where the actual DNA of the plant is altered
 
Joined
Aug 16, 2013
Messages
1,606
Reaction score
759
Although my preference is for heirloom seeds I do grow a lot of hybrids too - as the latter are sometimes better suited to my climate than some of the heirloom varieties - in fact I think it would be safe to say - that I'll happily grow any type of seed - as long its not GMO.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Aug 7, 2014
Messages
142
Reaction score
22
Location
United States
I like to grow heirlooms since I can save seed from them if I like what I get. You really can't do that with hybrids although sometimes the disease fighting abilities of hybrids really comes in handy depending on where you live. I have planted many seeds in my lifetime yet there are still many heirloom seeds popping up on the Internet I have never seen or heard of.
 
Joined
Sep 20, 2012
Messages
5,377
Reaction score
1,796
Hardiness Zone
7a
Country
Poland
Heirlooms are plants that can replicate themselves from their seeds, year after year without changing and thus you have heirloom seeds. You can buy these seeds once, plant them and then save the seeds that you have grown from now on into the future. Then there are hybrid plants and this is where an easy explanation becomes difficult. Without getting into the science of it, hybrid plants are plants that have been cross pollinated with 2 or more other plants. The seeds from these plants will not come back true like the heirlooms do. There is a LOT more to it than this simple explanation and the science behind it is befuddling at best. Then there are the GMO's, which I won't get into, where the actual DNA of the plant is altered
Thank you so much for the explanation, Chuck. Now it's clear to me:) I thought that all plants can replicate themselves from their seed. Why would anyone grow a plant that can't do it? I don't want any hybrids in my garden.
As for GMO's, I know what is it.
 
Joined
Sep 10, 2014
Messages
2,641
Reaction score
3,692
Location
central Texas
Country
United States
Claudine, before you throw a blanket "I don't want any hybrids in my garden" on your choices, remember that hybrids were developed for a reason. Of course, some were bred so ease of picking and shipping or shelf life would be improved, but there are hybrids that are more disease-resistant, ripen earlier or later, and have better characteristics (thick-walled bell peppers, for example).
We plant heirloom varieties, and also hybrids--depends on what we want or need from the vegetable. Keep your options open, and learn about the variety and what it will do in your garden. Part of the fun of gardening is learning what works for you, and what you like.
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Messages
7,647
Reaction score
3,684
Location
Tarpley Tx
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
Claudine, before you throw a blanket "I don't want any hybrids in my garden" on your choices, remember that hybrids were developed for a reason. Of course, some were bred so ease of picking and shipping or shelf life would be improved, but there are hybrids that are more disease-resistant, ripen earlier or later, and have better characteristics (thick-walled bell peppers, for example).
We plant heirloom varieties, and also hybrids--depends on what we want or need from the vegetable. Keep your options open, and learn about the variety and what it will do in your garden. Part of the fun of gardening is learning what works for you, and what you like.
Hybrids aren't bad. They were "invented" for a purpose. It takes years and years to grow a successful hybrid and in fact all heirlooms were at one time in the distant past a hybrid themselves. Charles Darwin figured it out and scientists and knowledgeable growers have been doing it ever since. Just think, if it weren't for hybrids we wouldn't have any tomatoes at all. All we would have would be the old inedible wild tomatoes
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2014
Messages
66
Reaction score
10
I'm a grower of both the hybrid and heirloom seeds. I actually prefer the heirloom because I wouldn't have to spend more money getting the seeds as I would already have them. Hybrids branch out to all sorts of different plants and that's what we need, a variety.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Mar 26, 2013
Messages
2,735
Reaction score
1,154
Location
Cheshire
Country
United Kingdom
I have a question, but I feel silly asking it. I should already know things like this. Could someone explain me the difference between heirloom seeds and regular seeds?:oops:
As far as I know, the difference is this:
Regular seeds tend to be modern varieties, grown for modern tastes, with modern resistance to modern pests and diseases.
Heirloom seeds are older varieties, which tend not to have quite the same vigour, yield or resistance, but are grown solely for their taste.
They also tend to suit more natural climates, so can be difficult to grow in different climates, like where I live.
 
Joined
Sep 20, 2012
Messages
5,377
Reaction score
1,796
Hardiness Zone
7a
Country
Poland
Thank you all for your responses to my question!:) Now, I feel that I fully understand the diffetrence between those two types of seeds and I'm starting to think that it's good to grow them both:)
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2012
Messages
3,409
Reaction score
1,096
Location
Louisiana
Hardiness Zone
9b
Country
United States
I think heirloom seeds are the best because they are the true plant. Some people may prefer an orange without seeds or a rose without thorns, but that is not what those things were intended to be. I've never been picky about this sort of thing before, but given the choice, I would love the opportunity to preserve heirloom traditions.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Sep 29, 2012
Messages
3,409
Reaction score
1,096
Location
Louisiana
Hardiness Zone
9b
Country
United States
That's not absolutely the case, especially with heirloom tomatoes and potatoes.
It just tends to be the case that they were bred for purpose a long time ago.
Well, everything has to come from somewhere. However, corn is no longer corn, etc. Whatever was indigenously growing in a landscape would have cross pollinated naturally over time even without human interference. We could probably say that nothing is truly an heirloom and that somewhere in history all plants could be related just like humans.
 
Ad

Advertisements


Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top