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When you shop for vegetable seeds for your garden, there are two main types to choose from: modern hybrids or Heirloom vegetable varieties.
Hybrid seeds are created by crossing two selected varieties to make a plant with some stronger traits, like disease resistance. Usually, hybrid seeds are more expensive because of the years of work that go into development.
Heirloom vegetables are old-time varieties, open-pollinating, and saved and handed down through multiple generations of families. Usually, they cost less than hybrid seeds.
There are 5 essential reasons to choose heirloom seeds for your garden.
Why choose heirloom seeds?
1. Exceptional taste is the No. 1 reason many gardeners cite for choosing heirloom varieties.
A lot of hybrid seeds are lacking in the taste of their produce. They have been bred to grow fast and identical to each other but the taste has not been an important factor. Instead of old-time juicy, tangy produce, they taste like cardboard. They are bred to be picked green and gas-ripened because that’s what was needed for commercial growing and shipping.
2. Heirloom vegetables are likely to be more nutritious than newer varieties.
Recent research has revealed that in many cases, newer vegetables and grains are significantly less nutritious than heirlooms.
3. Heirloom open-pollinated vegetables are almost always less expensive than hybrids.
On top of that, if you save your own seeds, the price drops to zero for the heirlooms.
Seeds are not cheap and if you save seed, you only pay for it once. Another lovely benefit is that the plants adapt to your garden’s conditions. If you grow several plants of one type each year and continuously save seed only from the best performing plant, you will develop a unique strain that is resistant to the pests and disease in your area and is adapted your soils and your climate. Seed saving can be tricky so stay tuned for my post on how I save my seeds.
5. Heirloom plants have variety.
Heirloom plants with all grow at slightly different paces so some will be ready sooner than others. Most people prefer tomatoes to ripen over time, so we have time to eat and preserve them. Fifty pounds of tomatoes all at once is just a pain in the ass.
So these are the reasons why I choose to use heirloom seeds in my garden. What are your favorite seeds to plant in your garden? Let me know in the comments below!