Buying Seeds Online For Your Raised Bed Garden

Buying Seeds Online For Your Raised Bed Garden

Buying Seeds Online For Your Raised Bed Garden 835 627 Eco Garden Systems

Buying Seeds Online For Your Raised Bed Garden? Here are the Pros and Cons of Both Hybrid Seeds and Heirloom Seeds.

In the Garden with Jessica

This snap of chilly, wet Minnesota weather is putting a little allen-sized wrench in my gardening plans. I’ve been lovingly babying my seedlings while they wait to join the great outdoors, and I’m afraid the tomatoes are going to take over my dining room before it’s warm enough for them to go outside. There is a ray of hope to soothe my planting itch—I have a bunch of heirloom seeds I will be direct sowing this week as the temperatures finally rise and it stops raining for a minute (check out this post to see what I’m planting first).

Now, one big question I had when choosing my seeds was: what in the world is the difference between hybrid and heirloom? I noticed that many of our affiliate gardeners use both. And our test gardens for Thursdays with Mother will be planted up with heirlooms this year. Last year, my very first year of gardening, I purchased whatever organic seeds were at my local co-op and small garden center. I now realize they were all hybrids. This year, I wanted to try heirlooms. Ok… so what’s the difference? I put together a definition of each and a list of pros and cons to ease your confusion. I’m here to help our readers learn right along with me, a definitive beginner gardener.

Hybrid Seeds

These seeds are produced through intentional pollination of two different varieties. This is a highly selective process that tries to bring together the best traits of each variety and create a plant with those traits. For example, if you cross a disease-resistant tomato plant with a tomato plant that produces a lot of fruit, you may get a disease-resistant, highly productive tomato – who wouldn’t want that?

ProsCons
Perform betterUnpredictable – Will not produce seeds that will grow the same plant next year – they like to revert to their parent plant.
Produce moreMore expensive
Disease resistantMay produce seeds that do not grow another plant at all
Pest resistantLimited choice of variety

Heirloom Seeds

These seeds are produced naturally, from plants that are open-pollinated by nature (wind, insects) without human intervention. Some have been handed down for many generations. The seeds have been planted time and again for at least 50 years and tend to have the same characteristics each year.

ProsCons
Produce the same plant as the parent plant year after yearSusceptible to disease
Lots of varietySusceptible to pests
Cost savings – you can use the seeds from the plants you grow and save them to use next yearLesser production
Better flavor

I’m excited to see how the heirlooms do compared to the hybrids. The only hybrid seed I have this year is spinach and scallions. Next year, I will probably grow a combination of both, depending on performance. I encourage you to be adventurous with your gardening and try some of both seeds!

Tell us: What are you growing this year?


Buying seeds online? Here are some sources:

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

MIgardener

Renee’s Garden

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