Seeds are not just seeds.
One of the big distinctions is whether you buy heirloom seeds, regular seeds, or hybrid seeds.
Without going into all the controversial political nonsense that currently surrounds the purchase and use of heirlooms, as a preparedness fan, we decided we wanted to not find ourselves reliant upon the seed companies for providing us with fresh seed each year.
So we chose to start this garden project off using mostly heirloom seeds because with heirlooms you only ever need to buy the seeds once (although the same can also be said for regular non-hybrid seeds). That way, if ever a crisis strikes and the shop-bought seeds suddenly become unavailable, or too expensive, as in the case of hyperinflation, for example, we would have our bases covered.
We have also read from a number of different sources that during times of severe economic depression, these types of seeds could become as valuable as gold and silver! We’re not sure we fully subscribe to that particular theory, but all these factors were enough to convince us that using heirlooms was the way forward and the right thing to do.
However, before we truly learned about the virtues and pleasures of using heirlooms, we admit to having some severely misguided reservations about using them. Why? We very stupidly assumed that if there was a need for F1 seeds, which are guaranteed to be perfect and have high, often 100% germination rates, then everything else compared to them must be inferior, unreliable and generally rubbish!
We guess that’s a living example of what’s known as ‘falling for the marketing hype?’
As a result of this misconception, when we planted our heirloom tomato, chili, bell pepper, and broad bean seeds late last month, we did have an unvoiced presumption that half of them wouldn’t germinate or come up at all.
How wrong could we be! The photo (right) says it all!
These are our seed trays, (photo was taken today March 16th). We planted a single seed in each pod, and virtually every single one has germinated and as you can see is doing superbly, and looking healthy!
The same can be said for the broad beans, which are supposed to give maximum yields of food for the relatively small area they take up. These beans were given to us by a friend. They are 3rd generation heirlooms.
When we looked at them in the envelope, we assumed some, but not all, would germinate.
We planted 17 beans; 9 in a patio container and 8 in a row of seed trays to transplant later into the Square Foot garden.
Every single one germinated and we got 17 healthy and eager-to-grow plants!
We are extremely pleased so far and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend heirloom seeds to anyone.
If for any reason you are subscribed to the misguided belief that heirlooms are somehow inferior, we urge you to reconsider.
However, after saying all that, we should point out that regular non-hybrid seeds are also an excellent choice because the seeds can be saved from them, too. Plus, as the years have gone on, there are now some great varieties available that provide high yields and good disease resistance.