We preserve the antiques in museums, the fascinating old craftwork or delicately painted china, not just for their material or form but for the sense of history that clings to these old artefacts. These old antiques warm our imagination and give us a sense of belonging. Well, this stands true of heirloom plants too.
Here's what the heirloom seeds are and the reasons why you should be growing them in your gardens.
A little about heirloom seeds
A seed variety that has existed for more than 50 years is typically considered to be an heirloom. On the other hand, some green thumb owners classify seeds cultivated before World War II as heirlooms. Either way, as the name indicates, heirlooms are the seeds that have been around for a long time.
The heirloom seeds have special characteristics that are desirable in plants. Gardeners have been saving these seeds and handing them down through the generations to ensure that these unique plants stay around for coming years.
Heirloom seeds are open-pollinated, which means that, unlike hybrid seeds, they will produce plants with most of the characteristics of their parent plant.
Benefits of using heirloom seeds in your gardens
History of heirloom plants
So far, we have established that the heirloom seeds are old and carry interesting history. Heirloom Tomatoes, Kajari Melons, Purple Radish, and many more heirloom varieties are available out there.
Thanks to the gardeners who have been preserving these unique plant seeds and passing them down through generations. Plus, you get to grow these desirable plants in your gardens and boast about the rich history associated with them.
Heirlooms have passed the test of time
If a seed is being passed down through generations, you have to know it is special. The quality, flavour, hardiness, and beauty of these plants are exceptional. These heirloom seeds have passed several quality tests and do well in your gardens.
For instance, heirloom tomato seeds are prized for their deliciousness and flavour, whereas other tomato varieties are not as flavorful. Heirloom seeds also help in preserving biodiversity. These heirloom seeds provide us with options for raising the healthiest and most productive crops, in turn, it creates a secure and sustainable food system.
Heirloom seeds are GMO-free. In other words, heirlooms are not genetically modified - their DNA has not been artificially changed with the genes of other unrelated species. For instance, GMO tomatoes have genes from other plants to help them grow. But that's not the case for heirloom seeds.
Open-pollination property of heirloom seeds
Heirloom seeds are open-pollinated. Open pollination is a process in which the pollen is released on the ground via birds, breeze, or insects. These seeds then grow into plants they came from, having the same characteristics as their parent plant. So, you end up growing the same variety of plants using the seeds collected from the parent plant. The produce from openly-pollinated heirloom seeds also tends to be much more flavoursome and tastier than hybrids.
Whereas, if you grow hybrid plants, the pollination process won't produce a plant with the exact same characteristics. If you want to grow that variety another time, you'll have to buy new seeds instead of growing seeds saved from the plant.
Heirloom vs Regular Market Seeds
The seeds available in the markets, generally hybrid seeds, are produced for large-scale commercial production and profitability.
Hybrid seeds are the cross produce of heirloom seeds, the results are usually different than expectations. It is like a gamble that can be either good or bad. The GMO (genetically modified seeds) are created in a lab where the DNA of the seeds is altered to make them more resistant and disease-free.
Heirloom seeds produce a diverse variety of greens with sharp flavours, rich nutrition and have been revered for generations. So, which one should you choose for your gardens? Heirlooms or hybrids? It's a polarizing question. Well, the answer is simple. Heirloom seeds are certainly a superior choice for a home gardener over hybrid seeds.
Open up a world of rich flavours and unique colours with these tried-and-true varieties of heirloom seeds. Grow plants with unique characteristics that make them the treasures they are. Bring home the rich heirloom seeds from AllThatGrows and start your gardening journey today!