The answer to this question depends on who you ask. In general, traditional plant varieties have existed for at least 50 years and are open pollinated, which means that insects and wind are responsible for pollination. Traditional vegetable plants are also stable and consistently produce the same characteristics year after year, so the seeds can be saved for future plantings. Heirloom plants have a lot of advantages.
On the one hand, they have existed forever, which means that they have had centuries to adapt to the environment in which they are cultivated and have built defense mechanisms to defend themselves against insects and diseases. Plants that grow from heirloom seeds are as tough as nails. Years and years of exposure have allowed them to create their own immune system that has allowed them to survive all these years.
Heirloom seedsgrow the same as normal seeds, but they are classified differently in recognition of their history.
For example, if you buy Bonny Best tomato seeds, they are labeled “heirloom” because the variety was originally introduced in 1908 and cultivated, the seeds were saved and passed down from generation to generation. Viveka Neveln is the garden editor at BHG and a licensed horticulturist with extensive experience in gardening who gained more than 3 decades of practice and study. He has more than 20 years of experience writing and editing for both print and digital media. I have been using Heirloom seeds for years and they work wonders as long as you plant A variety of vegetables, alternating each year.
I don't have to worry about genetically modified vegetables on my table when I grow my own from heirloom seeds. Unfortunately, there's no way to know if a seed is a relic just by looking at it or even cultivating it. One of the most important things with Heirloom seeds right now is the possibility of losing those favorite strains. For the classic Beefsteak strain, you can find seeds at several online retailers, such as Baker Creek, Victory Seeds and Tomatofest.
However, if you keep the seeds of those hybrids, the seeds you get won't grow consistently on the same plant. As I understand it, they have genetically modified seeds so that the seeds of their plants do not reproduce. About 10 years ago, I obtained some seeds from Eastern Kentucky that my friends' family had been growing, saving seeds and planting for 200 years. Here's a look at what exactly heirloom seeds are and five reasons they deserve a place in your garden.
In the 1990s, there were pubs that indicated that the goal of GM seeds was to create a self-pollinating and finishing seed. Two carrots will produce enough seeds for more than one season, two ripe tomatoes have enough seeds to share with the whole neighborhood. Open-pollinated seeds are plant seeds that, if self-pollinated or pollinated by the same variety, will produce the exact same variety again.