What are the advantages and disadvantages of heirloom varieties?

So what are the advantages and disadvantages of the heirloom versus hybrid seeds and plants? Heirloom plants are open-pollinated plants, which brings great benefits to the gardener. Open-pollinated plants mean that the seeds of the product can be saved season after season and that the plants that grow from these seeds are faithful to the parent plant. There are a few good reasons to consider planting heirloom seeds in your garden. Don't settle for grocery store product uniformity when you can grow your own more nutritious and tastier varieties.

Heirloom seeds are a true to type vegetable that allows you to save seeds and that adds one more way to break free from the standard system to your list. A disadvantage of using heirloom seeds is the labor-intensive care required. Collecting relic seeds should be a labor of love and it's not for everyone. I have been using Heirloom seeds for years and they work wonders as long as you plant A variety of vegetables, alternating each year.

One of the most important things with Heirloom seeds right now is the possibility of losing those favorite strains. Heirloom seeds have been selected as the best in a crop and then passed down from generation to generation. Growing traditional plants is a fascinating hobby, and experimenting with unusual plants is interesting; however, if you are looking for high-quality, reliable products that don't require much effort, you may decide that the disadvantages of planting relics outweigh the benefits. This is a group in Santa Cruz, CA, that has an absolutely HUGE selection of organically grown tomato seeds and lots of relics.

There are now places that have established Heirloom Seeds online trading for just the cost of shipping. Finally, you have your heirloom seeds; these seeds aren't altered in a laboratory or cross-pollinated for specific results. Heirloom plants are more susceptible to viral, fungal, and bacterial infections and other challenges such as underwatering, which can easily damage the health of the plant or even kill the Heirloom plant. Heirloom plants have some pros and cons, including that heirloom plants taste better and tend to be more nutritious and mature in batches, but they also produce fewer products and are more sensitive to pests, diseases and the environment, to name just a few.

I don't want to get to the conspiracy theory, but there are only a couple of huge companies that produce ALL the seeds in those little packages to plant (they've been genetically altered while the relics remain pure). I also like to offer a lot of variety to my farmers' market customers and discover that heirloom seeds offer that variety. Creating a heirloom that fits your particular garden perfectly can take years of saving seeds and planting them.

Erika Shipley
Erika Shipley

Subtly charming beer nerd. Extreme internet specialist. Devoted travel junkie. Proud coffee maven. Friendly problem solver.