Hybrid Seeds vs Heirloom Seeds
Heirloom vegetables are not a certain species of plant. The term “heirloom” is used to describe a vegetables whose seeds have been saved and grown for a number of years and is passed down by the gardener that preserved it. It has a provenance, of sorts. To be capable of being saved, all heirloom seed must be open pollinated.
Hybrid vegetables are the result of cross breeding compatible types of plants to create a plant with the best features of both parents. These are called hybrids and many of our modern vegetable plants are the results of this process.
Hybrids may have features like shorter grow time, be larger than normal or even be resistant to heat or drought. While hybrids sound like the clear winner, their seeds may not grow true and may give you unpredictable or undesirable results. I have also heard that some of these hybrids have been engineered to produce sterile seeds, seeds that will not sprout or grow.
The last thing I want to do in a post-shtf scenario is to waste time planting and tending to seeds that will never grow, will grow but not ever produce a harvest or will product a harvest but will be the most horrid fruits or vegetables ever.
Where do I stand on the great Hybrid Seeds vs Heirloom Seeds debate?
I stand in the middle.
Let me be clear, there’s a method to my madness here.
While times are good and we live in a normal world, I will grow hybrids from seeds or buy hybrid seedlings. This assures me a predicable bountiful harvest every year so I can can or dry my extra fruits and veggies.
I do keep a very large supply of a variety of heirloom vegetable seeds on hand and ready, so that if the world falls apart, I can start growing my heirloom veggies and using the seeds of my harvested vegetables year after year.
If you decide to follow this same path, you need to practice growing heirloom seeds for a few years before you can safely count on using them after a world changing event.
Growing plants from heirloom seeds doesn’t ever seem as easy as it is to grow hybrid veggies. Heirloom seeds do have a trade off, for that extra hard work, it’s the bountiful amount of seeds you can reuse year after year after year after year. Be sure to keep this in mind when having the Hybrid Seeds vs Heirloom seeds debate in your mind.