Heirloom or Hybrid: What’s in My Seed Packet?

pepper and seedsSelecting new seeds to buy each year is an exciting activity. Whether choosing vegetables or flowers, there is more to our selection process than falling for a pretty picture. Does it matter if the seed is an open-pollinated variety or a hybrid? Can you grow a hybrid variety from saved seed? To understand differences among types of seeds, you need to understand how the mother plant was pollinated. Here are a few things to think about when you purchase seeds.

Open-pollinated plants may be self-pollinated, like snap beans, or pollinated by natural means – insects, butterflies, hummingbirds, wind, etc. – and then produce seed that will grow into plants very similar to the mother plant. If you buy seeds for an open pollinated plant, then you will be able to save seeds from the plants you grow and you won’t need to buy new seeds each year to grow the same great plants.

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