Choose Heirloom Seeds When Planting Your Garden

When planting your garden this spring, one of the most important things to consider is the kind of seeds you choose to plant.  Below you will find information about the 3 basic types of seeds and why heirloom seeds are a great choice.

choose Heirloom seeds 3

  1. First generation hybrid seeds {F1 hybrids} – These are the most common seeds sold by multinational seed companies.  These seeds have been hand-pollinated and are almost always sterile.  This means that you cannot save the seeds from the plants that are grown, but are dependent on the seed companies to supply seeds for your garden year after year.
  2. Genetically engineered – Some seeds sold at the stores are not only hybrid but are genetically engineered.  The DNA of genetically engineered seeds have been altered for specific needs.  For instance, fish genes have been spliced into strawberries and tomatoes to make them more tolerant to frost.  These alterations result in species mutation, and create food that God never intended the human body to consume.  Studies show that foods grown from genetically engineered seeds can create allergies and are harmful to the heart, spleen, adrenal system, and blood cells.  {Source: Seeds of Deception}
  3. Heirloom seeds – Heirloom seeds are pure, open-pollinated, non GMO, and originate from hundreds of years ago.

What about organic seeds?

Organic seeds are healthier than typical seeds at the store because they are guaranteed not to be genetically engineered.  They are, however,  still hybrid unless they say “heirloom” on the packet.  This means they are most likely hand-pollinated and sterile.  If you desire to save your seeds, the non-heirloom, organic seeds cannot be saved and used for your next planting season.    I believe the best tasting, healthiest seeds are not just organic, but heirloom!  This is not to say that I never buy organic seeds; I just strive for the heirloom when at all possible.

disclaimer Here are 5 reasons to choose heirloom seeds:

Health and Safety

Heirloom seeds are guaranteed not to be genetically modified.  They have not been tampered with and therefore give no cause for health concern. They contain all the nutrition they were created to have. 

Better Taste

Most gardeners who grow heirloom plants do it for the taste!  When plants are pollinated by nature, the resulting tastes are unique and delicious.  There is nothing like eating fresh produce that tastes the way it is intended to!


Imagine never having the need to purchase seeds again!  Heirloom seeds can save a lot of money in the long run if you save the seeds from your plants and use them year after year.  My favorite books on this subject are The Complete Guide To Saving Seeds and Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners.

Better Variety

Hybrid plants have smaller, limited variety, while the variety of heirloom seeds can be astounding!  For instance, there are over 17,000 apple varieties and about 5,000 different kinds of tomatoes available in heirloom seeds!

Preserving History

Heirloom seeds have been passed on to us from generations past.  When using these seeds, we are planting what our grandparents planted, preserved, and passed down to us; heirloom seeds are a part of our hard-working farming forefathers.  We will lose this piece of history if heirloom seeds are not used by us and passed down to generations after us.

Wondering where to buy heirloom seeds?

Last spring I saw some heirloom varieties at Lowe’s, so check your local stores for possibilities.

Some online resources:

Even Amazon now sells them!

Baker Creek Seeds

Seed Savers Exchange

Eden Brothers

Sustainable Seed Company

Annie’s Heirloom Seeds

Here are other articles that you may be interested in:

7 Medicinal Herbs to Grow in Your Garden    Plants that Can Help Improve Your Health
   10 Herbs that Repel Garden Pests


Do you plant heirloom seeds? What are your favorites to grow?

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