Thursday, June 11, 2009

Adventures in seed buying....

Well, went out some time last week to purchase more seeds. What I found out:

---Apparently, there is a difference between "organic" and "heirloom" seeds. Since I was lookng at a single brand at the time, the most striking difference I was able to detect was the difference in color on the packaging.... :) Well, I did manage to purchase the last heirloom package of pumpkin seeds that I saw, and that was truly what I was after, so mission accomplished.

---The seeds I saw that were marked "organic", "heirloom", or otherwise were remarkably well labeled by that company. Otherwise, labeling was hard to impossible to find. There were the occasional packages that were clearly marked as hybrids, but if memory serves, for the most part there was some kind of name or number on the package, and no indication of whether the seeds were hybrid or not. There was plenty of information on how, when, etc. to plant the seeds, but no indication if the resulting plants would have seeds you could use to grow the same kind of plants next year. Either they have a code I just plain don't understand, or they don't feel it necessary to share such information with the general seed-buying population. When I give them the benefit of the doubt, it is probably just a case of me needing to find more information...

---Just because someone is working in the gardening section of a store, it doesn't mean that they know if seeds are non-hybrid or not either. Asked someone there, and they had no idea, making me feel better about myself information-wise, but also leaving me unclear on whether or not the cucumber seeds I was purchasing were exactly what I wanted. Oh well. We can grow cucumbers this year, but I'll have to look elsewhere for non-hybrid seeds for storage.

Do you have seeds? When I saw the packages from the company previously mentioned that were clearly marked "heirloom", I actually picked up a couple of seed varieties that we don't usually grow just so we would have some on hand. I don't know if we will end up using them this year, but it's good to have them and not need them than the other way around. (Seems like I've written that before. Quite possibly more than once... :)

We got our corn and beans in in between rain showers, but still have quite a ways to go to finish planting our garden. Hope everyone else's gardens are prospering....


Anonymous said...

Heirloom seeds are specific breeds of plants that have been passed down that are good quality. Non-hybrid means you can reuse the plant's seeds to grow more plants. Organic seeds have to come from organically grown crops to be certified organic.

Hope this helps!

Kentucky Preppers Network

Anonymous said...

I have been on an Heirloom seed quest for the last year or so. I have been to many internet sites who sell pre packaged collections of seeds for outragious amounts of money and then add frieght costs. I have been to regular seed company websites and finding heirloom seeds is truely frustrating and then expensive. I have been to my local Amish greenhouses to find that they sell more hybreds than the mainstream seed houses.

I have come to the conclution that you have to buy what you can when you find it and can afford it. I cannot see how many internet sites can justify $100 for 20 packs of seed.

Just my humble opinion.

Carl in Wisconsin

Marie said...

MatthiasJ--I am hoping that heirloom means that they are also non-hybrid, or I may have been wasting my money. I didn't know the distinction of organic seeds, so I appreciate all the information--and thanks for taking the time to comment!

Carl--Hard to believe (to me at least) how hard it really is to find anything clearly marked at all. I haven't checked out the internet deals very much because they are above my price range, and it does seem like a lot of the seeds are really expensive for what you get. Like I said above, I really hope that heirloom also means non-hybrid, because it's what I've been able to find....thanks very much for your comment!