All About Seeds
When we planted our first garden we tried many different varieties to discover what performed well in our garden and what did not.
We use a combination of all seed types except we will not use seed that has been genetically engineered. I buy most of our seed from Johnny Select Seed. The main reason is that you get more seed per dollar spent. Click HERE to access their website.
On another note, while we do plant some hybrid varieties, we always have a wide variety of open polinated seed that is packed for long term storage just in case.
We start most of our transplants from seed in the greenhouse. The main reason is that transplants from the big box stores are expensive and their true source is unknown.
Seed designated by the OG symbol are harvested from plants grown under the strict guidelines required by the USDA's National Organic Program (NOP), and more specifically the laws enacted by the Code of Federal Regulations (which I think is big brother bull sh*t). Organic certifying agencies, government and corporate big money have taken over the organic movement adding cost which hurts the small operator.
To be labeled as certified organic, seeds must have been grown, harvested, stored, and handled in accord with the rules and procedures outlined by the NOP. Certified organic seed cannot contain genetically-engineered traits; must be grown under certified organic conditions using only those inputs, fertilizer, weed, and pest controls are allowed in organic agriculture; and they must be packed in a certified facility.
We do use some organic seed but the majorety is open polinated or heirloom. We will also use some hybred F1 but never GMO seed.
OPEN POLLINATED & HEIRLOOM
Open-pollinated (OP) varieties, which are plants that reproduce themselves through either cross-pollination (via wind, insects, water) or self-pollination (between male and female flower parts within the same flower or separate flowers on the same plant). As long as they are grown properly isolated from other plants of different varieties, plants grown from their seed demonstrate relatively stable traits from one generation to the next.
Among older open-pollinated strains are the varieties we have come to regard as Heirlooms — carefully selected varieties whose seed lines have been maintained and passed down over generations. While the plants of open-pollinated varieties in general are fairly similar to one another, they are not as uniform as those of hybrids, and there can be a tremendous amount of genetic variability among heirlooms.
HYBRED - F1
F1 Hybrid seed is the result of a cross between two genetically distinct parent plant lines. The plants grown from this seed will usually show more vigor than either of the two parent plants, and often more vigor and uniformity than similar non-hybrid (standard) varieties. To create a hybrid (F1), traditional breeding methods are used that involve the cross-pollination of two parent varieties that were selected for specific traits.
Commercially, hybrid seed must be produced by the seed producer each year by crossing the inbred parents. Inbred parents are used because they express characteristics uniformly, and this uniformity is also seen in the F1 hybrid plants, F1 referring to "first filial" or first generation after the cross.
Natural crossing in the field may also result in useful hybrids. However, the F2 or second generation after the cross, grown from seed saved from F1 hybrid plants, will not be uniform, and in fact often will have numerous different types as a result of genetic segregation.
Pelleting is an enhancement that coats the seed with inert substances that render it uniform in size and shape. The pellet coating serves to improve seed visibility, handling, and sowing accuracy at uniform distances (singulation), thereby reducing seed waste and the need for thinning.
You should pay attention plant disease that may be common in your area. This can make control of common plant diseases more manageable.
On another note while we do plant some hybrid varieties we always have a wide variety of open pollinated seed that is packed for long term storage.