The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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p34_n09_COLOR_SeedsFrom years of experience I have found it’s best to wait until the end of March or the beginning of April to start my vegetable and flower seeds. Earlier seed-starting only promotes leggy plants. Please read about the following different seed types:

Genetically Modified Organism seeds (GMO) have been genetically altered/engineered in a lab setting somewhere and have had specific changes introduced into their DNA by applying genetic engineering techniques. Gardeners who buy GMO seeds are not able to save and plant the seeds after harvest. They must buy seeds every year, thanks to large corporations such as Monsanto. This is bad, and uglier than that: Experts state that GMO products are likely to cause harm — both to your environment and your health. So one has to play detective in order to determine whether or not seeds or food items have been genetically altered. Also, more than 60 countries have mandatory GMO labeling for food items, but NOT the USA.

Heirloom seeds appear to be open to debate, but some would advocate that any seed that has been passed down for generations, usually for 50+ years, is called an heirloom seed. Heirloom seeds are also non-hybrid and open-pollinated. The bad part about heirloom plants and fruits is that they often split, aren’t that hardy and are not always pretty in appearance.

Hybrid seed varieties means the seed has been cross-bred with another variety to try to enhance its results. For instance, one might cross breed it with another variety that has disease resistance which is a good thing. Keep in mind, we cannot count on expecting the same results each year when saving and planting hybrid seeds because they often revert back to their wild parent.

Non-hybrid seeds have not been ‘crossed’ with any other strain. Non-Hybrid seeds are the most natural and purest form of seed that can be found. Anyone can save the seeds after each harvest and be assured they will grow the same every time. This is a good thing!

Open-pollinated means the plants are pollinated by insects, bees, birds, wind and other natural ways. The good thing with open-pollinated plants is that they will continue to reproduce new generations of those plants.

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