Which Seeds Do I Buy?

Which Seeds Do I Buy?

Hi folks

I’ve put together a really short blog to talk about seeds and which ones to buy and use when growing vegetables for your garden.

With the advancement of technology and increasing numbers of global population, food growers are constantly devising more efficient and reliable methods of growing food on a commercial scale to meet demand.

Much of the food we buy from the supermarket shelves has either come from a Cross pollinated plant or genetically modified plant in some way.

For many of us, this is a concern and prompts questions such as, “what chemicals are in the food”, “are they safe to eat”, “what health concerns are associated with these growing methods”, and so on.

The fact is, much of the food we buy from supermarkets lacks the nutrients our bodies need. This is primarily due to synthetic chemicals used to control pests and aid in fertilisation due to the plants being grown in poor soil, or demand is so high the plant needs accelarant to meet deadlines.

Sadly though, consumerism is an addiction, its convenient, often cheaper, more efficient than say growing your own food. Besides, many of us simply don’t have the space to grow enough food to feed our family, yet alone ourselves. Inevitably, it’s no wonder we feel trapped in a perpetual cycle.

It is unfortunate, however, that its a catch 22 situation. One must feed oneself, but in the process, we find ourselves at the mercy of those who effectively control what we eat, and what’s in the food we eat. The solution is undoubtedly to grow your own, space and resources permitting.

Which Seeds Do I Buy?

So How Do I Know What Seed To Buy?

There are many varieties of seeds on the market and it can get a little confusing, so here’s a quick rundown.

F1 Seeds

“First Child Seeds”, also referred to as F1, or Filial 1, “F1 hybrid”,. is the term used for the first generation hybrid seed/plant that occurs following the successful cross-pollination of one genetically uniform plant variety with another specific genetically uniform variety.

Can I Grow Plants From The Seeds of an F1 Grown Plant?

Do not save seeds from F1 or hybrid plants if you want to be certain that the plants grown from the seed will be the same as their parents. Plants that grow from seed saved from hybrid plants generally are less vigorous, more variable, and usually have smaller blossoms and yield less than their parents.

What Are the Benefits of An F1 (hybrid) Seed?

An F1 seed is commonly used for. commercial food growing to provide a uniformed shape and consistency, thus reducing waste through quality control. Consumers have becoming fussy, demanding their vegetables maintain a consistent appearance and often get disgruntled when they see “wonky” veg, or veg with imperfections. The F1 Hybrid seed provides consistency.

Generally, F1 Seeds require less fertilisation or pesticides and are more reliable growers, hence why they are the preferred choice for commercial growers. However, they are not sustainable.

Typically, all plants produced for the supermarket shelves are F1 varieties, which is why when you try to grow again from the seed you save, you have poor results, often indicated but smaller fruit and veg along with peculiar shapes being produced.

This is often enough to discourage garden home growers, as they become disheartened. However, it is not their lack of skill, it is more the lack of knowledge regarding the F1 seed that is within our commercially produced food, so don’t give up, just buy heritage or heirloom seeds if you want to save seeds to replant again and again.

Cross pollinated seeds (F1 hybrids) are not ideal for the home grower who wants to harvest seeds for the following season.

Which Seeds Do I Buy?

Heirloom (Heritage) Seeds

Heirloom, native or heritage seeds, as they’re also known as, are seeds that have been collected, saved and passed down many generations. Some heirloom or heritage seeds may have been passed down for more than 100 years. They are the most purest of seeds.

Heirloom and Heritage seeds are often more valuable and sometimes hard to source than other seeds. They are seeds that have been passed from one generation to another and are valued for their flavour, size and form, making them especially popular with small gardens and home growers as well as prized vegetable growers.

Open-Pollinated is another term often used with the heirloom variety. Open-Pollinated can be saved and grown each year, mimicking the original plant from which the seeds were harvested, unlike F1, which doesn’t mimick the plant from which the seeds have been harvested.

GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) Seeds

GMO seeds have undergone DNA modification to control pests for example. It may be that GMO seeds have been altered to be more resilient to pests. As an example, some corn has been genetically modified to incorporate herbicides within the root structure.
GMO seeds are used all over the world to grow commercial crops. Some of the chemicals used in GMO seeds can cause harm to wildlife and humans.

Can F1 Seeds Be Classed as Organic?

Taste, nutritional value, purity and texture are some of the most motivating factors for consumers when choosing organic vegetables. However, as far, as we can ascertain, no F1 hybrid variety is classed as organic.

Despite this, one may argue with the definition of organic. Organic grown food has to meet strict standards and assessments, from the condition of the soil to the way in which the plant is grown, i.e. Without the use of herbicides, pesticides or weedicides.

Some may say. that an F1 seed can be grown organicly but the fact it has been artificially cross pollinated to begin with would have many argue that fact it should ever be classed as organic. Besides, F1 is a cross breed of two plants, therefore you could argue that its purity alone would discredit it from being named organic.

Conclusion.

To summarise then, F1 Seeds are hybrids, cross pollinated from two varieties that simply can’t reproduce the same form, nutrient value, or yield the same as either of the parent plants.
These seeds are best for planting once and not suitable for harvesting seeds.

Heritage, heirloom or native seeds are best for home growers who want flavour and nutrient rich plants where the seeds can be harvested and the promise of another bumper crop the following season is highly likely (assuming the conditions are right!). They are also useful for sustainable environments or where the owner of the land is striving for a self-sufficienct lifestyle.

GMO Seeds are genetically mofidifed, there DNA has been altered and may even have had synthetic treatments to help them become more resilient to pests or poor performing soils that lack nutrients. These seeds are usually used for commercial use and should not be used as they can pose a health risk.

Our advice would be to source heritage seeds. Unless of course you intend to grow food for a community food project or for resale/profit, then F1 (cheaper) seeds may be suitable.

Click here to buy heritage seeds.

Links on this page may take you to affiliate pages where we will earn a very small commission. 

2 thoughts on “Which Seeds Do I Buy?

  1. John M says:

    I made the mistake last year of growing food from seeds of the veg we bought at the supermarket. The bell Peppers looked more like pieces of coal in shape and the inside was fury, almost like polystyrene. Lesson learnt! Great website by the way, very interested to know how much you charge for designing a small garden approx. 15x20m??

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