Heirloom vs Hybrid vs GMO: Know Your Seeds!
There are several types of gardening seeds available in the market today, so it’s easy for a new gardener to get confused.
The three most popular kinds are heirloom seeds, hybrid seeds, and GMOs.
Learn the basic definitions as well as the pros and cons of these three seed types now so you can decide which one is most ideal to plant in your home garden.
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They are typically open to debate, but some would argue 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.
When someone talks about a hybrid seed variety it typically means the seed has been cross-bred with another variety to try and enhance its results. For example, one might try and cross breed it with another variety that has disease resistance. The problem with hybrid seeds is that when a gardener tries to save the seeds from that variety it typically reverts back to its wild parent and will never really know what will grow.
Genetically modified seeds have been genetically altered/engineered in a lab somewhere and have had specific changes introduced into their DNA by applying genetic engineering techniques. The interesting thing about GMO seeds is that gardeners are not able to save the seeds after harvest and must buy seed every year from large seed corporations, such as Monsanto.
For more information about these three seed types, view this special infographic below: