If you aren’t familiar with heirloom gardening, now is the perfect time to learn. Heirloom gardening requires planting only heirloom variety plants. Heirloom plants are planted by seeds that have been passed down and grown from generation to generation, although the definition may vary for some. The opposite of heirloom planting is modern hybrid planting. Heirloom plants and seeds are different from modern hybrid plants and seeds because they are open-pollinated, true breed, and they can be saved by the gardener from year to year. As a gardener, you may want to grow heirloom, and here are 5 important reasons why you should.
- Seed Preservation
Like I mentioned above, heirloom seeds can be saved year after year, but you cannot do this with seeds that come from hybrid plants. By saving and storing seeds grown from heirloom plants, you are ensuring seed protection and preservation for generations to come.
Because you can save the seeds from heirloom plants year after year, that means that you may never have to purchase them. Unlike hybrid plants, the seeds can be stored and used more than once, which is less expensive than having to buy seeds every time you garden.
Not only is growing heirloom plants a wonderful way to preserve seeds and save money, it is also super sustainable. You can produce your own seeds and continue to grow them for generations naturally, without relying on the need to purchase seeds. At Basmati.com, we’re all about sustainable gardening!
Before the world was overcome with mass production in industrial agriculture, there were more plant varieties to choose from. Heirloom plants are more diverse, and they yield more of a plant variety then hybrid ones. Hybrids are grown mainly for mass production, which is why there are not very many different, unique varieties.
- Natural Strength
When you grow heirloom plants that are specifically meant to be grown in the region you are growing them, they usually have built up a natural resistance to the things in their environment—like pests and diseases. Heirloom plants are often able to strongly withstand on their own naturally, without the need of artificial interferences.
Heirloom gardening is not just important for today’s gardeners, it’s essential for future gardeners as well. If you are interested in growing an heirloom garden, you can check out a guide list of heirloom vegetable and fruit varieties grown in the U.S. on the USDA website. You can usually find heirloom seeds at farmer’s markets, seed libraries, local gardening stores, from local gardeners or farmers, and even online. I recommend starting out by planting only a few heirloom varieties at first, storing the seeds, and then building your seed bank from there.
Stay tuned for more organic home gardening tips and ideas!