Heirloom Seeds

Discussion in 'Fruit and Veg Gardening' started by muddypaws, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. muddypaws

    muddypaws Seedling

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2011
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Ohio
    Hi stewbies!

    In case there's any newbies doing some vegetables this year, I thought I'd pass along something that I learned. Most of you probably know this but the ones that don't might find it helpful.

    I traded all my hybrid/regular vege seeds for heirlooms since I learned that heirlooms are the ones you can harvest the seed from at the end of the year and grow them again the next year. Apparently the hybrid seeds will give you some unexpected results and won't grow true to the parent plant.

    So for any of you growing from seed and want to harvest them from your veges, Heirloom!

    Any further info on the difference between the heirloom and hybrids would be appreciated.
    Stewbie Muddypaws
     
  2. Loading...


  3. marlingardener

    marlingardener Mighty Oak

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Messages:
    10,804
    Likes Received:
    11,268
    Location:
    Central Texas, zone 8
    Plants that are open-pollinated (noted as OP in many catalogs) will come true from seed. They are not necessarily heirloom varieties, just ones that you can save seed and get the same the next year.
     
  4. Donna S

    Donna S Hardy Maple

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Messages:
    3,319
    Likes Received:
    2,569
    Location:
    Virginia
    Thank you. That was very good advice.
     
  5. Coppice

    Coppice In Flower

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2010
    Messages:
    453
    Likes Received:
    80
    Location:
    SE-OH USAian
    Not to beat up on the term "hierloom", but this naustalgic phrase taken from tomato-fanzines of the eighties, has become much more of a con and hustle, than its original intent ever thought it would garner.

    As an ealier poster notes, the correct phrase is OP, Open Pollinated.
     



    Advertisement
  6. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2011
    Messages:
    9,331
    Likes Received:
    4,837
    I agree with coppice.... and I am not as impressed with the OP fruits as I think I ought to be. I grow both Op and hybrids, I have had better results with the hybrids than OP's. I like to save seeds when I can and I have seen a few video's on returning a hybrid to an OP. If I had a garden where I could do the work I would try it. It takes about 7 seasons to grow a plant back out selecting the best or most desirable traits you are looking for and a bit of room to do it as you will need to grow quite a few of them.

    If I am not mistaking a variety has to be at least 25 YO in order to qualify for heirloom.

    An open pollinated plant is a plant that there was no control on how it was pollinated, but it should come true to the parent plant. This is true for the tomatoes, peppers and eggplants, they are all in the same family. They have what is called a perfect flower. the pollen forms and drops onto the stamen (due to movement of the plant from the breeze) before the flowers open, therefore pollinating itself before any insects or the wind can cross pollinate them. this is why you don't generally see insects buzzing around them in the garden. Cross pollination takes place when the gardener makes the effort to remove the flower petals from the plant before it is open and hand pollinates (with a preselected pollen) the stamen that is exposed. The flower parts that are hand pollinated then get a bag of some kind over it to protect it from any contamination from another flowers' pollen floating in the wind or the insects looking for a drink.
     
  7. rockhound

    rockhound In Flower

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2011
    Messages:
    275
    Likes Received:
    33
    Location:
    Tennessee
    heirlooms

    Just a reminder that open-pollinated plants, be they heirlooms or just old-fashioned will still need to be either grown in isolation or hand-pollinated, especially peppers if you want to be positively sure of parentage. You can cover just a few blooms and let them self-pollinate, then mark them with a piece of yarn after the fruit forms so you know which fruit to save for seeds. OR....you can plant all one variety and somehow get your close neighbors to plant the same. That way any bee-brought pollen will still be the same kind. There are so many seeds in a pepper or tomato you don't need to bag but just a few, but remember not to eat them, lol.
     
  8. Coppice

    Coppice In Flower

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2010
    Messages:
    453
    Likes Received:
    80
    Location:
    SE-OH USAian
    Re: heirlooms

    Tomato are perfect blooming. IMO they need less of this than wind or insect pollinated plants.

    A copy of Seed To Seed by Sue Ashford will be most helpful to new seed savers.

    If Carolyn was less instistant on haggling and had been will to simply accept tomato seeds, back when I still had them to disburse, I think she'd have in hand better OP tomato to trial...
     
  9. mart

    mart Strong Ash

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    5,541
    Likes Received:
    4,013
    Location:
    NE Texas
    I have only tried a few heirloom tomatoes but have not been impressed with any. I cannot tell that the flavor is any better than the hybrids and is less flavorful than most. Did not produce well at all for me. And since I don`t grow my own seedlings , no need to save seed. And truthfully I would kind of miss those super sweet salad size tomatoes that come up from the hybrids that have dropped on the ground.
     
  10. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2011
    Messages:
    9,331
    Likes Received:
    4,837
    Hey coppice, I Hope you weren't offended that I was looking for a specific size and color, not just a color, when I was looking. I never did haggle anywhere for seeds. I ordered the same seeds I always have had for the last 10 years. As a matter of fact, I didn't mean to be obtuse, but I wasn't sure if you were offering me seeds or not. Sorry, my fail. I was under the impression I needed to look at TV for what I was looking for.
     
  11. marlingardener

    marlingardener Mighty Oak

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Messages:
    10,804
    Likes Received:
    11,268
    Location:
    Central Texas, zone 8
    Our open-pollinated (possibly heirloom?) Red and Yellow Pear tomatoes have self-seeded for three years. Last year I noticed they were smaller in size and had fewer tomatoes on the vines. This year I started with fresh seed from a supplier.
    Now, last year was tough with the drought and high temperatures, so that may have been part of the problem. However, I thought perhaps I needed to refresh the genes by introducing new seeds, and thus new plants. Perhaps, even with OP seeds, a gardener needs to introduce a new "line" of parentage once in a while.
     
  12. Coppice

    Coppice In Flower

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2010
    Messages:
    453
    Likes Received:
    80
    Location:
    SE-OH USAian
    Supermans phone booth is bigger than my indoors space here. Mostly I dry seed and ship 'em off to the likes of trudi Davidoffs wintersown.org.

    So due to my limitations, mostly I don't offer seeds from mia casa.

    If thee (or anybody else) wants seeds from me their timing has to be to reply promptly with a snail, or get 'em from Trudi. Sorry no exceptions.

    Yellow pear has apeared in catalogs for at least a century. Inbreeding depression is not often seen in my seed stocks of tomato. Tomato remains a perfect blooming plant.
     
  13. muddypaws

    muddypaws Seedling

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2011
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Ohio
    I am learning alot here! Great stuff!
     
  14. Pricklypear

    Pricklypear Seedling

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2009
    Messages:
    241
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Southern Arizona
    This is an interesting thread. Thanks everyone for your input. I save some seed but not all. My goal is veggies and flowers that can can handle this dang desert heat.

    Every year I save Roma and punta banda tomato seed because they do well for me. If I had to, I could get by with just those varieties. But I also plant Early Girl hybrid tomatoes and I'm trying Super Sioux (hybrid) this year because it's supposed to handle heat. We'll see.

    I planted a hybrid bell pepper, Karma, that grew like gang busters. Then I got heirloom fever and didn't plant any last year. That was a mistake. The OP varieties didn't do nearly as well. So, I'm going plant both this year.

    I have some black-eyed peas (pole type) that the Native Americans plant here. I love that pea and save seed every year.

    I've been saving watermelon seed for several years. They were from the grocery store. My guess is sugar baby but I really don't know. Anyway, they grow every year.

    In this heat, I've learned to go with what grows well. I don't care if it's hybrid or open pollinated although OP is my preference. I figure at $1.00 for one bell pepper, if the hybrid does best I'm planting that.

    Heirloom varieties have been around a long time because people who grow them have good luck with them and like the flavor. I'm not convinced it means superior variety for every gardener.
     
  15. muddypaws

    muddypaws Seedling

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2011
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Ohio
    prickly - that's true. I hadn't thought of the fact that an heirloom wouldn't grow as well as a hybrid. We'll just do the wait and see. I may switch back to the hybrids and buy the seeds each year if that's easier to grow. We'll see.....

    thanks all for the input!
     
  16. Coppice

    Coppice In Flower

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2010
    Messages:
    453
    Likes Received:
    80
    Location:
    SE-OH USAian
    The earliest record of Red Pear was 1863 in Feild and Garden vegetables

    I expect yellow was a later accession.
     

Share This Page