Tomatoes. Heirloom, Hybrid, or GMO?
Heirloom, Hybrid, or GMO?
How well do you know your tomato varieties? Do you understand the differences between heirloom, hybrid, or GMO seeds and starts? Read on to learn about each type so you know what to look for the next time you are shopping for your edible garden.
Non-hybrid seeds, also sometimes known as heirloom seeds, are seeds that produce plants which are usually true to the parent plants since there has not been any blending of genes. Heirloom seeds have kept their traits through open-pollination. There are different schools of thought, but heirloom cultivators are anywhere from 50–100 years old.
Hybrid seeds are a result of special “breeding” techniques. In other words, these seeds have been deliberately crossed with two different parent varieties. The advantages of using hybrid seeds are that the resulting plant and fruit is often stronger and more resistant to disease. The fruit of the plant tends to be more uniform in shape, ripen at the same time, may stay fresh longer after harvest, and sometimes can be harvested early.
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can be defined as organisms in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally. With a long list of pros and cons about GMOs, Green Acres Nursery & Supply only carries hybrid and heirloom varieties of seeds and starts.