Hybrid vs. Non-Hybrid Garden Seeds

by Jerry Greenfield

non hybrid garden seed

How does your garden grow?

A lot of conversation has been going on about non hybrid seeds versus hybrid seeds lately , so I thought I would delve into this debate a bit more. Obviously, everything I have to say is based on my own experiences and my own conclusions, but there are definitely some serious scientific facts involved in my conclusions. I encourage all of you to do your own research and experiments to come up with your own views on heirloom versus hybrid.

In my experience, I have had much better results when gardening with non-hybrid seeds. Hybrid seeds, because they have been artificially pollinated to produce certain characteristics, do not save well. The second generation of seeds will not produce a copy of the first generation seed, and most of the time, the seeds are sterile anyways, which means little to nothing will grow.

Because of this, anyone from your simple hobby gardener, all the way up to your professional farmers who have thousands of acres of farmland, must buy new seed every year to plant. In my opinion, it’s a vicious cycle. It just seems like taking one step forward and two steps back: You get one generation of plants with the desired characteristics, but then you cannot save the seeds for the next generation and you have to buy all new seeds to plant the following year.

So, although you may get a higher yield with hybrid seeds (or they may grow faster, or bigger, or whatever), growing with hybrid seeds ends up costing you much more in the long run because you have to keep buying new seed every year. It just seems to make more sense to me to be happy with what nature gives you in the non-hybrid seed (heirloom seed) and to be able to save these seeds year after year.

In addition, let’s also take into account that hybrid seeds are not natural. I am a strong believer that nature is the way it is because it’s supposed to be that way! Heirloom equals natural. Heirloom seeds have been the way of nature since the beginning of time. Why, why, why do we (humans) always insist on messing with nature? Can’t we just be satisfied with what it provides us and leave it at that?

Sorry, I am getting a bit heated! Let me take a deep breath and calm down…better. As I stated above, my views on hybrid seeds are definitely based on my own experiences, but as a survival gardener who has gardened for decades, and always done it naturally, I think I can contribute to the debate with some expertise.

You can agree with me or disagree with me—it’s up to you—but whatever side of the fence you land on, base that decision on your own conclusions. Which means, do your own research, conduct your own experiments, and stick to your seeds!

Tips From A Survivalist On Saving Seeds

Guest post by – Jerry Greenfield

There are no guarantees in this world we live in today. We can’t rest assured that the grocery store will always be there or that its shelves will always be stocked full of food. We can’t count on our local home supply store having rows and rows of different seed packets to choose from if we were to ever need to grow our own food. We need to face the reality that things may “go south”, and if they do, we’ll only be able to count on ourselves, and the skills and knowledge we have acquired, in order to survive.

In this, my first guest blog for TheSurvivalistBlog.net, I’d like to share with you a few tips on how to store your own seeds. These are tricks I’ve picked up from my mother and grandmother, other survivalist and organic gardeners I know or have known in my lifetime, or just simply by me learning the hard way and adapting my methods.

Well, to start with, I just need to say it, don’t use genetically modified seeds in your garden; use heirloom seeds. Humans have survived and flourished for thousands of years planting heirloom seeds, and why we decided to start messing with seeds 40 or 50 years ago is beyond me. If we are ever thrown into a world where we need to grow our own food to survive, trust me, you want plants that are grown naturally and contain the most nutrients. Hybrid seeds, and the plants they produce, have been shown to contain much less nutrition than organically grown plants, and often, they require much more maintenance to grow successfully.

In addition, hybrid seeds can’t be saved. The majority of them turn out to be duds, and when new plant life should be growing in your garden, you’ll be faced with a less than 20% growth rate. Yeah, you may survive that first year, but when year 2 comes along, you’ll be starving.

Now, after your harvest, be sure to save as many seeds as you can—it’s much better to have too many than not enough. Bring your seeds inside and lay them on paper bags in a cool, dry place to draw-out the moisture in the seeds. Okay, done. But here’s where people get stuck: What do you DO with all those seeds? How and where should you store them? How long will they keep?

How should you store them? The best way I’ve come up with is to store them in mason jars. I also have some old baby food jars I use, but those are difficult to find anymore. Either way, a water-tight jar with a secure lid will do the trick. You may even want to purchase some silica packets to throw in with the seeds to draw-out any extra moisture.

My best suggestion as the where to store them is a cool, dry place. Some people will store seeds in the refrigerator or freezer, some people have dry basements or cellars to store them in, and some people have sheds/garages they can store their seeds in. Regardless of where, cool and dry is key. If you choose to store them in your refrigerator or freezer, definitely use the silica packets.

And how long can you keep the seeds? How long will they be viable? It really just depends on the type of seed. What I do is date my seeds so that I know how long they’ve been in the jar. Then, each Spring I plant a handful of each kind from the oldest jars to see if they grow. What I’ve found is that most seeds will last 4-5 years but not much longer.

If you are not already saving seeds, I suggest you start. It does not take much time or energy, and these little seeds could save your life in the future, so it’s completely worth it. I would recommend researching your area to find out what kinds of plants grow best where you live and if the seeds of these plants require any special treatment. Knowledge is the best tool you can have when it comes to survival. Thanks for reading!