Gardening With Heirloom Seeds and Plants
With many struggling through this years restrictions and lock downs, gardening has become a saving grace for a lot of people, myself included. You achieve an even bigger sense of calm and satisfaction when gardening with heirloom seeds and plants, in this article I will explain why.
If you are lucky enough to have an outdoor space, large or small, or indeed an allotment you will have benefited greatly from the time you spent there, tending plants, immersed in Nature and the fresh air.
More and more people, experienced and novice gardeners alike are turning to growing their own delicious fruit and vegetables. Whether this started from needing something to occupy your time, supplement your diet or a wish to avoid going to shops, whatever the reason it’s a growing trend and it’s great to see.
So for beginners there are the usual easy to grow, popular choices of vegetable. Runner beans, potatoes, salads and greens, peas, squash and pumpkins. All of which are pretty fail-safe and fun. Our success rate and amounts of produce we get is what encourages us to experiment with other varieties and types of veg or fruit. Not only growing them for the first time but preparing, cooking and eating something different too is all part of the new experience.
Shops and supermarkets offer fairly limited choices as they are using suppliers that can grow in bulk.
By choosing to grow your own you suddenly have a wealth of options, you can have a go at growing anything that takes your fancy providing you have the correct conditions to do so successfully.
This is where heirloom varieties come into their own, offering more exciting cultivars.
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What Are Heirloom Seeds And Plants?
Heirloom plants, heirloom varieties of fruit and vegetables are old cultivars. They are old varieties of food plants grown by gardeners or farmers. More commonplace in earlier periods of history. They are not used in our modern large scale agricultural settings.
In fact there are, for example, only a few varieties of potato that are commercially grown, however, many other, older and delicious varieties are classed as heirlooms and are available for us to grow at home.
Over years, we have lost some of our heritage fruit varieties such as apples, plums and pears. But we do still have plenty of them to try, thanks to growers who have maintained heirloom fruits through grafting and cuttings and who endeavouring to maintain ancient orchards.
The trend for planting heirloom vegetables and fruit has seen a recent resurgence and hopefully will help us to put tastier and healthier food on our plates.
Right now numerous community gardening groups all over the world are helping to preserve our historic varieties, giving you a bigger choice of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers to grow and enjoy at home.
Orchards are being renovated, budding horticulturists are being taught the value of preserving older cultivars. Seed swaps are also a way of saving these plants and of course community participation is always encouraged and welcomed.
5 Reasons To Grow Your Own From Heirloom Seeds
Plant The Seeds Of History
Heirloom seeds come from plants that have been around for hundreds of years.
Seeds have been saved and handed down through generations, often with an interesting and inspirational story attached. You’re not just growing veg, you are keeping the history of gardening and food production alive.
You Can Keep Growing Heirlooms From Collected Seeds.
Heirloom plants are not hybrids, their characteristics are natural, not helped along by false measures. Pollination by insects and birds means that the seeds you collect to grow another year will grow true to the parent plants.
With hybrids, you have to buy new plants each year.
Grow Organic Plants
Heirloom seeds are often produced organically, meaning that the parent plants are grown in organic soils, and grown in accordance with organic standards. Fertilisers and pest controls are strictly regulated.
Heirloom Seeds Are Non GMO
By growing your plants from heirloom seeds you are guaranteed non GMO produce. This means that your vegetables, fruits or flowers have not been genetically modified in any way.
Heirloom Plants Are Something Special
Farmers and gardeners for centuries have gone to the trouble of preserving heirloom varieties for their flavour, goodness, aesthetics and hardiness. If they thought they were so special to warrant years of care and preservation then they must be worth trying.
Where To Buy Heirloom Seeds
Many online seed and plant merchants carry heirloom or heritage seed varieties.
Seed collections are just a click away, it couldn’t be easier for you to browse and shop online
Etsy have a collection of heirloom tomato seeds
Seeds collections are just a click away.
All of the online garden stores that are included on my website have a selection of heirloom seeds.
OnBuy has a gift collection of Fine heirloom vegetables’, 8 old veggie cultivars presented in a beautiful gift box. Ideal as a holiday gift for friends or family or gift it to yourself, you deserve it. Many more heirloom seeds can be found at great prices at OnBuy.
How To Grow Heirloom Seeds
Heirloom seeds are grown in the same way as any other seeds. Seed packets will usually have details of when to sow, germination requirements and other information as well as when to harvest.
My organic gardening natural no dig way article may be of interest to you for information about this easier, less maintenance and environmentally friendly way of growing veg.
Raised beds are a popular way of adding further planting space to gardens, patios and veg plots, find quality raised beds in this review, 7 Easy assemble gardening raised beds review.
My easy guide How to grow plant seeds 5 Easy Steps will help beginner gardeners to grow your own.
Let’s grow more heirloom vegetables, herbs, fruit and flowers and help to keep these wonderful plants alive. Grow your own and put taste, variety, colour and health on your plates.
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If you have any questions add them to the comments box below and I will reply as soon as possible.
Happy Heirloom Gardening.