I am new to veggie gardening. I went to the nursery to buy seeds and found that there were hybrid ones as well. I read about the hybrid seeds in the internet and it is very compelling - seeds resistant to diseases like leaf curl virus, early maturity, good yield, strong fruits, etc
Wondering whether it is safe for us and mother earth to go for these hybrid seeds/plants
Your opinion please?
I am working on a dedicated post on just this topic but I am going to respond here as well.
You have asked a good question that many who walk into my store ask.
Before going in detail, lets get the definitions right. There are two types of seeds open pollinated (OP)seeds and hybrid seeds. Hybrid seeds are those that are a result of cross pollination of two different varieties of the same plant. The first generation (or child) is F1 hybrid. OP on the other hand has its pollination within its own variety and with no human intervention(care is taken that other varieties of the same plant are not grown together).
When a hybrid seed is born, it carries the best of both the parents and there forms a vigor called hybrid vigor which results in better yield, tolerance and growth. When you grow a hybrid seed, you cannot save the seeds from the fruit as it might revert to one of its parent.. or other combinations of the characteristics which the grower/consumer is not interested in.
Hybrid seed is good, If you are going to grow commercially in a large scale. The varieties are bred for long shelf-life and transport friendly(thick skin).It has tolerance to diseases.
Is it safe for us? Yes (again it depends on what characteristics the parent plants posess). Using generally available Hybrid seeds are ok and they don't pose a thread at all. But we might slowly lose all the original varieties that we had and you cannot save your own seeds. If you want to just grow a vegetable and are learning how to grow. using a hybrid to start is good. if you want to try out different varieties of vegetables and try out the flavors. Using an open pollinated/heirloom variety is good. because you can save your seeds and use it the next season.
mother earth has been naturally making so many hybrids over these years..
So to conclude, if you can get access to open pollinated seeds, use them. if not, don't sweat.. start with hybrid seeds to get your gardening going and slowly you can move to saving your own seeds.
oh I almost forgot.. Hybrids are not GM seeds.
hope this helps
Thx GG for the detailed explanation. I believe we will have to be worried only about the genetically modified seeds and not on the Hybrid seeds.
Personally, I vote for the open Pollinated seeds. When there is a human intervention in a creation of a living, it becomes against nature.
As you said, as we start using more of hybrid varieties, we slowly lose the country / hard varieties and the flavours get diminished over the years.
Thank you GG. That was very detailed.
All the hybrid seed sellers that I looked up in the internet talk about growth, resistance, yield, etc but no one seems to have given details about nutritive value of the produce and flavours
So, I am going to be a conservative for the moment and go for normal seeds to start with. Let me see how it goes
RATNESH PRATAP KUSMESH
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