Organic Vegetable Seeds

Open Pollinated and Heirloom Varieties

Organic vegetable seeds that are open pollinated and have one thing in common, if you save your own seeds from the offspring they will be true to type. That is if you save seeds from an open pollinated Beefsteak Tomato, the seeds you plant the following year will be the same Beefsteak Tomato you planted the previous year.

Heirloom varieties are open pollinated but were developed many years earlier, with many heirloom varieties developed over 100 years ago. The advantage of heirloom varieties is that they have been selectively bred for many characteristic, such as taste, color, climate, and growth habit and insect and disease resistance.

The Problem with Hybrid Vegetables

I recommend avoiding hybrid varieties completely and instead use organic vegetable seeds that are open pollinated. Hybrids will not grow true to type if you save the seeds and plant them. In fact, you have no idea what you will get planting seeds saved from hybrids. If you rely on hybrid seed, you'll to be dependent on the seed company for your seed source.

Modern store-bought hybrid varieties lack taste (my opinion) and are developed for shipping (hard). An example would be modern tomatoes. I personally dislike store-bought tomatoes, because they’re hard and tasteless (and who knows what pesticides were used). Nothing like the tomatoes, my grandmother grew from vegetable seeds she saved each year. For me, the difference is night and day.

NOTE: You'll know if a particular vegetable variety is a hybrid, because seed companies are required by law to label the name vegetable with "Hybrid" or "F1". So if the seed variety has the word Hybrid or F1 in it or next to it, then you know it’s a hybrid.

Fun with Hybrid Vegetables

On the positive side you can de-hybridize your favorite vegetable hybrid variety and create your own open pollinated variety. This is explained in detail by Carol Deppe in her FANTASTIC and inspirational book Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties.

The Following Sources Provide Open Pollinated and Heirloom Vegetable Seeds

Organic Gardening Information eStore

Organic Gardening Information eStore

Gurney's Seed

Gurney's Seed and Nursery provides you with fruits, vegetables and flowers since 1820. They have been around a long time! They have many very good planting and care guides. Check out the wide variety of vegetable seeds at their website.
Native Seeds/SEARCH Native Seeds/SEARCH conserves, distributes and documents the adapted and diverse varieties of agronomical seeds, their wild ancestors and the role these seeds play in cultures of the American Southwest. They promote the use of these ancient crops and their wild ancestors by gathering, preserving, and distributing their seeds to gardening and Farming communities.
Bountiful Gardens Bountiful Gardens provides awesome seeds that are untreated, open-pollinated and non-GMO of heirloom quality for vegetables, herbs, flowers, grains, green manures, and compost and carbon crops. They are able to offer numerous varieties as Certified Organic, Biointensive, Natural or Grow BiointensiveTM sustainable seed.

Return to Growing Organic Vegetables from Organic Vegetable Seeds


Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.
Share this page:
Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.