Garden Tips, Tools & Advice
Tools & Resources
By the Editors of Organic Gardening
Heirloom plants are old-time varieties of vegetables that come true from seed. Heirloom plants are most often thought of as old-time varieties of vegetables that come true from seed. That means that theyre open-pollinated, so (assuming you dont plant other cultivars that could cross-pollinate nearby) you can save seed from your plants every year for the following years garden. In addition to wonderful heirloom vegetables, most cottage-garden flowers and herbs fall in this category, too. Of course, many plants have been lovingly passed down through the generations as cuttings, and even the hybrids that replaced most open-pollinated plants in commerce now boast some old heirloom cultivars of their own. But usually, open-pollinated continues to be the hallmark of herbaceous heirloom plants.
If youd like to start growing heirloom plants in your garden, try ordering seed from small specialty seed suppliers that carry old cultivars. Also, you can contact nonprofit organizations that work with individuals to preserve heirloom plants, such as the Seed Savers Exchange. Some gardening magazines also have a seed swap column.
Used by permission. All rights reserved. Organic Gardening/Rodale Inc. For more information, visit: http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/heirloom-plants
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