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A lot of you are looking to start a garden. Or maybe you already have, but are just looking to learn more to improve your gardening skills and build your knowledge.

Some of you have heard about heirloom and organic seeds. But what is the difference between the two? And why does it matter? Does one grow better than the other?

Read on to find out…

What is an Heirloom Seed?

It’s a seed that’s open-pollinated, non- GMO (genetically modified organism) that’s harvested after the plant flowers or “goes to seed”.

They get the name heirloom seeds, as you may have guessed, from the fact that they are harvested from the plants and then used to produce more plants and then you’d use the seeds from the plants that grow from them and so on, rather than buying new seeds every year.

They are handing down the seeds to produce the same crop of plant every year.

What are Organic Seeds?

Organic seeds are also non-GMO and open-pollinated. They’re also not exposed to synthetic pesticides or fungicides.

They don’t necessarily come from the same plant or plants, so they may or may not also be heirloom seeds.

Heirloom seeds can also be considered organic. As long they’re not exposed to synthetic pesticides or fungicides…

So, how can you tell the difference? Of course, you could harvest them yourself from a family farm or your own.

Or you can buy from a reputable garden centre, company online or local farmer, if that’s an option to you.

Why Does it Matter?

It matters if you want a consistent crop of plants. As I mentioned earlier, with heirloom seeds you’re harvesting seeds that have the same genes and passing them on, so future plants will have the same genes.

If you’re not concerned about this, then organic seeds are still a great option and generally easier to get upfront.

Does One Grow Better Than the Other?

Not necessarily, but because you know what to expect with the original crop, heirloom seeds are more predictable than seeds that aren’t.

Whether you choose organic or heirloom seeds, you’re making a great choice to become to more self-sufficient and feed yourself and your family healthy, sustainable food.

What’s important is that you’re using viable seeds. If you’ve just harvested or bought them, you likely don’t have to worry about this.

If you have seeds that have been sitting around for a while, you might want to check them.

You can check your seeds by putting them in a glass jar or cup and seeing which seeds sink and float.

The seeds that float are no longer viable and the seeds that sink are still viable.

You can also place the seeds in a baggie with a moist paper towel to see which seeds germinate.

Watering your seeds every day after they’re planted is crucial for the first week. You don’t want them to dry out, but you also want drainage, so they don’t rot.

And, this may sound really obvious, but healthy soil is also really important. It doesn’t matter how fresh your seeds are if the soil doesn’t have the nutrients they need.

Happy Gardening!