Seed catalogues for dummies: Everything gardeners need to know about hybrids, heirlooms and GMOs

| | February 14, 2017
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Nurseries, home improvement stores and even grocery stores may have racks of seeds available when it’s time to start gardening, but there’s nothing like looking through seed catalogs, especially when it comes to choosing edibles.

These catalogs can also be filled with abbreviations and jargon. If you’re new to this, don’t despair. This information is pretty straightforward.

Type of seed.

  • Hybrids. The term “hybrid” can often scare people away, but hybrids are simply seeds from plants whose pollen has been deliberately crossed when growing to produce specific characteristics
  • Genetically Modified Organisms. Hybrids are not the same as genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. Those are produced in labs by manipulating the DNA of the plants. They aren’t necessarily creating a separate category of types of characteristics as much as enhancing certain characteristics for agricultural advantages. Critics of GMOs object to the altering of the plants’ DNA. GMO seeds are not generally available to the home gardening market and would likely be prohibitively expensive if they were.
  • Heirlooms. There isn’t an official date for when a plant is old enough to be designated an heirloom, but most people consider anything that was grown before World War II….

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: How to Navigate a Seed Catalog

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