Why You Should Garden with Heirloom Vegetable Seeds, a Guest Post

Seedlings grown from heirloom vegetable seeds

Like most of you, I've put my garden to sleep for the winter and am looking ahead to spring.

Most gardeners spend the dark winter months planning next year's garden, choosing seeds, and dreaming of solutions to last year's challenges, and I'm no exception. 

I'm guessing you might be dreaming about a spring garden too.

I prefer to grow heirloom seeds in my garden. Heirloom, or heritage seeds, are seeds that have been passed down from generation to generation. You can save the seeds season after season and grow plants that are just like the parent plants. 

Hybrid seeds are cross-bred from various heirloom varieties to produce plants with specific characteristics. 

Unlike heirloom seeds, seeds that are saved from hybrid varieties won't grow true to type. In order to grow plants each year that are the same, you'd have to buy new seeds each year.

On the other hand, there are also GMO seeds (which stands for Genetically Modified Organism), which are produced by unnatural methods such as gene-splicing. You won't find GMO seeds in my garden!

Today we have a guest post from Mary of Mary's Heirloom Seeds. Mary gardens organically with heirloom seeds and is here to tell us about the advantages of growing heirloom varieties.

I hope you'll enjoy her visit with us today.

This post contains affiliate links. You can read my disclosure here.

Here's why you should plant heirloom seeds

Hey there! I am so excited to share with you today about SEEDS! My name is Mary, and my husband and I own and operate Mary's Heirloom Seeds

We offer over 700 varieties of heirloom, non-GMO, open-pollinated, untreated seeds as well as organic gardening supplies. I also blog over at Back to the Basics.

Today I'm sharing about the benefits of growing organically with heirloom seeds. First, I should probably explain about heirloom seeds.

What is an heirloom seed?

An heirloom seed variety is seed that has been saved and passed down from generation to generation. These seeds have been carefully cultivated and are considered a great value to the recipient. 

Some say an heirloom variety is 50 years old or more. Some heirloom varieties have been passed down for over 100 years and others for over 400 years.

Heirloom seeds can be very unique like the Lemon Cucumber or Romanesco Italia Broccoli, while others are just like the produce you buy in the store (only tastier) like the Roma Tomato.

A head of heirloom Romanesco Italia Broccoli

Open pollinated seeds

Heirloom seeds are open-pollinated. One of the many benefits of planting heirloom seeds is seed saving! 

 Heirloom seeds have also been called "heritage seeds." 

 Seed saving is how farmers and horticulturists have preserved the integrity of these seed varieties for hundred of years.

Why you should garden with heirloom seeds

The benefits of organic vegetable gardening

Organic gardening is basically growing plants without synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. A better definition is that an organic garden supports the health of the whole garden system. 

Instead of using chemicals to control pests and weeds, try using companion planting and DIY pest control recipes instead.

Growing organic vegetables is healthier for the planet. Each year, billions of pounds of cancer-causing pesticides are sprayed around the world.

(Update 2/2/2020: This post originally contained a link to the EPA's decision that pesticides can cause cancer; however the EPA has recently "reversed its findings." Other health organizations such as The National Center for Health Research still maintain that pesticides can cause cancerkr)

The health of your family, friends and customers is another very important reason to grow organic. Whether you grow for your family, a CSA or farmers market, organically grown produce is the simplest way to know what you're eating.

Maybe the best reason to grow organic vegetables is that they simply taste better! Have you ever compared the difference between a store-bought tomato and a homegrown heirloom tomato? The heirloom tomato will always win in my house!

Last but certainly not least, we grow organic from heirloom seeds because it saves money! There's no need to buy the same seeds over and over every year, or to spend money on chemicals.

Heirloom tomatoes growing from seeds in red plastic cups

Growing from seeds

Growing from seed isn't very difficult. In fact, I think it's easier than buying plants from the nursery. 

When you grow from seed in YOUR environment and in YOUR own way, seedlings and plants will adapt. 

 I have created a Growing from Seed series with detailed instructions. This is a great place to start on your journey to growing a successful organic garden.

If you have additional questions please feel free to ask. We're always thrilled to offer new educational programs for our community.

Thank you for visiting with us today, Mary!

Mary loves sharing information on organic growing. You can LIKE her on Facebook, follow on Twitter, and check out her always-growing website Mary's Heirloom Seeds and her blog Back to the Basics

Mary's Heirloom Seeds has signed the Safe Seed Pledge.

For more gardening and simple living ideas and inspiration, subscribe to The Acorn, Oak Hill Homestead's weekly-ish newsletter, and join me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. I'd love to see you there!

Come visit with Mary of Mary's Heirloom Seeds and learn about heirloom, hybrid and GMO seeds.


My hope is to inspire you, and to encourage your homesteading plans and your dreams of a
simple, self-reliant, God-dependent life. You can follow me at:
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