Does it matter what kind of seeds you plant in your garden? Here is an article explaining why heirloom seeds are the way to go. One advantage is the fact that you can produce your own seeds and therefore don’t have to pay for new seeds every year. But here’s another interesting reason:

Another lovely benefit is that the cultivar adapts to your garden’s conditions. If you grow several plants of one cultivar each year and continuously save seed only from the best performing plant, you will develop a strain that is resistant to the pests and disease in your area, and is adapted your soils and your climate.

I think I will try some this year. Any recommendations?


h/t Steven Rybicki

Local Culture
Local Culture
Local Culture
Local Culture


  1. For several years, we have grown an heirloom variety of cantaloupe called “Honey Luscious” (I think) originally from Baker Creek.

    The nice thing about cantaloupe is the ease of gathering seeds. My cultivar is now very productive and huge.

    Another easy one is beans — I can recommend Kentucky Wonder pole beans.

  2. I won’t do this in our own veggie garden, but I enjoy hearing from people who try it. If you’re young enough and have enough time and space you could do a controlled experiment. Over the years plant seed catalog seeds in one row, and your own harvested seeds in another. Be sure to randomize!

  3. For anyone in the Southwest (or other arid or semi-arid place) check out:

    Great organization with great seed catalog. I have heard great things about the Nichol’s tomatoes and the yellow watermelon is delicious! 🙂

  4. “you will develop a strain that is resistant to the pests and disease in your area, and is adapted your soils and your climate.”

    I’ve done this for a number of years now with flowers where I harvest the seeds, but the results seem to be the opposite. I slowly get less and less plants and seeds.

    Where as the plants that naturally do well in our climate, do well regardless of what I do.

  5. I’m lucky enough to live in Petaluma, CA where Baker Creek Seeds has a huge store in an old bank right downtown. There are also two other heirloom/organic seed companies in town. I bought my wife some morning glory seeds and they did incredibly well without much attention at all. I also grew some purple carrots that had an almost perfumed scent. Baker Creek is a great company and I’d love to see an article about it on FPR.

  6. Check local farmers’ markets. If you’re lucky, you can sometimes find small, local seed producers so you’ll be starting with locally adapted plants. Market managers are sometimes somewhat confused about whether it’s legal to do this, but if the seed producer does it correctly it is, in fact, legal.

  7. My favorite heirloom bulb is Freesia Alba, which I obtained from Old House Gardens in Ann Arbor, Michigan. They have thrived in my zone 10B location.

  8. The question is now moot, since Monsanto has decreed that you cannot save seed, and Monsanto rules .

Comments are closed.