Heirloom seeds are unique and have proven their worth over time. These historic, open pollinated seed varieties are a great option if you want something different in your home vegetable garden.
Before you go out and buy heirloom seeds it is important to know some of their disadvantages. This includes pest resistance, space, cost and consistency. This article will explore 10 disadvantages to be aware of before choosing your seeds.
Heirloom seeds are not just “old” seeds; they are seeds that are handed down from family members or even the community, and they are considered first-class seeds that produce great-looking and great-tasting vegetables of all kinds.
As far as their age is concerned, all “experts” have a different opinion. Some people claim they’re seeds at least 100 years old; others say 50 years; and still others claim the seeds are from a specific timeframe, such as 1945-1950.
While they are old that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth buying. Still, there are some distinct disadvantages to buying heirloom seeds, and they include the following:
Heirloom seeds tend to be less resistant to these things simply because they haven’t been through some of the modern processes that make them more resistant to them.
Even hybrid seeds can be crossed with more resilient varieties to make them less attractive to pests, but this is not the case with heirloom seeds.
2. They can be Rare
This is one of the biggest disadvantages to trying to buy heirloom seeds. Because they are passed down from generation to generation, you can’t always find them.
Look out for seed collectives in your local area or online sellers who can post them out to you. They usually sell seeds in small quantities so you can grow them at home.
If you have limited space in your garden, you might not be able to grow veggies from heirloom seeds. This is because a lot of plants used today are bred to be compact, while heirloom seeds are not.
Some also require you to have trellises or need a lot of pruning, and this is not something everyone wants to do when they buy vegetable seeds. If you have a small garden, look for something besides heirloom seeds.
Because heirloom seeds are rare and sometimes difficult to find, they are often very expensive as well. If you’re on a budget, this is something you have to take into consideration before rushing out and buying heirloom seeds.
If you end up buying them online, make sure you compare prices of different companies so you can get the best deal in the end.
Even if you do find the heirloom seeds you’ve been looking for, you might not be able to find as many of them as you need. Sometimes heirloom seeds are in scarce quantity, so if you’re hoping to buy tons of a certain vegetable to complement your garden, you might not be able to do this when you’re buying heirloom seeds.
You may in fact be very limited when it comes to the quantities of heirloom seeds you were hoping to purchase.
Because heirloom seeds are unique and aren’t modified in any way, the vegetables aren’t always as attractive as their counterparts.
They might turn out bumpy, scarred, cracked, or even smaller than your other vegetables. This may or may not affect the taste and texture of the veggies, but be prepared for the fact that your heirloom vegetables may not look the same as the other vegetables in your garden.
With regular veggies, the package will give you an estimate of how many pieces the seeds will produce, and you can rely on it being that number. Not so with heirloom vegetables.
With heirloom seeds, it’s very common for you to get a different number of veggies each time you grow them, and the number is almost always lower than the number you’d get with any other types of seeds. This makes heirloom vegetables a little less reliable than standard seeds.
With heirloom vegetables, you may get a large crop one year and a miniscule one the next. You never really know how many vegetables you’ll get from these seeds, and you won’t be able to predict how big your crop will be from one year to the next.
This can be frustrating for a lot of growers, especially those who are counting on a certain size crop each year.
Due to open pollination, hybrid vegetables don’t ripen all at once. With regular seeds, the veggies ripen at the same time and therefore you can harvest them all at once.
Some people may consider this an inconvenience because let’s face it, it’s simply easier to pick all of the vegetables at the same time instead of picking them at different times over a long period of time.
Standard vegetables are now bred to last throughout the shipping process and still be considered “good” once they get to their destination.
If you’re growing the vegetables for your own use, this isn’t a problem, but if you’re growing them in order to sell them to customers, this might be a challenge you’ll have to learn to deal with so that your customers are satisfied.
There are numerous advantages to choosing heirloom seeds, but there are disadvantages as well. You’ll have to learn both the pros and cons in order to decide if this type of vegetable is right for you.