Different Seed Types You Can Grow

A Look at the Different Seed Types You Can Plant

a hand planting squash seeds in garden soil
If you are choosing seeds for your garden, you might be wondering if it matters which type of seeds to pick. What you select depends on the type of garden you intend to grow. Are you planning an heirloom, organic, non-GMO or basic plot? Learning more about the different types of seeds you can plant should help you get started with your garden.

What are Heirloom Seeds?

a rustic table covered with all types of colorful heirloom tomatoes
Heirloom seeds are in a special class all to themselves. This type of seeds is the most natural kind because they have been open-pollinated. Heirloom seeds come from plants that pollinate naturally. Insects, breezes and self-pollination are responsible for plant growth. Moreover, heirloom seeds have not been exposed to genetic modification. A debate exists, however, on the use of the term “heirloom.” Differences in opinion typically include whether the seeds date back 50 years, to WWII, or 100 years.

What are Hybrid Seeds?

close up of pink and yellow striped hybrid petunias
Hybrid seeds require controlled production with the goal of creating a superior plant. The primary goal of the hybrid process is to create a new plant by crossbreeding two plants to combine the best qualities of each. Hybrid seeds generally offer a higher level of variety in offspring.

What are Standard Seeds?

assorted seed packets for flowers and vegetables on a table representing the different types of seeds you can grow
Standard seeds can be split into two categories – treated and untreated seeds. Parent plants for both types of seed are typically produced using non-organic ingredients, including pesticides, chemicals or other synthetic products, such as fertilizer. Unless the packaging is marked GMO, the seeds have not been genetically modified.

Treated Seeds vs Untreated Seeds

packet of corn seed with precautions regarding chemical treatment of the seeds printed on the packet

Treated seeds receive an application of a chemical or fungicide product to protect the seed and emerging plant from soil-borne insects or diseases. Treatments typically break down within 1-2 weeks of planting. Untreated seeds do not receive this additional application. It is just the seed that is treated, and vegetables grown from the plants of treated seeds are safe for eating.

What does Certified Organic Seeds Mean?

seed packets printed with the USDA certified organic logo
Certified organic seeds are harvested from crops grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers or chemicals of any kind. Moreover, regulations exist restricting the use of “certified organic” labeling. The U.S. Department of Agriculture requires manufacturers to properly prepare the soil and provide proof that organic methods have been used in the growing process.

What are Non-GMO Seeds?

seed packets with printed statement indicating that the seeds have not been genetically modified, also known as non-GMO

Non-GMO seeds are not genetically modified. Most seeds that you can buy have not been genetically modified. Currently, only a few kinds of genetically modified vegetable seeds are available. They include soybeans, corn and squash. The purpose behind genetic modification is to produce crops that can withstand harsh growing conditions.

Which Seed Types Will You Grow?

raised garden bed with marigolds and lettuce plants
Growing a garden can be one of the most rewarding experiences, especially when your plants flourish and produce well. Whether you are a novice gardener or an experienced pro, choosing and germinating your seeds is usually the first step to a successful growing season. You should enjoy making your garden grow, whether you choose heirloom, hybrid, standard, certified organic or non-GMO seed types.

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