Posted on January 12, 2018 at 6:00 PM

Now that the seed catalogs are coming almost every day, we can begin talking about the seed package.

Pay close attention to the seed package. Any credible seed company will tell you a wealth of information on its packaging. Usually on the back of the package it may state that the seeds are F1 or OP. Now what in winter's day does that mean? F1 is a hybrid where the pollen from the male parts of a pure bred plant is used to pollinate a female pure bred. This is done to create a new plant with certain desirable traits, such as higher yield, larger, more disease resistant. Hybrids often have very favorable attributes. If you collect seeds from an F1 that you grow, it is not likely that you will get the same characteristics of the mamma and poppa plant. If you do not intend on collecting the seeds, this information lets you know that it is a hybrid and not a pure bred. Now to the OP. This is "Open-pollinated. If you want to collect seeds from the flower it produces, you will get the true flower, or the pure bred.

Seed saving is becoming very popular. Stay tuned in for a future chat on how to save seeds properly.

Also on the package it will (in my opinion should) tell you if it is GMO, organic, coated with any chemicals (not for an organic garden) and how long a shelf life the seeds have. This does vary. If you have a comment or question please post below.

Buy some seeds, and instead of a good book, have fun reading the back of the packages. Only a gardener will understand that pleasure.

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