Gardening Vivian | 03 May 2011 07:52 pm

What is Heirloom Gardening?

At one time, the only way that plants such as vegetables, fruits and flowers were grown from year to year was the method of seed collecting. Farmers and garden growers would take the seeds from this year’s crop and use it to plant next year’s garden. Of course now with modern technology seeds are mass produced and genetically engineered to produce the same plants year after year. Luckily the seed collecting has continued up to this day making sure that different varieties didn’t die out over time. The practice of saving these seeds and growing the older variety of plants is called heirloom gardening.

In the past decade or so heirloom gardening has grown in interest, especially in the United States and the U.K. Many find the art of collecting seeds and growing older varieties of vegetables and flowers very rewarding. Heirloom tomatoes in particular have become a favorite with those who practice heirloom gardening, not only for the unique look of the tomato but also the taste which stands out from the tomatoes that are found in the grocery store.

What makes an heirloom plant?

The plant must be open pollinated and passed down through generations. Vegetables and flowers are passed down through seeds whereas fruit trees are continued with grafts and leaf cutting. This type of procedure allows the plant to maintain consistent characteristics over the years.

Not only do individuals pass down heirloom plants but seed companies can also be used for this type of planting, as long as they adhere to the rules of heirloom planting.

Clubs and organization have been started throughout the United states dedicated to preservation of heirloom gardening.

Comments are closed.