Top Ten Myths about Organic Garden Seeds

Popular misconceptions about garden seeds produced organically

1: Organic seeds for the garden are grown without any pesticides or chemicals whatsoever;

in reality, the seeds that are sold as organically produced are commonly grown by traditional methods of chemical pest control and fertilizers. They generally are not treated with any kind of fungicide prior to storage.

Saving your own seeds to store for the winter...

2: Organic garden seeds are never GMO or genetically modified.

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that even if your plants are a pure, unmodified strain that the bees won't transfer pollen from a modified strain and contaminate the seeds.

Growing your seed plants in total isolation is generally not successful, because of the long distances that bees will forage for nectar.

3: Organic seeds are not hybrids.

Hybrids of vegetables in particular have more vigor; this helps with pest resistance, and growth rate. Much of the organically produced seed is hybridized.

4: Organically produced garden seeds have better germination rates.

There is no difference between organic seeds and other types of seeds. The difference lies in the care of the seeds in harvesting and storage.

5: Organic seeds can withstand mold and poor soil better than seeds grown by other methods.

There is no guarantee that either type of seed is able to withstand poor management. Optimum conditions are the best way to ensure good germination and health of the plants.

6: Organic garden seeds never go moldy in storage.

Providing the best storage conditions and proper care of the seeds before they are stored is the only way to prevent mold. Making sure the seeds are thoroughly dried, and in a clean dry container with some silica gel or other drying agent is the best way to make sure they don't mold.

7: Each generation of organic garden seeds is superior to the previous one.

Selection of the right genetics of the plants is the only way to get a superior strain. Observing which plants have the best growth habit and health, or the highest rate of production and culling out any that don't have these characteristics is the only way to constantly improve each succeeding generation.

8: Plants grown from organic seeds are less likely to have bugs.

The only way to prevent bugs from attacking is to give the plants the best chance of surviving an attack with good nutritious soil, and constant vigilance of the plants to make sure they are healthy enough to withstand pests.

There is evidence that pests are drawn to plants that are already showing signs of stress, so making sure that there is adequate moisture, healthy soil with lots of compost and the right pH, and no stressors in the environment that could cause issues is the best way to prevent pest infestations.

9: Vegetables from organically produced seeds are more nutritious.

In tests of organic produce versus vegetables grown in less organic conditions there was no difference in the nutritional values of the vegetables. The only difference was a lack of pesticides and other contaminates in the organically produced plants.

10: Organic garden seeds are all heirlooms.

Organic seeds are simply grown and harvested from organically grown plants. Heirloom plants are those which have been handed down in almost pure form for generations and remain unchanged from when they were first developed.

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