When buying seeds one most common question is which seeds to buy hybrid or open-pollinated. In this post, we will explain the difference between them and explain which seeds are good for you.
Open-pollinated seeds as the name suggest are produced due to open natural pollination. Wind pollination, insect pollination and other types of natural pollination methods are examples. In open pollination, things are happening on their own and no human involvement is happening in controlling the pollination.
Sometimes different methods are used to assist the pollination like shaking the plants by hand or introducing pollination insects in the area etc. But Actual pollination process is open and not being controlled. For example, any plant’s male Polin can fertile any female flower.
On the other hand For Hybrid seeds, Pollination is done by controlled methods. Two different types of plant varieties are selected and then they are pollinated to produce one new hybrid variety. At first lots of experiments are performed to use the results of different varieties and try to get the desired characteristics. After getting successful results in the testing process new hybrid varieties are then introduced and produced by the same method.
Hybrid seeds are produced by control and careful pollination of each flower hence require more effort and time that’s why they are expansive. While open-pollinated seeds are mass-producing in Natural ways so they are cheap and easy to produce.
Which seeds to buy
For professional growing hybrid seeds are almost essential. As they are controlled pollinated almost all the plants will have the same size and fruiting time. Varieties are tested and will have consistent results which is a required thing for market selling. In most areas, local varieties are developed that have high yields and are disease resistant according to the area.
The downside of Hybrid seeds are:-
You can’t save seeds for next season as they lose their characteristics.
They have some trade-offs for getting more yield. Mostly inferior in taste and nutrients.
For Home gardening, In our recommendation, Open-pollinated seeds are best. Mainly due to the fact that they are more healthy have more nutrients in them and usually have better taste.
Although they don’t have high yields as compared to hybrids ones. Open-pollinated seeds are also not consistent, two plants planted at the same time may have different fruiting periods and plant sizes.
You can save seeds from pollinated seeds and use them again for sowing in the next season.