What’s The Difference Between Hybrid and Non-Hybrid Seeds?

In Homesteading by M.D. Creekmore

Reading Time: 3 minutes

At the beginning of the growing season most gardeners, simply head to their nearest garden center and pick up whatever seed packets that are being displayed on the shelf that year, or they skip the seeds and their germination altogether by purchasing seedlings and transplanting those directly into their garden.

And why this works well (sometimes) during “good times” when you can still rely on going back and getting new seed for planting a new crop each year, if you’re thinking in terms of long-term survival or saving your own seed from year to year, then you need to consider buying and stockpiling Non-Hybrid (Heirloom) vegetable seeds.

According to the good folks at Heirloom Organics:

Non-Hybrid or Open-Pollinated seeds allow the gardener to collect seeds from a crop for future planting. Hybrid seeds do not. Heirloom Organics Seed Packs are 100% Non-Hybrid and Non-GMO (genetically modified) and specially sealed for long-term storage. Use now AND save for emergency. All from the same hermetically sealed pack!

And while this is true in most cases, saving seed from year-to-year that grows true, without negative genetic changes is a little more complicated than that. Some plant species, such as corn, okra, and spinach, for example, must “cross-pollinate” each year to remain strong and to be productive.

Constant inbreeding of cross-pollinating plans, even if they are of the non-hybrid variety will result in weak, non-productive plans after the first couple of years. So even if you start with pure non-hybrid, heirloom seed you can’t save the seed of cross-pollinating species, indefinitely without a negative change in the resulting offspring at some point, due to inbreeding of the plants.

The solution to this problem is to simply, buy enough seed to last several years, and store in optimal conditions to ensure germination, or buy several different Non-Hybrid, Non-GMO varieties and cross-pollinate each year.

And now the good news, self-pollinating plant species such as bean, pepper, tomato, eggplant, garlic, and pea can be grown and the seeds saved year-after-year with little or no genetic change in growth, health or overall production. Allowing you to continually feed your family, now and during hard times.

Over the years I’ve seen a lot of folks express concerns about the germination rate of seeds that have been packaged for long-term storage, such as the Non-Hybrid vegetable seeds that are packaged and sold by Heirloom Organics and other seed vendors.

The main concern seems to be that the process and conditions of storing the seed long-term will somehow cause the seed to not germinate (sprout) when planted. After having tested these seeds and their germination rates myself over the past several years, and others have done the same with similar results, I can assure you that germination rates remain just as good or better than seeds stored in a traditional fashion.

Putting back a supply of non-hybrid vegetable seed should be on the to-do list of every, gardener and that applies ten-fold for the “prepper” because we don’t know what will happen, the result or how long the duration.  We can only store so much food, and after it’s gone you’ll have to produce your own or starve.

Just how important is storing seeds for your long-term survival?

If we consider the fact that Monsanto, Bill Gates and other super wealthy contributors have set-up a huge seed bank in what is known as the “Doomsday Seed Vault” whose stated goal is to protect those seeds stored inside against pole-shifts, asteroid collisions, nuclear war, earthquakes, floods, and cross-pollination from genetically modified plant life, then the need becomes obvious, because these people have all of the resources and probably inside sources that keep them informed about what is going to happen and how to prepare for it…

Doomsday Seed Vault, SkyNews

Controlling the seeds (and thus the world’s food) will allow them to control the world and you.

M.D. Creekmore

Owner / Editor at MDCreekmore.com
Hello, I’m M.D. Creekmore. I’ve been interested in self-reliance topics for over 25 years. I’m the author of four books that you can find at Amazon.com as well as Barnes and Noble. Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about prepping, homesteading, and self-reliance topics through first-hand experience and now I want to share what I’ve learned with you.
M.D. Creekmore