You’d think that seeds were the natural way to grow plants – but for decades now, that hasn’t always been true. Let’s take a look at the different types of seeds, whether we supply them, and why we either exclude them or choose to offer them in our range.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF SEEDS
- Species type: This is the plant the way nature made it. There will be considerable genetic variability. The first food crops we exploited were species types that grew wild where our hunter-gatherer ancestors roamed. Species types offer many interesting options and they are included in our range.
- Open pollinated: As hunter-gatherers, we soon discovered that some plants seemed to offer better produce, more produce, or tastier harvests than others. When we became agriculturists, we began selecting the best natural varieties to grow. Each year, we chose seeds from the best plants, and over time, we reached a point where we can reliably harvest a uniformly good crop without controlled pollination. These are natural “hybrids,” and many of them are still popular today. We love these low-cost winners.
- Heirloom: There’s some dispute about what constitutes an heirloom. Some purists say that only species types should be included in the definition. Others say that if your granny or great-granny grew it, it should be on the list. In that case, heirlooms include tried and tested old hybrids created using traditional plant-breeding methods, open pollenated plants, and species types. We love the amazing historic food and garden plants many people seem to have forgotten in today’s all-too-uniform world.
- Hybrid: Hybrids are created using traditional plant breeding methods. In other words, breeders choose plants with desirable traits, cross them, and keep going till they achieve the result they want. F1 Hybrids are created in controlled crosses using parent plants that will produce a predictable and uniform genetic composition in their offspring. There are many advantages to growing hybrids, and in theory, it would be possible for the specific gene combinations they represent to occur in nature. We accept hybrids as being part of the “green revolution” that began when our species first began to grow its own food.
- GMO: GMOs are genetically modified organisms. In traditional plant breeding, only closely related organisms are compatible, and this limits the genes it is possible to introduce into the gene pool. Biotechnology allows genes from unrelated species to be introduced. There is considerable controversy around GMOs. People fear hubris and unintended consequences, and certain uses for this biotechnology, such as the production of proprietary-herbicide-resistant crops, have been highly controversial. We do not supply any genetically modified seed.
If you’ve gardened in the past, you may have noticed odd colourings or coatings on your seeds. What are they? Usually, the coatings will be chemicals that prevent pests and diseases from affecting the seed during storage and germination.
We do not support seed pre-treatment and 99-9% of our seeds have absolutely no treatments on them. On the very rare occasion that we can’t get untreated seeds we state the nature of the treatment clearly on the product descriptions and on packets.
Viability & Storage
If you’ve ever stored seeds only to be disappointed with their germination when you sow them, it could be because you can’t provide the kind of protection that seeds need to stay fresh.
We buy our seeds in bulk from top suppliers around the world and we verify viability figures (germination percentage) to make sure you can expect nothing but the best quality seeds.
Our seed bank is located in a specially designed cool room that keeps seeds at a temperature of 5 degrees. Light and humidity are also excluded, telling our seeds that they shouldn’t break their dormancy just yet, no matter how impatient they may be to grow.
Now, your seeds must survive the rigours of the postal system. Our packaging suppliers have come up with a three-layered, heat sealed packaging that continues our good work during transit.
When your seeds arrive and you provide the correct conditions, they will have received what they’ve been waiting for. Ready… get set…. GROW!
We are upgrading our packaging from plastic zip lock bags to kraft paper/aluminium/plastic heat sealable bags.
We now have Kraft Paper heat sealed packets which are designed to keep seeds fresh and viable for longer and ensure best germination results.
We believe in having informative packaging and have invested in having full colour packaging with large beautiful images at the front. On the back there are detailed sowing instructions along with information on how to harvest and use the plants. We really want to provide a product that is functional and beautiful so that people feel inspired to garden.