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  • Difference between Hybrid & Open-Pollinated Seeds and their benefits

    When looking through a seed, you would often see the term hybrid (F1) or open-pollinated. But what do these terms mean? This post will explain the difference between hybrid vs. open-pollinated seeds so you can select the right seeds for your garden. What Do Hybrid, Open-Pollinated, and Heirloom Actually Mean? Open pollinated seeds are seeds that will produce plants genetically similar to the parent plant. If you plant Tomato Yellow Grapes and save the seeds, you will get Tomato Yellow Grapes when you plant the seeds next year. The one caveat is that some varieties need to be isolated (planted away from other varieties) so they don’t cross-pollinate themselves. Heirloom seeds are open-pollinated varieties that have been passed down from generation to generation. Some seed companies have decided on a set number of years old a plant has to be to be considered a heirloom. Others base the designation on just the history of the variety. Hybrid plants are created when two open-pollinated varieties are crossed to form a new variety of the same plant. While the seeds of hybrids can be saved, they will not necessarily produce the same variety of fruit/flower the next year. Actually, the majority of the time they will produce an inferior product. Hybrid seeds are often designated as F1 seeds in a garden catalog. I want to stress that HYBRID is not the same as GMO (genetically-modified organism)! A hybrid crosses two VARIETIES of the same plant (two carrot varieties for instance) while GMO means the genetic makeup of the plant has been modified in a laboratory. It may mean that a plant has had genes from animals included. This is not the cross breeding that occurs in nature. Benefits to Choosing Open-Pollinated Varieties First, you can save seeds from year to year, thus reducing your gardening costs. By keeping the best seeds each year, the plants gradually adapt to your particular growing conditions and climate. As each year passes the plants are better able to resist the stressors of your area. Even if you are purchasing seeds, open-pollinated varieties may be cheaper as only one distinct strain of genetics has to be maintained. Another benefit to OP varieties is that the flavour of many of these varieties is vastly superior to their hybrid kinds. Many hybrids were bred for commercial production so they were selected to be uniform and hold up well during transport. Benefits to Choosing Hybrid Seeds Hybrid seeds can be a good choice, especially for a new gardener. Hybrids generally produce more per acre than OP varieties. So they are usually the best choice for gardeners with limited space available to grow a garden. They also offer disease resistance that a lot of OP varieties don’t have, so new gardeners may find more success using hybrid seeds. (And for new gardeners, having success is important) And if you have a short growing season, there are hybrid varieties of some crops that are bred to reach maturity faster. By using hybrid seeds, you can sometimes grow crops you wouldn’t otherwise be able to! Hybrids also come in colours and sizes that you just can’t always find in open-pollinated varieties.

  • Preparing Your Seedlings

    When we are asked, “Why are my seeds not germinating?” we consider a number of factors. Seeds are living organisms in as much as a certain percent of them will germinate in the correct conditions and produce seedlings, which, in the correct conditions, will produce plants and eventually more seeds. Before we put out our seeds for sale, we determine if the germination rate meets our high standards. We also test each and every seed lot annually (both in our lab and in field) to ensure that the germination rate remains higher than 80%. Choose the Right Moment Horticulturists in greenhouses and nurseries will testify to it: don’t be too eager to plant! It is important to know when is the right time for each type of seedling. Otherwise, an undesirable scenario may occur. As a result, the plant experiences a shock that considerably slows down its development. Indeed, bad weather can cause the plant to rot or become vulnerable to undesirable diseases and insects. Prepare your Seedlings in a Few Steps Before planting seeds directly outside, you should refer to the information on their respective packet. When it comes to preparing seedlings, here are some steps to consider: Fill your clean containers with potting soil that is specifically designed for planting and compact slightly. A good soil must be porous and light to maintain the moisture content and allow small roots to expand. It generally consists of peat, perlite and / or vermiculite, as well as sand. Moisten the soil without soaking it. Arrange the seeds on the potting soil without clamping them together too much. Slightly cover the seeds with potting soil. Consult the seed light requirements indicated on the packet. The distance between the seed and the soil surface depends on it. Until the first sprouts come out of the ground, cover with a dome such a plastic lid with holes. When the first sprouts come out of the ground, remove the dome. Water gently. Before you use drip irrigation to your advantage, use a spray bottle to water your seedlings. The idea is to avoid digging seeds because of water pressure. Even though they have been watered, they could dry out under the direct sun. If you have to transplant your seedlings, that is, to transplant them into a larger pot, make sure to keep the heap of soil around the roots called “clump” in the jargon of gardening. Give the Right Amount of Lighting and Ventilation At the germination stage, our seedlings do not need a high exposure of light. You should rather make sure they have enough moisture and constant heat. The holed plastic dome makes it possible to control these important factors to germination. Do not to place it in full sun. Otherwise, young sprouts stifle! At the first signs of spry leaves, the dome can be removed. Consequently, it is important to position the young sprouts to more light, that is, the sunniest place in your house. With a good dose of sunlight, your seedlings will be stronger and of a more lively green. In order to ensure that they grow straight, it is advisable to rotate from a quarter turn once or twice a week. Note that it is not necessary to add fertiliser to your seedlings, but you need to prepare the soil for a good germination. Seeds have everything they need to emancipate themselves during the first weeks!

  • Biocarve Seeds (2021) Photography Contest Winners:

    Biocarve Seeds would like to thank all the participants ones again for enthusiastically participating in our Flower Photography Contest, 2021. This was our first initiative to promote Photography and Beauty of Nature simultaneously. Participants’ skills and efforts have made this event successful as well as meaningful. We are thankful for our honourable guests, whose judgement skills made this Contest a genuine platform for the photographers who participated. A big thanks to all our friends who came with their own talents and supported our event so efficiently. Single Flower Category 1st Prize: Mithun Kumar 2nd Prize: Sehar Kairon 3rd Prize: Dr Prasad Burange Flower Field Category 1st Prize: Amit Singla 2nd Prize: Sachin Ghai 3rd Prize: Harleen Kaur “WHERE FLOWERS BLOOM, SO DOES HOPE” with these beautiful words by Lady Bird Johnson, we hope to meet such beautiful people like you in upcoming years as well and make this one event a start of the series of events ahead.

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