Just joined here and have to say I detest where this F1 started from - GM world/Monsanto etc,.. The fact is that the commercial food world wants perfect looking food as that means more sales not neccessarily flavour. You can never save seeds either/successfully as that is part of the plan as well means more money for the seed companies.The piont is to hook you in with perfect looking plants.
Heirloom/open sourced are the best without a doubt.Quirky looking maybe but was nature ever meant to look perfect al the time?
Not had many problems so far.
With bugs and blight you can retard this with Daitomaceous earth powder. Best discovery this planet has (from the sea plants) and not much is known (as the big companies/authorities would not like you to know too much).It is 94% silica and does not do any harm to the plants plants need silica.Farmers have used it for years to keep parisite problems at bay in livestock by putting it in the feed.
Our climate is changing sure but its the way you grow foods that is maybe better to change. Use raised beds if plants need the soil to be warmer. Or if you get too many slugs spray the wood with garlic/chilli solution. Use fleece to keep away white fly/catapillar etc,, as well as garilc chilli spray, or maybe the greenhouse will get more use.
I think there should be more of natural hybrids just not the F1 TYPE.
I think there should be more of natural hybrids just not the F1 TYPE.
There's plenty of natural hybrids..that's what all the non F1s are and if you save your own seed you are creating even more variety.
you may find F1s do very poorly in your garden if you don't buy the necessary chemicals too.
I've never had a problem with F1s and I don't use chemicals. The seed might be more expensive but I consider 17 excellent cucumbers from one seed a pretty good return on investment.
the difference between commercial and heritage varieties
many 'heritage' varieties are grown commercially so what's the difference.
I detest where this F1 started from - GM world/Monsanto etc
F1 and GM are completely different things. F1 varieties have been around since at least the early years of the twentieth century and probably a long time before that. They are, after all, just hybrids the same as any other seed variety. If we link F1 with GM we are in real danger of ending up in the land of the hysterical and the paranoid.
If we are to have a debate please let it be reasoned. I use a few F1 varieties and have no problems with them. They have their advantages for the home grower the same as for the commercial operator. And don't forget that most F1s are achieved by crossing 'heirloom' varieties. Why not grow F1s and keep the seed. You never know what you might get.
I have read the 1999 Ecology issue which was about Monsanto.
F1s were explained in there as having the terminator technology ( being a sterile seed )WHICH MEANT they do NOT reproduce.That is %50 Gm technology.
so it depends what you read and who is saying it. F1 is about 2 different parent plants just to produce a unque plant. BUT is this forced in some lab? by splitting genes?
They are notoriously unstable by most people in the business.
I am emailing the Garden Organic to find out more info. I just spoke to a new forest producer has stated the same thing and said you cannot guarantee what you will get next year. Farmers need to know what they can grow and rely on other wise they can loose thier market to competiton easily.
Just cos your seeds were ok so what.
Hierloom varieties are the older variety seeds that a lot of, are banned under ridiculous EU rules.Many hierlooms are better for flavour but not for large yields so alot of them are not grown commercially.
F1s are more likley to be from conventionals seeds.
The main difference between F1s and heritage varieties are F1s are created for farmers, then sold to us home gardeners as an afterthought. This can be good or bad, but in my opinion it makes F1s mostly uninteresting for home gardeners.
If you grow F1s, you will likely end up with something you can buy at the supermarket anyway, since they are the same seeds sold to farmers. If I grow something in my garden, I would rather grow something I can't buy, but of course this can mean growing something 'weird' too. It's also true seed companies discontinue almost all of their F1 lines at some point, and if you find one you really like it may become unavailable in a few years time.
Most farmers are not organic, and most F1s are not developed with the idea in mind of being grown organically. In fact, since pesticides and fertilizers are sold by the same companies who sell the seeds, there's more money to be made by selling everything at the same time, so many commercial varieties are breed to need chemicals. You see this for example in GM varieties too, like Roundup ready varieties created by Monsonto who sells both the seeds and Roundup. If you're an organic gardener, you may find F1s do very poorly in your garden if you don't buy the necessary chemicals too.
Disease resistance is also usually oriented towards chemical intensive farmers who grow large monoculture fields. For example most of the disease resistance in F1 tomatoes have to do with large greenhouses full of tomatoes, which is not the same thing the home gardeners does. In order to understand if disease resistance is useful for you, you have to understand what diseases you have and what resistances the variety you're growing has. In many cases heirloom varieties have resistances commercial varieties don't have, because they are no longer an issue to modern farmers.
It is very true that heirloom varieties are 'old' and haven't been worked on by plant breeders in a long time. For sure this means some are better than others, and even some varieties are close to worthless today. It's important to research varieties you want to grow, and get other people's experiences with them. It's also important when you save seeds to do this from the strongest plants, to try to preserve the best genes.
One way you can improve your chances of success with heritage varieties are to get them from a known source, for example a fellow gardener or a seed company like The Real Seed Catalogue in the UK or Brown Envelope Seeds in Ireland. These places make an effort to only offer varieties suited to the local climate and do some of their own breeding locally. Getting UK seeds from the HSL is also a good option, but no one particularly verifies the varieties are still good and most of the varieties haven't been worked on by plant breeders in a very long time.
Ordering heritage varieties from America can sometimes be a good option, because while they haven't particularly been breed for the UK climate, the culture of plant breeding is much more alive in the US and many of the varieties have recently been worked on by plant breeders. Many new 'heritage' varieties have very good modern disease resistance.
Don't get me wrong. I'm all for doing what gives the most pleasure in gardening, and if you find some special commercial varieties you like, you should certainly grow them. I rarely grow commercial varieties myself, but I have from time to time in the past. I do think however if you're an organic gardener and you fully understand the difference between commercial and heritage varieties, you probably won't find commercial varieties very interesting. Most of the so-called benefits of commercial varieties end up being seed company marketing.