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Heriloom seeds. What's up with that?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
After last years devastating gardening season here in MN, (cool and wet), I am looking for advice. I take it that Heirloom seeds are not genetically altered, sort of "old school" if you will.
Is there a benefit of using heirloom seeds.
Is there a negative to using them, as in disease resistance and such?
Any help is appreciated.

post #2 of 12
They are suspose to keep the plants from changing over time. I use them for certin peppers. You can find more info at: http://www.johnnyseeds.com
post #3 of 12
Less disease resistance and alot of fake heirloom stuff out there....

I grow about 90% Hybrid,but have found varieties that taste/produce well in my climate...Organic growing i.e. good soil,compost and natural fertilizers etc. will improve the taste/quality of any veggie...

I have seen untold people grow all heirlooms and have dissapointing years and then switch to a mix of hybrid and heirlooms...
post #4 of 12
Hey Todd,

I don't profess to being a good gardner, but I do have a short story to tell.

In the past I have failed as a gardner, after having raised beds, irrigation system, yada, yada, yada...I couldn't even grow tomatoes which I categorize as a fruit bearing weed. My corn was looking perfect, and I went out to pick it the next day, and the Raccoons had snatched everything. I was so disgusted that I decided that the farmer's market was the way to go, so I tilled everything under and planted grass.

This last year, Mrs. Engineer decided that she would mix a few plants in with her flower gardens so if they did nothing, there would still be a flower garden. She planted early girl tomatoes, a beefsteak, and a couple of Cherokee Purple heirloom plants that my neighbor (a master gardner) gave to her (the master gardner recently shared that he thought my original garden was to close to a black walnut tree that would severly affect the garden output).

Well I will tell you what, with the few plants that Mrs. Engineer had, we would pick 40-50 tomatoes at a time from the early girl plants...We never got a single decent tomato from the heirloom. I have never enjoyed home grown tomatoes so much as just picking them and eating them like an apple, or pairing with some of our fresh basil and some buffalo mozzarella. Mrs. Engineer was such a rock star in my book, I am really excited about doing some more gardening this year.

I don't know about the disease resistance or weather tolerance of the heirloom tomatoes, but they were within 6 feet of the early girls and received the same love and attention. They simply did not produce. Like I said, I am not a good gardner, but that is my personal experience.

If you want the real low down, shoot ALX a message, he has the most amazing garden that I have ever seen, and knows his stuff.

On Edit: Alx has already jumped in...must have been posting as I was typing too.
post #5 of 12
Now I know I'm not a gardener but I have seen these guys gardens or more like a farm to me. They know their poop with that growing stuff.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone. I did send a pm to ALX yesterday, answered it this morning. Taking his advice an ordering the seeds he said to.

Only thing I didn't get from them was the Long Green Chile's (Anaheim peppers). Was looking at getting them from the U of NM ag dept. I want some meaty big mild heat ones so if you guys have a good variety, let me know. Hear allot of talk about "Big Jims?" I think it was.
post #7 of 12
Definitely Big Jims...Used to buy these roasted by the cooler full when I lived in Denver. They are awesome.
post #8 of 12
Todd i have used the chileshop at newmexicostate for years and love there stuff.....I have grown there big jim,6-4 and joe parker green chiles....Hands down the best for me are the joe parker.Mild heat and huge plants and fruit....I roasted 100 pounds from 20 plants and gave away another 20 pounds plus(fresh)

The big Jim were excellent as well,but the plants were smaller and the heat was not uniform from fruit to fruit....Still awesome....

This is a thread i did on this years green chiles


I would recommend the Mirasol as a fruity pepper with heat.I grow there Garnett Paprika as my mainstay spanish/sweet....

Any questions on their peppers feel free to ask.I have grown most of them....
post #9 of 12
I thought you meant the company Heirloom Seeds PDT_Armataz_01_33.gif , don't waste your money with them by the way just order from a reliable company instead.

I grew 80+ tomato plants last year and almost every single one was an heirloom, combine that with the horrible weather and it made for a very bad disease filled year of lots of bad fruit.
This year I'm doing a few heirlooms (some of them taste so amazing) but mostly I will be doing hybrids.
post #10 of 12
Heirlooms can blow away hybrids in flavor and size, but are less disease resistant. I grow a variety of them each year, but the last two years were terrible. Rained all June! Without warm temps and sun nothing is going to do well, hybrids or heirlooms. I grow mine in self watering containers and this year will do regular spraying each week for disease control, I use Ortho Garden disease control. Last year I got lazy with the spraying and payed the price.

Here's a pic of some Omar's Lebanese, I put these in each year. The tomato in the pic went 3lbs.

post #11 of 12
The Big Jim's on my side of the mountain aren't the mild variety! I bought some a few years ago that would strip paint off the truck!mad.gif I prefer the College pepper (maybe a local variation) as I can always add the heat I want.
post #12 of 12
Yeah,Keith...I stopped growing them because some on same plant would be too hot and others mild....The Joe Parker NuMex is very consistent mild heat and as you mentioned- can add more heat,but for the folks who dont like- it is a bummer if too hot...inedible etc...
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