Heirloom or heritage seeds and vegetables are old plant varieties pre-dating the 1950’s that have a traceable lineage and have been grown for many years. They have been saved year by year, generation by generation. Heirloom seeds and vegetables are open pollinated producing true-to-type offspring. This results in seeds collected producing a nearly exact copy of their parent plant in each successive crop.
Growing heirlooms creates a tangible and edible connection to your food and offers a means to diversify and customize your garden. The beauty of heirlooms is that you can find specific vegetables suited to your own tastes, growing climate, and purpose.
Creating your own productive patch is incredibly rewarding, sustainable, great for the planet and extremely tasty. To ‘grow your own’ fruit and vegetables is environmentally friendly and whacking even a few heritage and heirloom varieties in the patch makes a good thing even better.
Popular Easy to Grow Heirlooms
- Shallot & Chives
Top Tips for growing Heirlooms
- Feed the soil, not the plant – Golden rule for organic gardening. Feeding the soil comes down to adding organic matter. The more organic matter added, the better. Organic matter can be added by topping up the garden beds with compost and mulch. An all-round fertiliser such as Blood and Bone with potash should also be added to ensure adequate plant nutrition. Lime dolomite is also a great addition to the soil. This ‘sweetens’ the soil, balances soil pH and helps to increase plant production.
- Feed the plant as well – Foliar feeding involves applying dilute liquid fertiliser to the foliage of the plant. Seasol and Powerfeed are liquid seaweed concentrated fertilisers ideal for applying as a foliar spray. Foliar feeding increases the activity of beneficial bacteria on the leaf surface which aids plant nutrition. Foliar feeding encourages bigger, healthier leaves, which are the solar panels powering plants.
Where to buy Heirloom Seeds