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Heirlooms Abloom.

What Are Heirloom Plants?

You’ve probably heard of a family heirloom before, but what about an heirloom plant? No, an heirloom plant is not an old plant that’s been passed down from your dear old grandma, but as silly as it sounds, that's not too far off the mark.

Heirloom species are plants that are ‘old’ in the sense that the seeds have been collected and passed down with little or no deliberate variation from the original, ‘old world’ plant.

Most fruit and vegetables you buy at supermarkets come from modern plant stock that has been selectively bred and manipulated to have desirable traits. These can be features like higher yields, attractive fruits, or resistance to certain pests and environmental conditions. Heirloom species are the exact opposite of this in that they are closer to the same plants your great-grandparents ate, with only minor changes coming through normal genetic variation. Heirloom plants are essentially the descendants of old varieties that were grown for food or crop without any modern techniques. It's generally accepted that for a plant to be considered an heirloom it must come from a plant that was introduced before the 1950s. Because of this, some heirloom seeds can be quite rare and even valuable.

Heirlooms Aplenty!

Because heirloom species haven’t changed much since they were introduced, the plant you’re getting is a truer indication of the original species. Modern plants sometimes sacrifice flavour and nutrients for higher yields or tougher plants, whereas heirlooms were bred and grown purely for flavour and nutrients, so they’re often a much tastier and more nutritious food crop. Because farmers and gardeners of the past didn’t have modern technology at hand, the only way they could get better crops over the years was to save and sow the seeds from only the best plant, which naturally improved the quality of the harvest over time...

No Room For Heirlooms.

What are some reasons why you wouldn’t want to grow heirlooms?

There’s a reason modern farming and gardening businesses have dedicated so much time and money to produce new species. Modern plants are tougher and more resistant to disease and adverse weather, and they often produce much higher yields per square meter of garden.

Heirloom species may produce objectively better quality crops, but they’re usually more susceptible to pests and disease, and can sometimes struggle if conditions aren't perfect for them.

For gardeners looking for rare, challenging plants with high rewards, heirloom species are a brilliant option. But for those who want the easier route, they might be best avoided

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