Organic Gardening – Open Pollination in Your Garden

Most seeds sold at garden centers and department stores are hybrid seed. These produce a plant that if the seeds are saved will not reproduce the same plant as it’s parent plant. They are generally bred in an open pollinated environment, through a hybrid cross and genetically modified. To reproduce the same plant year after year you want it to be open pollinated.

Open pollinated seed saving is the oldest methods in gardening or agriculture itself. Heirloom seeds are open pollinated. When they are planted, a population of open pollinated plants that are of a like variety of the parent plant and pollen from other varieties that are within just distance will aid in the pollination process. The seeds from these plants can be saved for replanting and the variety will generally improve as it adapts to your area.

Hybridization is when a technical method is applied to two open pollinated varieties that are growing side by side. This is to insure that the seeds will receive pollen from it’s companion plant to develop a distinct variety. This method is done many different ways, the most common being detasseling.

In this method of detsaaeling, usually three rows of the father breed of plant are planted and one of the mother in a continuous pattern. Then the mother rows are detasseled, this where they have their pollen removed. This ensures that any pollen they receive came from the father row of plants. The mother plant seeds are then harvested, this is known as an F1 or first generation hybrid. If the seed of the F1 hybrid were saved and grown as an open pollinated variety, the seed saved would be a F2 hybrid generation, and so on.

Open pollinated plants can be pollinated by other crops in your garden and have there genetics change in the garden. Location when planting this type of plants need some consideration. Peppers are a plant that will cross pollinate with other plants. This can cause your sweet peppers to cross pollinate with hot peppers if they are planted to close together.

Open pollination is a method of pollination that is preformed naturally by insects, birds, wind and nature.

A environment friendly and healthy way of gardening. Organic Gardening is away of gardening in harmony with nature. Growing a healthy and productive crop in a way that is healthier for both you and the environment.