We are often asked the question, “What are hybrid seeds exactly?” The easiest way to provide a hybrid seed definition is to first understand what is not a hybrid seed. You may notice that some plants mature earlier than others of the same strain, or may have a slightly different colour. This is a clear indication that they are open pollinated. If you grow their seed next year, you will pretty much get the same plant you had the previous year. This is a great, cost-effective way for you to select plants that do well in your garden.
However, uniformity in disease resistance, date of maturity, and all physical qualities is necessary for most market gardeners and useful for home gardeners with very limited space. This uniformity is ensured by growing hybrid seed.
A hybrid is created by crossing two unique parents. Crossing involves taking the pollen from the male and transferring it to the female. The first generation of offspring from this cross all look and act the same. They also show what’s known as hybrid vigour: these plants come out stronger than their parents. But you can’t plant their seed in order to raise these plants the following year. The seed collected from a hybrid plant will either resemble one of the parents, or be sterile. Throughout this website we have indicated whether the seed is hybrid or open pollinated.
We at West Coast Seeds feel there are benefits to growing both open-pollinated and hybrid seeds. We endeavour to provide both types of seeds for all the crops that we offer. With the understanding of the benefits and disadvantages of both hybrid and open-pollinated varieties, you – our customer – can choose which type of seed you want to grow.
Can a hybrid seed also be CERTIFIED ORGANIC?
The answer is Yes!