Heirlooms sold as hybrids

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

This seems like an oxymoron to me but since many of us grow "heirloom" O/P tomatoes I thought some of you may be interested. Here is the link to get there. http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1251285/ Apparently Edenbros (possibly other companies too) are selling seeds for Heirloom Hybrids because the variety is old not O/P tho. Now many of these seeds are for corn, which I dont grow because the worms won, but youll get the idea.

Your thought, opinions, and facts would be greatly appreciated. Up until now the only thing I was sure of regarding Heirlooms is that they were O/P apparently I was wrong.

Ray-do you have that Abe Lincoln pic handy?

Edited because Im better with dirt then computers..

This message was edited Apr 9, 2012 3:12 PM

Oceanside, CA(Zone 10a)

Here ya go. I've also seen Stupice, Box Car Willie, Black Cherry, Juliet and a few others labelled as Hybrid Heirlooms. Silliness!

Thumbnail by Ray_Der_Phan
Vista, CA

I am sure the word "Heirloom" ranks right up there with "Organic" as a super sales word to a lot of people.


Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

To me heirloom always meant O/P. It is a buzz word for marketing I agree. But it was a word that meant the seeds you saved would come true.

Thanks Ray. I thought Juliet was always a hybrid, one reason I've never grown it. I have seen seeds in catalogs that were heirloom like hybrids. I've never seen the other ones you mentioned as anything but heirlooms. It's strange because nobody seems to agree on how old an heirloom actually is. Now there is no standard for how it is produced. I just don't see how F1 seeds, that were achieved by commercial pollination could be considered an heirloom.

Ray, what company sells that plant? It might say but I can't see it.

I guess we shall see...

This message was edited Apr 9, 2012 7:08 PM

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

The way I understand it is=
Every tomato we grow today was at one time a hybrid until it was grown out into a steady strain and became an OP.
Some of the Heirlooms are Hybrids and some are OP but most are OP. I always understood Heirloom to mean handed down from generation to generation and old variety but not always OP.
Goliath for example:
Old Fashioned Goliath is a hybrid but it is also considered an heirloom variety.
Then you have the Goliath OP
And Goliath Hybrid.
There are thousands and thousands of tomato varieties out there and I do not know all their history but it can get interesting.
Some companies do stick the words heirloom on some plants so they will sell better even though they are not heirlooms. I guess the only way to know for sure is search the history if you're dead set on growing something that is not a hybrid.
F`1 F2 F3 etc... Can become a tangled web like cleaning up after a tornado.
(wishing I was a tomato scientist)

Happy Gardening

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Of course all O/Ps were a hybrid at one time, but they have been bred enough times that they now come true from seed. But you cant hand down a hybrid. The hybrids that we buy are ALL F1 seeds that are hand pollinated, by a company, every year so we get the same tomato every year. But if the average home gardener saved seeds it would be fruitless (excuse the pun)

In all my catalogs Goliath as a hybrid. Im more concerned with the confusion that a hybrid heirloom can cause, if people want to save seeds for the next year. Im not dead set on growing an heirloom O/P but for people who want to save seeds thats REALLY important.

I get the genetic science but I dont get the Advertising. Ive taught classes (I know, surprise, surprise) and when I ask what an Heirloom is, the only consistent answer Ive gotten is O/P, but I guess that isnt true.

For me the only way to know for sure is to only buy seeds from companies that sell only O/Ps that clearly label them as such. Peppers, the same thing.

You cant hand down a hybrid, and expect the same fruit you got the seed from, so I dont consided that an Heirloom.

Nauvoo, AL(Zone 7a)

There was an Indian family in TN that did cross two varieties and they handed down the recipe (so to speak) along with the seeds f1 cross and when they ran out of seeds, they would do it again. They considered this their familys heirloom tomato seeds but it was a hybrid. Their grandson grew those seed to an OP but it was never like the hybrid so they kept the hybrid going. I am glad some list hybrid on the heirloom so I know it wont come true if i save the seeds from it.
I much prefer the OP heirlooms too.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Im glad they say it too, they pretty much have to, AND I would love to hear more about their Family hybrid, that is very interesting.

Up until now I have never heard of an Hybrid heirloom (sold commercially) and the confusion that it causes concerns me. I believe it is deliberately misleading. Oh well! Ill just stick to my same old seed companies.

Cricket, Im sorry if I sounded "abrupt" in my previous post, I dont feel good and the humidity only makes it worse.

I much prefer any tomato plant that produces edible friut! lol

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