What Are Heirloom Seeds?

Heirloom seeds are a valuable and unique form of gardening and farming heritage. They are ancient varieties that have been passed down and preserved by generations of gardeners and farmers, and they have been prized for their unique characteristics and flavors.

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What Are Heirloom Seeds?

Heirloom seeds are usually open-pollinated, meaning they can be saved and replanted year after year, passing on the same traits and characteristics to their offspring.

These seeds typically existed more than 50 years ago and have been carefully handed down through the generations.

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Heirloom varieties are not tampered with or modified in any way. This results in a healthy bio-diversity of seed types that can often have better resistance to various crop diseases and many other benefits.

Heirloom seeds can be a great way to start a garden and provide a connection to the past. Here are what heirloom seeds are, their history, and how you can use them in your garden.

Picking Heirloom Plants to Grow in Your Garden

Heirloom seeds are available from most garden nurseries and you can also order them online. We’ve featured a few heirloom seed sources below, but just Google the seed name and you’ll be sure to find additional Websites to learn about heirloom seeds from!

    Beans (bush)

    • Black Valentine
    • Brittle Wax
    • Burpee’s Stringless Green Pod
    • Fowler
    • Triomphe de Farcy

    Beans (pole)

    • Scarlet Runner
    • Kentucky Wonder
    • Oregon Giant Snap
    • Potomac


    • Bull’s Blood
    • Chioggia
    • Early Blood Turnip


    • Calabrese
    • De Cicco
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    • Danvers Half Long
    • Red Cored Chantenay
    • Scarlet Nantes
    • St. Valery
    • Touchon


    • Ashworth
    • Golden Bantam
    • Utah King


    • Bushy
    • Double Yield
    • Straight Eight
    • White Wonder


    • Diamond
    • Ping Tung Long


    • Black Seeded Simpson
    • Paris White Cos
    • Tom Thumb
    • Winter Density
    • May Queen Lettuce
    • Little Gem
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    • Green Arrow (sweet peas)
    • Tom Thumb (sweet peas)

    Peppers (Hot)

    • Black Hungarian
    • Hot Lemon
    • Hot Portugal

    Peppers (Sweet)

    • Bull Nose
    • Healthy
    • Klari Baby Cheese


    • Cherry Bell
    • Crimpson
    • Easter Basket


    • Viroflay
    • Noble Giant

    Squash (Summer)

    • Black Zucchini
    • Nimba
    • Yellow Crookneck

    Squash (Winter)

    • Table Queen
    • Waltham Butternut

    Sweet Potatoes

    • Carver
    • Georgia Jet
    • Ivis White Cream
    • Jumbo


    • Black Prince
    • Black Sea Man
    • Clear Pink Early
    • Czech’s Bush
    • Silvery Fir Tree
    • Sophie’s Choice
    • Stupice
    • Yellow Pear


    • Moon and Stars
    • Blacktail Mountain
    • Cream of Saskatchewan
    • Sweet Siberian

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