Preppers: Stockpiling Hybrid Seeds
Kevin Felts 03.05.18
Believe it or not, hybrids are not bad nor is it bad to stockpile hybrid seeds. A lot of the stigma about hybrid seeds is the seeds can not be saved. If they are saved and replanted, there is a good chance the seeds will be sterile. If the seeds do sprout, they may not bear true to form. Simply put, seeds from hybrid plants may not look like their parents.
On the flip side of the coin, hybrids are usually more resilient than heirloom.
Gardening season is upon us, and so are the seeds. If anyone is interested in stockpiling seeds, March is the month to do it. One easy but expensive way is to stockpile seeds is to go to the local Big Box Mart and buy the seed packets. If someone wanted to stockpile in bulk, then check out the local farm supply stores.
Chances are some of the seed packets are going to be labeled, “Hybrid.” Even some of the seed sold at the local family owned farm supply store are hybrid.
So stockpiling hybrid seeds is a doubled edged sword:
- Seeds may be sterile, or may not bear true to form.
- Hybrid plants are usually more resilient than their parents.
Stockpiling Hybrid Seeds
From a prepping point of view, it would be wise to stockpile hybrid along with heirloom seeds. Let’s say someone plants a crop of field corn, and the crop fails. Field corn is usually an heirloom. This is what your great grandparents ate before the widespread popularity of hybrid sweet corn.
Chances are the hybrid will grow when the heirloom fails. The hybrid has traits from both parents. Let’s say one parent is blight resistant, and the other parent is drought resistant. Hopefully, the hybrid is blight and drought resistant.
Someone is going to say something like, “If you save the seed from heirloom, it becomes adjusted to the soil conditions.” How many people reading this article have a stockpile of saved seeds they harvested themselves? We are talking about having a seed stockpile that can be used in a complete collapse of society.
For example, let’s say there is a collapse and the nation is in a drought. Would you plant heirloom or hybrid? I would plant hybrid. However, not everything has a hybrid available.
The most popular hybrid seeds are going to be corn and tomatoes. Few members of the pea, bean, okra and melon family have hybrid seeds available. Cucumber have the burpless variety, which is a hybrid.
When developing a seed stockpile, take into account spring and fall gardens, and crop rotation. My stockpile of hybrid sweet corn would be mostly for livestock feed.
My grandfather would grow corn during the summer, then use it to feed to cattle and pigs through the winter. One day I asked my dad if they ever ate the corn, and he said rarely. Granny mostly fed my dad oatmeal, which is one reason why the stockpiling oatmeal article was posted.
Question to the reader: How detailed is your seed stockpile? Are hybrids a consideration?