Growing A Legacy: TikTokers Show The Richness Of Heirloom Plants And The Power Of Seed Saving

Heirloom seeds are treasures, and gardeners love them. It is said that they have better-tasting produce as the plants they are taken from should be at least half a century old!

That means these seeds have been handed down from gardener to gardener since 1940. That's a long while, and it could be even longer!

You should consider saving some seeds from heirloom plants instead of buying them.

Heirloom tomatoes are one of the most popular of these varieties.

Heirloom tomatoes which has a colors and textures full of nutrients

Jerra has garnered hundreds of thousands of views from her incredible heirloom tomatoes. The colors and textures of each are incredibly rich.

@jerrasgarden Black tomatoes!!! Black Beauty heirloom tomato is doing so well. Seed available in my Etsy shop. #floridagardening #tomato #heirloomtomatoes #garden #gardentok #gardening101 #seed #etsy #gardensoftiktok #gardentips #florida #heirloomseed #blackbeauty #blacktomato ♬ original sound - Jerra's Garden

One user, Jill Kellogg771, commented "Had one of these last year that didn't produce...found out my kids were tossing all the tomatoes because they thought they were rotten." Ha!

This next heirloom tomato comes from Italy. The primary use is for sauces but it makes for a great slice as is due to its meatiness.

@jerrasgarden My favorite tomato - Pomodoro Cuore Antico di Acqui Terme. Limited seed available in my Etsy shop. #floridagardening #heirloomtomatoes #tomato #gardentok #gardening101 #gardentips #vegetablegarden #etsy #gardensoftiktok #permaculture #fyp ♬ The Journey - Sol Rising

This heirloom tomato is green when ripe! Sounds a bit tricky to keep track of, right? Good thing you just have to lightly push on the top to test its ripeness.

@jerrasgarden Have you ever grown heirloom tomatoes that are green when ripe? It is hard to tell when they are ready for harvest because they don't turn red. I test them by pushing on their shoulders. If it gives a little, they are ready for harvest. Tomatoes ripen from the bottom up. Find seeds for my favorite tomatoes plus much more on my website. Blink in lio. #floridagarden #heirloomtomatoes #jerrasgarden #growyourownfood #vegetablegarden #orlandogardening #zone9 #beginnergardener #gardentok #gardentips #urbangarden ♬ original sound - Jerra's Garden

There are so many plants from which you can save seeds. It becomes a closed loop when you can use your own seeds year after year. Tiktoker spicymoustache discusses all kinds of sustainable gardening practices on his page.

@spicymoustache Save seeds, save pachamama 🌍 #foryourpage #fyp #seed #saveseeds #seedsaving #learnontiktok #tiktokshortfilm #sustainable #asmrgarden #growyourown ♬ original sound - SpicyMoustache

You can get into all kinds of incredible sorting and storage systems with the seeds that you have saved. Check out how Tiktoker meggrowsplants neatly organizes all of her seeds:

@meggrowsplants #stitch with @epicgardening the seed addiction is real… #seeds #heirloomseeds #bakercreekseeds #seedstarting #gardeningtips #fypgarden ♬ original sound - MegGrowsPlants

Want to hear a wild story about heirloom seeds? This one is wild. The oldest one to ever be planted was 2,000 years old. The Judean date palm was found in some evacuation in Israel and germinated in 2005!

Archeologists found the heirloom seed in a cool, dry place (not ice cold)- in Herod the Great's palace! I bet he would have been shocked to see this.

The date palm tree
Credit: User Benjitheijneb on Wikipedia

The date palm was even named..... METHUSELAH!

You can read more about this here.

Heirloom seeds need to be appropriately harvested, and there are steps to get the best. As a gardener, you need the experience to get the best seed-saving results.  

To get the best seeds for heirlooms, you should do the following:

  1. Find out if your plant can produce seeds because not all plants do. If you grow hybrid seeds, your plant won't have any seeds.
  2. If your plant produces seeds, harvest them when they mature to save them.
  3. Another important thing you must do is to ensure there is no cross-pollination with other plants.
  4. Harvest only the pods or husks. You could harvest them when they are partially dry.
  5. After harvesting the seeds, ensure that you dry them seeds properly. Otherwise, they might rot, and all you'll get is mold but not heirloom plants.
  6. Store the dried seeds in a cool dark place. Light and moisture could cause your seeds to germinate when in bags but not in your garden.
  7. When ready to plant the harvested seeds, keep them at room temperature. Some gardeners may store them in the freezer. So, remove them and allow them to warm up properly before you plant them; otherwise, they will stay dormant longer before germinating. 

Oh, and remember to plant your seeds before they expire. Some seeds can last for years, while others are no longer useful after a short while. The best way to prolong seed life is keeping them in a refrigerator.

Garden vegetable seeds in handmade envelopes: zuccini or pumpkin, peas and coriander with hote book

Saving seeds from heirloom plants require you to pick open-pollinated seeds. But you could keep everything simple by going for self-pollinating plants, which makes the seed-saving process. 

Good heirloom seeds are self-pollinating vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, beans, peas, and lettuce. With these seeds, you don't have to worry about cross-pollination. Only true breeds pollinated by insects, wind, or birds give the best heirloom seeds.

So heirloom seeds are family gems!

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