Quality and cost of seed

Do more expensive seeds of the same plant variety make for better seeds? Johnny's seems to have expensive seeds compared to some other sources (Henry Fields, Territorial), but does that make them any better?
Thank you.
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No. Two things to look for tho. (1) Amount/number of seeds per packet. Many of the cheaper companies put a minimal amount of seeds per packet. (2). Reputation of the retailer. There are a few out there who tend to sell older seeds. This is more prevalent in the "heirloom" niche than with commercial cultivars. Some of the "heirloom" venders are not too careful about varietal purity either. So you might get something quite different with different vendors, even when the name and description are the same. Most major retailers buy thiers seeds from the major seed producers like Seminis , Rogers, Seeds by Design, Sakata ........
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FDR wrote:

Yes. Johnny's has a higher germination rate than some (all?) competitors.
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The irony being duly noted and all, what, pray tell, makes you think that changing the genetics of a plant is the object of organic farming?
Penelope
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Buying organic seeds means the farmer that produced them is trying to tread lightly on the earth, and I want to support those efforts. Even if I don't manage to be %100 organic in my yard, I can sure give a little help to those who do.

No, it doesn't. It doesn't take any longer to set up a flower or vegetable bed doing it organically than using chemicals. I moved into the house I'm in now in mid-summer, too late for much of a veggie garden; but by the next spring, I had a 15 X 20 foot area cleared and turned. I didn't use any weed killers or chemical fertilizers, just lots of compost, manure, and a shovel. The second year, after having a tree cut down and a shed removed, I extended the garden another 20 feet. This time I had a tiller, which was lovely when it came to getting all those tree roots up.

I'll assume you're speaking of your own efforts, otherwise I'll have to ask for a cite. I also note your deliberate negativity. Using the words "sucked into" implies that organic gardening is some sort of scam that people, to their detriment, are deceived into attempting. It not, it's a very legitimate and pleasant way to manage a farm or a garden. It's not for everyone, but it's not a scam.

Oh hogwash. With all the information the Internet puts at your finger tips, anyone can get all the help they need to garden exactly as they want. The most important part of putting in a garden is good soil prep, but that's true for both organic and chemical users.

I'm sorry your attempt at gardening organically left you so twisted and bitter, but not everyone has that much trouble. I don't own a hoe, and the biggest problem I have with weeds is the Lemon Basil thickets that spring up all over my yard.
And Round Up is not the worst thing you can do to a garden, it doesn't linger in the soil, and it only affects the plants sprayed. It doesn't, however, kill the seeds in the soil; either, so you have to keep spraying and spraying and spraying over the growing season, and that makes it easier to damage the garden plants accidentally. I, personally, would rather till the garden once in the spring, then use mulch and weed paper to keep weeds from coming back; much better use of my time, and I don't have to buy several expensive bottles of Round Up. And, as a bonus, the mulch and weed paper conserve water and prevent splash up of soil that can cause some plant diseases. The very few weeds that do manage to get a roothold are easily pulled when I'm harvesting.
I'm not a fanatic, I've used the poison ivy Round Up on some poison ivy in the yard. I'm very allergic to it, and I can't get close, much less chop it down. I used Andro on fire ant* mounds when I first moved in, just until I could get the nematode populations in this yard up high enough to keep them under control. Now, of course, I watch with amusement as my neighbor scatters Andro about all summer, while I've had maybe two or three mounds in the last couple of years.
I believe that working with nature is much better way to solve problems than applying chemical band aids, both for me and for the earth as a whole; but I recognize there are times when a little help from a chemical goes a long way. Setting up to garden organically is just not as hard as you make it out to be, though, and it's not an all or none proposition.
Penelope
*Just to nip it in the bud...No, sprinkling grits on a fire ant mound does not kill the ants. They do not eat the grits, swell, and explode. All you get from sprinkling grits on a fire ant mound is fat, happy ants. Adult fire ants do not swallow anything solid, they feed the solid to their larva, which chew the grits before swallowing them, and then regurgitate nutrients that the adults eat. Fire ant colonies that disappear after the application of grits are moving because of the disturbance to the mound entrance and not because of death. They'll just open another entrance a few yards away.
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I think you said it well for most of us gardeners. I try to be as organic as it is resonable but sometimes the wonderful world of chemicals has the right answer. The prudent use of Roundup is a god send, and to those organic fananics just can't come up with a better solution, learn to cope.
Have Fun JEM

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Huh? This paragraph just defies logic.
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wrote:

So does most of the rest of what he wrote.
Penelope
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I've had good luck with both cheap and expensive seed. Expense is only one factor. Generally speaking, organic and open pollinated (esp heirloom) varieties are more expensive. I imagine that has something to do with the "economy" of scale. Some things are easier for mass production (like iceburg lettuce - blech!). Some companies print great varietal information in their catalogs, others just print the basics. Usually that means the seed costs a bit more $.
If you feel that seeds are too expensive, you can also consider buying fewer seeds (try to stick to that and see how long it lasts :) ). Buy open pollinated varieties. Save your own seeds.
WRT organic vs chemical.. I wonder how we ever got along without the chem/Ag industry for 2,000+ years.. Sometimes you just have to dig in and do your own research. You can put 10.10.10 on your garden or you can grow a catch crop of winter rye over the winter and undersow a green manure crop of white clover.. Gardening is all about choices!!
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<spurf!>
Oh, my, but you're just a font of misinformation, aren't you?

Yeah, 'cause, um, like, chemicals made all the difference in like, floods and droughts and stuff.
Penelope
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I have started eliminating midifed or synthetic chemicals in my household & garden for a number of reasons. One is cost, not just to my pocket but also the environment. I stopped using laundry powders and detergents in favour of washing soda (sodium carbonate). In my opinion it does a very similar job to commercial powders, though I may need to use a little more than I did of the powders although I never used the amounts recommended on the packaging so it may be like for like had I used the recommended rates. Moreover, washing soda is a product I can buy in bulk (10 kgs or more at a time, I take my own sack) and therefore it comes with less packaging than commercially packed detergents. As a simple product, and in bulk, it utilises less energy to produce ans transport. It does not contain phosphorous or other aspects harmful to water ways (though in large quantities it can in itself have negative effects on waterways) and best of all it is cheaper than commercial supermarket packed powders. Alternatives to synthetic or complex chemicals do exist that can save money as well as our environment.
rob
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Such as? Can you cite something in particular?

And what about the insects and diseases that grow immune to DDT? Is it right to poison and murder kids and children in your quest to kill all diseases, all bacteria and all life?

Go drink a cup of DIET COCA-COLA (or any aspartame chemical, created, sponsored, supported and promoted by the WHOLE George Bush family and Donald Rumsfeld, the President of the company that created and hired an FDA commissioner who accepted bribes to get aspartame approved). The Gulf War Syndrome occured because of... a chemical produced by the George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and others.
Ask yourself why the Gulf War Syndrome happened and why the United States Government refuses to investigate 200,000 armed service members which died within 4 years of returning from the first Gulf War. So go ahead, drink Diet drinks promoted by the American President, by a Vice President that shoots his friends. And stand outside for eight hours each day during the hottest days of the month and we'll see if your here in 4 years.
More chemicals promoted, supported and delivered by George Bush, Bill Clinton and their WHOLE FAMILIES...
http://beveragedaily.com/news/ng.asp?nf190-soft-drinks-benzene-fda http://www.ewg.org/issues/toxics/20060228/index.php http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspartame
The poisonous soft drink list... http://www.ewg.org/issues/toxics/20060228/list.php
And to think that the FDA ALLOWS and supports feeding such drinks to children, to 3 year old kids. Don't put it off on the parents, yeah, they're at fault as well, but it's the United States Government that keeps quiet about such things and ALLOWS such things.

She wasn't calling you any names. She was just pointing out that you shut your eyes on purpose to things that occur around you, hoping that you might acknowledge things your missing.

Again, your eyes are closed. Look at it this way... "organic" IS a marketing word and nothing more, when talking about things on a store shelf. To the people involved in Organic Farming, it tends to carry different definitions and some use chemicals, and some believe in and support the promotion of life, including the promotion of fungai and moss and all sorts of bugs and worms.
Think about this...
Life breeds life more than it breeds death. Death breeds death more than it breeds life.

Your talking about commercialization and advertising there, and nothing more. If you buy a bag of bread marked "Organic" and its produced in the same way the unmarked bags are produced, but you pay a higher price, what are you talking about? People tag a bag of bread as "Organic" as a marketing ploy. They put a higher price on it, and IF they sell more of it, they then mark ALL their bags with the word. It's 100% legal.
If you insist that everything the United States Government sells you and tells you, that's your own fault.
Think about George Bush, the United States Congress, and the words they love to hear coming out of George Bush's mouth. Their favorite words seems to want to inflict fear upon the citizens of the United States of America. What is their favorite word? And who are the objects of their affections, and who do they refuse to protect? "Fahmy Malak"
Jim Carlock Post replies to the newsgroup.
Life breeds life more than it breeds death. Until it's unbalanced.
Death breeds death more than it breeds life. It's always unbalanced.
In Memory Of... Kevin Ives (dead, 17 years old, murdered by law enforcement) Don Henry (dead, 16 years old, murdered by law enforcement)
The FBI refuses to investigate these deaths. The FBI operative that did the initial investigations discovered that the Governor of Arkansas and his hired State Medical Examiner covered of the deaths and issued a statement that the boys fell asleep on some train tracks and were run over by a train. They were run over, but they were taken in by two Arkansas policemen first. The Arkansas policement were the last ones to see the boys alive. Read the reports put out by the lady hired by the FBI to investigate the crimes.
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Jim Carlock asked:

I hesitated when I posted and answered for Penelope. I don't know what she wanted to say. I'll let her answer for herself. My apologies, even if I correctly worded it.
Anyways, you seemed like you knew the answer to the question above and I asked for the answer. I wouldn't have asked if I knew. I'm ignorant about the topic. Only you can answer the question you left open. Don't play word games. Just answer the question.
Specifically, you wrote:

Could you cite where this research was performed? What makes you even suggest or hint that such a study ever existed? I'm not telling you how to think or talk. I'll let you do that yourself.
Your statement above insinuates that you know of something that benefits us all. It even slightly insinuates that DDT saved the human race. I'm curious as to what you exactly wanted to say and if you can cite something that will help yourself.
If you don't have anything, then perhaps think a little more before you post something of the likes. Be prepared to back your opinions up with fact. That's the message I'm conveying.
Take a moment to re-read the quoted lines above. It leaves the reader open to alot of ambiguity. Should it have been posted? Do you really want to stand behind it and support it? IF you want to support it, feel free to support it. I'm eager to see what YOU can provide, as it was YOU that made the statement. So either stand behind it or tell me it was a mistake.
Jim Carlock Post replies to the group.
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the crap was even used as a fertiliser as it spread up the rate of growth. As a weed killer it caused the plant to increase its rate of growth until, in laymans terms, it exhausted itself and decided dying was a better option than growing. We still have pockets of pastoral land contaminated by DDT. Nasty shit and if stuffs up exports of pastoral products.
rob
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Thanks.
As I typed out my previous response, I thought about misquitoes as well. There's some misquitoes that travel around giving diseases in Florida. The first thought that came to mind involved a natural predator. And there is more than one natural predator. The one that folks in Florida are familiar with is the lizard. I've seen a lizard literally jump 6 feet to snatch a bug. The bigger ones end up going after cockroaches and canibalistic behaviour, you'll find that a bigger lizard running around with a smaller lizard's tail hanging out of its mouth. Then there are frogs as well.
So perhaps this has nothing to do with "organic", but it's an argument against the use of DDT or any other chemical. IF there are a lot of misquitoes around, set up a pond. You will draw frogs and misquitoes to the pond. It's quite effective at getting rid of misquitoes in Florida. And if you need some lizards, selling lizards could become a profitable business for folks that want to sell lizards. No one ever seems to think about breeding and selling these little things, they don't make very nice pets, but with the right advertising, people WILL buy them.
Organic Misquito PacMan... Get rid of poisonous chemicals. Safe for the family, safe for the pets, safe for the children and safe for your home. Be adventurous. Natural Misquito Predator $10.00 for 10 Misquito Munchers.
A Real LIVE Mini Jurasic Park... $50.00 Live Miniature Dinosaurs. Live Hunters. Predatory extremes. The animals jump 6 feet to catch their misquito. Natural organic misquoto eradication carnivores.
Thanks for the post.
Jim Carlock Post replies to the newsgroup.
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Jim Carlock wrote:

You have obviously never camped in the heart of the Everglades, as I have. They do not allow spraying there except at Florida City. You can almost cut through the cloud of mosquitoes with a knife. Even Florida City in the summer is almost unbearable.
You may wonder why there is famine in Africa. It is because they do not have the chemical insect control to stop the swarms of locusts that devastate their crops.
I think organic methods have their place in our modern society, and we should strive to replace chemicals whenever possible. However, we are still a long ways away from eliminating the need for chemicals.

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wrote:

Yes, it was that potent chemical H2O that finally ended the Dust Bowl.

Which one? Please, give me a specific disease or insect pest that you believe can't be controlled except through manufactured chemicals. I can't effectively debate vague, hand-wavy stuff like "disease and insect pests". Some are very controllable by husbandry practices or organic methods; some are more difficult.
One that I've had personal experience with was <spit!> thrips and their Weapon of Mass Destruction, Tomato Spotted Wilt virus. It hit this part of the country hard a few years ago, and as anyone who has tried to control <spit!> thrips can tell you, it's almost impossible to eradicate them. Western Flower <spit!> thrips are already highly resistant to many currently registered pesticides, and they have a very short life cycle.
So, universities and commercial agricultural companies teamed up and developed several strains of tomatoes that are resistant to TSWv.

Poor little lost locust! Maybe it would solve the problem if we equipped them with little GPS devices and gave them tiny maps.

Actually, the FAO has been testing biopesticides spray like a natural fungus called Metarhizium. It takes several weeks to kill the locusts, and they spread it to other locusts before they die. They're also interested in trying IGRs, because they feel the amount of chemicals it takes to control a plague is dangerous to the people who live in the sprayed areas.
Chemical spraying also hasn't stopped the plagues, it just manages to shorten the duration.

It's not an either or situation. You keep trying to polarize the debate, when more than one person, myself included, has said that there are times when using chemicals is either unavoidable or preferable to the alternatives.
Personally I would rather not die of starvation or a cancer caused by pesticide exposure, but that's just me.
Most of the agronomists I know recommend integrated pest management systems when possible. Your local extension office can give you more information on the subject, but the definition is:
"Integrated Pest Management is the coordinated use of pest and environmental information along with available pest control methods, including cultural, biological, genetic and chemical methods, to prevent unacceptable levels of pest damage by the most economical means, and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment".
You need to embrace the power of "and".

And exactly where did you get your information? C'mon, put up or shut up, I'm calling you on your bullshit.
The truth is that it varies by crop, and that a gardener or farmer has to evaluate for themselves which system or combination of applications will best fit their crops and philosophy

I saw one last fall. Manure is big business these days.
*dreamy look* I love manure. You know, the best Valentine's Day present I ever got was a load of mushroom compost.
Way, way better than the severed sexual organs of hormone primed and pesticide laced plants.

Now you're comparing apples and oranges. The seasons and methods of applying the two are different.

That's a useless statement. I don't use commercial chemicals, and my plants grown just fine. Same with the organic farmers at the Farmer's Market this morning.

Gosh, no one here would have ever guessed that.

It was a little more complicated than that, but it serves your rhetorical purposes to diminish the problems caused by pesticide residues in the environment. It doesn't strengthen your case, it makes it weaker.

Hogwash.
Insect resistance to DDT started less than 10 years after it hit the market. It was the eradication of malaria in the south that prevented my potential death*. There are still mosquitoes capable of carrying malaria buzzing around here.

No, I don't "got" to ask, because I know we would. What is so difficult about the concept of developing resistance that you can't grasp it? And, how, exactly, would DDT use have prevented Killer bees? Please, lay out a detailed plan of action that would have prevented the introduction of killer bees, and wouldn't have wiped out honey bees.
There are more effective and less dangerous products on the market that might not have ever been developed if we had depended solely on DDT. As a dog and cat owner, may I say hooray for Frontline? And may I say how worried I am over reports of flea resistance last summer? I don't ever want to have to go back to that endless cycle of spraying poison on the yard and fogging the house.

The point is that there are alternatives to chemicals, and using them is both cost effective and environmentally friendly. I will repeat myself and say what I've been saying; and that is that there are situations where commercially produced chemicals are a better choice. I'm not anti-commercial chemical, and I have given examples where I used chemical; but your dogmatic insistence that organic gardening and farming methods are inherently inferior to using commercial chemicals is just wrong.

Wow. The irony is staggering.
I'm not calling people misinformed. I'm calling you misinformed. It was the kindest descriptor I could come up with.

<sigh>
You can lead a horticulture, but you can't make him think.
Penelope, not gonna present an economics lesson, too.
*for which, I'm sure, you're crushingly disappointed.
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wrote:

Yes, poor farming practices that were touted by most experts as sustainable. The minority that expressed concern about soil erosion were ignored.
You know, sort of like those who point out the danger of relying entirely on chemical fixes for farming and gardening problems today.

If there hadn't been a drought, there wouldn't have been a Dust Bowl. The plains were very productive in the twenties, they helped to turn the US into an agricultural exporter.

Guess you're foolish enough to believe a product that temporarily slows water loss by reducing transpiration is the solution to a drought of nearly a decade.
But, I have to thank you for the delicious tidbit of irony on such a glorious sunny spring day. Wilt-Pruf is a natural product made from pine sap. It's 100% biodegradable.
<giggle> It's *organic*.

I think you mispeeled "you need to stop using facts that refute my bullshit."

That happens when you snip out all the bits that refute your arguments.

I have a degree in Animal Husbandry, and, apparently, I'm the one who actually paid attention during my agronomy classes. I have tried to keep up with the literature over the years, too, although most of my reading is dedicated to the animal end of things these days.
Once again, productivity of crops varies, some appear to be more productive with use of manure compost, and others seem to do better with chemical fertilizers, some benefit from combinations of the two. There's not much I can find on-line, but here's one paper that compares manure vs chemical in India.
http://www.journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid005
You can see how the various combinations worked in this case. A dedicated gardener would need to take their local weather, environment, and soil structure into account to formulate the best system for themselves.

No, you started it by attacking organic gardening, an attack you've continued. You still insist that organic gardening is less productive, more work, and that chemicals you espouse are harmless and more helpful. You don't offer any real facts to back up your accusations, but seem to operate on the principle of "Because I said so."

For certain values of loon that mean "disagrees with me".

I already did, but one doesn't need a degree to make any of the points I have. I've already pointed this out, but it was in one of those bits you snipped. Google is your friend. Anyone can find just about all the information they need to successfully prepare and maintain a garden with either chemicals, by organic methods, or by a combination of the two.
Penelope
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No, it's not.

I *am* old and feeble! I was just complaining about how long it takes to recover from an injury anymore. I have to yoga, which I hate, because I'm so inflexible now.
A few weeks ago I was helping my 13 year old neighbor with a science project, and she was sitting next to me while we worked on the computer. She told me, "Your hair is really cool, it's not just blonde like everybody else, it has all this silver in it." *grumble*

Or, you can lay down a little weed paper and mulch and be done for the season. Newspaper works really well, too. If you prevent the weeds in the first place, you don't need Round Up to kill them.

I think that if everyone would make an effort to use just a few less chemicals there would be a dramatic improvement in our environment. No extremism, just integrating more organic methods where possible.
Penelope
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My belief exactly. Female mossies require blood to produce their next generation; it's expecting too much to think they could be diverted from the overpowering instinct to breed merely by some harmless natural plant odour. (DEET is not a natural odour; and apparently it's far from harmless to humans with the directions for use warning against its use for extended periods.)

For a moment there, I feared you were edging towards endorsing the vitamin B myth. It's a wonder someone hasn't already joined this thread espousing vit B, even though as a mozzie repellent it's been thoroughly debunked. -- John Savage (my news address is not valid for email)
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