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Seeds sprouting in egg cartons filled with soil
An increasingly popular style of gardening, using heirloom seeds to grow vegetables is perfect for gardeners who like fresh, healthy home-grown produce, but what are they and why should you use them?

What are heirloom seeds?

Heirloom seeds are seeds that have been passed down through generations of a plant because their produce is valued for their flavour, productivity, hardiness or adaptability.

Why use heirloom seeds?

Heirloom seeds can be used to grow many different types of plants, from vegetables and fruits to a large range of flowers. The benefit of growing heirloom vegetables from seeds is that the produce may have unique colours, textures or tastes that are hard to produce in large quantities.

Another reason why using heirloom seeds is a good idea is that, like when propagating, you can save money by using the seeds from plants that you already have.

Are heirloom seeds organic or GMO?

A common misconception is that all heirloom seeds are organic. While many varieties are organic, some heirloom seeds may not be, so it's best to check with the producers of the seed.

However, one thing that you can be sure of is that heirloom seeds aren't GMO (genetically modified) produce. That's because genetically modifying a seed is the opposite of what an heirloom seed is – a seed that is passed down through generations of the fruit due to positive characteristics.

Growing heirloom vegetables

Heirloom seeds are ideal for growing at home or in small market gardens. Some common vegetables that grow well from heirloom seeds include varieties of tomatoes, capsicums, pumpkins and potatoes.

When planting heirloom seeds, there isn't any difference to any other vegetable. Prepare your soil by adding some compost to it. Then dig a small hole for the seed, pop it in a couple of inches below the surface and cover it back up. Make sure you compact the soil to remove any air from the hole. Then you can add a liquid fertiliser and water liberally.

Get planting

Check out our great range of seeds and plants online or at your local Bunnings.

 

More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.