The Q&A Archives: Definitions

Question: What are open pollinated seeds, bolting, and damping off ?

Answer: The words open-pollinated or standard refer to non-hybrid plants. Most heirloom plants are open-pollinated. If you are considering harvesting seeds from your own crops you should be sure to select open-pollinated varieties. Plants grown from seeds of open-pollinated varieties will grow true to type; that is, they will closely resemble their parents. Plants grown from seed collected from hybrid varieties may or may not produce good quality fruits.<br><br>Bolting occurs when greens, onions, and some other crops produce a flower stalk. This is undesirable in crops not grown for fruits and is usually associated with the onset of hot weather or increased day length. Look for greens that are resistant to bolting for a longer harvest. <br><br>Damping off is a fungal disease that attacks young seedlings. It occurs when a non-sterile medium is used for seed starting, containers used for seed starting are not sterile, seeds are sown too deeply, or seeds become too moist. Damping off will cause germination to not occur or may kill tiny seedlings.

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