Using good cultivars is the first step toward successful gardening. Cultivars vary in such characteristics as adaptability, earliness, color, shape and size. They also vary in their resistance or tolerance to diseases, insects and nematodes. Good seeds of superior cultivars are inexpensive in the long run.
You can buy good seeds locally or from catalog seed companies. Whenever possible, use cultivars resistant or tolerant to diseases, insects or nematodes.
Many times you have a choice between hybrid vegetable cultivars and open-pollinated cultivars. Hybrids often have more vigorous growth, higher productivity, greater uniformity and increased disease resistance than open-pollinated cultivars.
However, hybrid seed is usually more expensive than open-pollinated seed and seeds taken from hybrids do not breed true. In addition, many open-pollinated cultivars often produce as well as hybrids. Therefore, it is a good idea to compare several cultivars to determine the best ones for your needs.
Hybrid cultivars are available of asparagus, beet, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, cucumber, eggplant, muskmelon, onion, pepper, pumpkin, squash, summer squash, sweet corn, tomato and watermelon.
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