MEDFORD, Ore. — As you plan next year’s garden, it’s time to start thinking about tomatoes. OSU Master Gardener Jane Moyer discusses the difference between heirloom and hybrid tomatoes in planning for next year’s garden.
Heirloom tomatoes are open-pollinated (pollinated by wind, birds, insects, but not by mechanical means), the seeds replicate the parent plant; and variety has been around for a long time (exact amount of time differs from source to source; 50 years, 100 years, before 1951, before 1940, etc.)
Hybrid tomatoes can be open-pollinated or mechanically pollinated; the parent plant resulted from cross-pollinating two or more varieties. The seeds are not stable and will revert back to one of the original varieties. Variety has not been around for a long time with Hybrids.
The OSU Master Gardeners Hotlines:
Jackson County: 541-776-7371
Josephine County: 541-476-6613
Klamath County: 541-883-7131
Curry County: 541-247-6672