In my last gardening blog I suggested purchasing organic, untreated seeds. Some of you might be wondering why I buy organic seed or, why I buy untreated seeds?
Non-Organic Seeds vs. Organic Seeds
First let’s start with non-organic seeds. These seeds are generally grown using conventional methods, which include the use of chemical fertilizers, insecticides and the like. Organic seeds are grown by a certified organic grower, where the seeds are not exposed to any chemicals throughout their growing, harvesting or processing stages. Using organic seeds reduces our direct exposure to chemicals and we reduce the use of chemicals in our gardens.
In the past, certified organic seed was just available through mail-order companies, but that is changing quickly. There are more and more seed companies offering a line of certified organic seeds that can be found in your local stores. If you want a broader range of organic seed to choose from, check out one of the mail-order companies listed in a previous blog post.
Treated Seeds vs. Untreated Seeds
Treated seeds are seeds that have been dusted with an approved (USDA) chemical anti-fungal (captan, apron, thiram) to help common issues like fungus or insect damage that can affect germination (usually happens if soil is cold and damp). Some examples of treated seeds are beans, corn, peas and some melon seeds. This chemical dusting can be seen on the seed (like a bright pink) and will carry warnings on how to handle the treated seeds.
Now for untreated seeds. It is simple. The untreated seeds have not been given the final chemical application.
For my own peace of mind I like knowing that I am not exposing my soil, plants or produce to some possible hazardous chemical. One way I can limit this exposure is by purchasing organic, untreated seeds.