Bringing The Hybrid Back Home

Regarding "A modern garden with grandma's seeds" (Personal Business, May 22), it is true that many hybrids were developed to meet the needs of commercial growers. Walk through the produce section of your supermarket and try to imagine what it would look like without the great improvements brought about by selective breeding and hybridization: There would be no more year-round fresh strawberries and broccoli. No more iceberg lettuce without signs of brown rot.

Beyond that, look at all the hybrid seeds offered in the garden seed catalog. They bring disease-resistant crops to the backyard grower and make it possible for so many of us to practice no-pesticide organic gardening. The heirloom plants have their place, and I have grown them in the garden and in my orchard, but they do require extra care and greater use of pesticides to maximize their potential. I do not see that as an advantage.

Norman J. Setter

North Garden, Va.

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