What Do F1 and OP Mean?

At the end of vegetable descriptions, each variety is labelled "F1" or "OP". This is important only if you plan to save seeds from the plants that you grow to replant in the future.

F1 hybrids are created by deliberately taking pollen from the male parts of one pure, inbred plant and transferring it to the female parts of a different pure, inbred plant. The goal is to produce a new variety that is superior to either parent: larger, higher-yielding, more disease-resistant, more delicious or more vigorous, among other criteria. The new variety is called an F1 hybrid. Seed from F1 hybrid plants will not likely breed true for future crops. You should start each growing season with F1 seed from a reliable supplier like us. (Our vegetable seeds have a shelf life of two to five years, noted on the back of each packet.)

On the other hand, varieties labeled "OP" (short for open-pollinated) will grow true to variety name from seeds produced by the plants that you grow yourself. These seeds may be saved and will produce the same plant in future sowings as long as proper seed-saving procedures are followed. Please refer to www.seedsave.org for detailed seed-saving instructions.