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Definitions

Annual: An annual plant is a plant that completes its life cycle, from germination to the production of seed, within one year, and then dies. Summer annuals germinate during spring or early summer and mature by autumn of the same year. (Source Wikipedia)

Biennial: A biennial plant is a flowering plant that takes two years to complete its biological lifecycle. In the first year, the plant grows leaves, stems, and roots (vegetative structures), then it enters a period of dormancy over the colder months.

Indeterminate: varieties of tomatoes are also called “vining” tomatoes. They will grow and produce fruit until killed by frost and can reach heights of up to 10 feet although 6 feet is considered the norm. They will bloom, set new fruit and ripen fruit all at the same time throughout the growing season (Source Wikipedia)

Determinate: varieties of tomatoes, also called “bush” tomatoes, are varieties that are bred to grow to a compact height (approx. 4 feet). They stop growing when fruit sets on the terminal or top bud, ripen all their crop at or near the same time (usually over a 2 week period), and then die (Source Wikipedia)

Germination rate: The percentage of seeds that actually germinate, based on growing out 100 seeds.  You don’t have to actually start 100 seeds, but use it as a base. For example, if one seed germinates in a group of 10, then you have a 10% germination rate (Source Daves Garden)

GMO: is any organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques (i.e., a genetically engineered organism). GMOs are used to produce many medications and genetically modified foods and are widely used in scientific research and the production of other goods. (Source Wikipedia)

Heirloom varieties are open-pollinated meaning that unlike hybrids, seeds you collect from one year will produce plants with most of the characteristics of the parent plant. And that’s key to their survival. (Source Burpees)

Hybrid seeds: “Hybrids result from the deliberate crossing of two different parent varieties from the same species.  F1 refers to “first generation off-spring” from these two distinct parent varieties.  If you plant seed saved from an F1 hybrid variety, you will not get the same result as the parent plant (will not be “true to type”).  The off-spring will revert back to the different traits of the separate parent varieties.  In order to produce new seed for hybrid varieties, the parent plants must be crossed each time to create the same combination.  Plant breeders began producing hybrids as a way of combining the best traits of separate varieties into one creating what is known as hybrid vigor. Hybrid varieties offer greater disease resistance, vigor and uniformity than open-pollinated or heirloom varieties.” (source High Mowing Seeds Blog)

Open pollinated seeds:  generally refers to seeds that will “breed true.” When the plants of an open-pollinated variety self-pollinate, or are pollinated by another representative of the same variety, the resulting seeds will produce plants roughly identical to their parents. (Source Wikipedia)

Perennial plant: A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant that lives for more than two years. The term is often used to differentiate a plant from shorter-lived annuals and biennials. The term is also widely used to distinguish plants with little or no woody growth from trees and shrubs, which are also technically perennials. (Source Wikipedia)

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