An exciting thing is happening with tomato breeding these days. There are several very talented breeders who are using heirloom genetics to breed new varieties. These new varieties are open pollinated, stable crosses from heirloom parents. We carry quite a few of these, like the Bumblebees, the Artisan series, etc. You will see them listed as open pollinated but not heirloom on our site.
A hybrid is a cross between two or more open-pollinated varieties. Hybrids tend to be more vigorous and have more disease and stress resistance. This is not always the case, however, as it depends on what an open-pollinated tomato was bred for. We only carry one hybrid variety in our store, Sungold Cherry Tomato (produced by a Japanese company not owned by Monsanto). Saving seeds from hybrids is a risky business as they usually don’t breed true to type. We don’t personally have anything against hybrids, we just prefer open pollinated varieties that we and you can save seeds from. Also, most of the popular hybrid varieties available these days come from companies owned by Monsanto. It is actually difficult to avoid Monsanto controlled varieties because it is not often clear who is producing the seeds you buy. So, we avoid that conundrum by avoiding hybrids.
About Days to Maturity:
The amount of days listed after the variety’s name is the amount of days after transplanting that the first ripe fruit will be ready in a “normal” year in the climate the tester grows in (or an average from different locales). If you are in a coastal region, the north, or anywhere with cool nights or little sun, your days to maturity will be longer. If you are in a hot climate with very warm nights, your days to maturity will be less. So, take the number with a grain of salt and use it to compare one variety to another rather than plan a future menu around it.