Swap Seeds for a Better Garden this Year
Gardener’s have traditionally loved to trade with each other: tips ad advice, seeds and plants, even tools of the trade. It is no surprise that as the seed supplies available from seed companies have been shrinking, that grassroots gardeners have stepped up to organize seed swaps.
National Seed Swap Day
Last Saturday of January.
These are great places to go to let others have some of your abundance and to try out the seeds of someone else’s harvests.
Gather and store your seeds, then participate in a local seed swap in January. Just in time to start some new plants for your coming garden season.
It is a wonderful way to obtain little known heirloom seeds from local gardener’s such as yourself, and pick up some helpful growing tips, as well.
Why Have a National Seed Swap Day?
The winning logo design by Matthew Smith of Richwood, OH. Join in to increase the available seedbank, to make new gardening friends, and participate in one of the fun aspects of growing plants.
An Old Idea Takes on New Enthusiasm
The first annual Washington Gardener Seed Exchange was held on January 26, 2006.
It was a success!
Would you like to know how to organize your own see swap? Some ideas to get you started.
Why swap your seeds?
- Some people have more seeds than they can grow
- Often people have a hard time finding a certain type of seed
- Seeds might be best for local conditions, or not predictable for widespread conditions
- Desirable seeds are heirlooms, now lost to the trade
- It is a way to avoid GMO tampered seed
Celebrating the saving and sharing of seeds by home gardeners across the United States
How To Save Seeds This Year
4 Easy Steps
- Nurture the plant into a healthy maturity
- Allow seeds to mature, harvest and dry pods. Remove husks.From fruits like tomatoes, allow to ferment, then wash seeds after removal from pulp. Dry on a clean surface.
- When thoroughly dry, save seeds inside cellophane wrappers, envelopes or jars.
- Always store in a cool, dry place.
Garden Basics – Preserve Your Own Seeds
Whether you are homesteading or simply wanting to save some money and make sure you have a supply of your favorite flowers and vegetables, saving your own is a good skill to have.
Seed Saving Bible
No small chapter on keeping seed, this is an entire tome that covers the A to Z. I think one reason we hesitate to do something like preserving seeds for ourselves is because we don’t know enough about it.
This is a book for every garden bookshelf.
What a Seed Swap Looks Like
Seeds saved from hybrids don’t come true from seeds collected from the parent plants.
Add Seedlings for Variety and Convenience
Make a list of your desired seeds in advance. It is easy to get caught up in the excitement, forgetting your original list of wanted seeds.
Write down your list to keep focused.
There is no one way to gather and keep seeds. If you wish to build your own collection of heirlooms and special varieties, a book with the various techniques and the growing directions for at least a hundred kinds of common home garden plants is a great start.
Learn How to Observe this Day
Gardeners can benefit each other and build a seed bank
Seed Preservation is Quite Easy
It is so easy to save seeds, but there are a few things to remember:
(1) One thing is to keep the seeds dry. They germinate with moisture, so it makes sense to keep seeds dry as you save and store them.
Simply keeping seeds is often a matter of collecting and keeping your seeds dry. The reason a seed swap is so helpful is the chance to meet with other gardeners for tips and to learn from their seed saving techniques- plus the chance to come by seeds you may otherwise not collect or grow, on your own.
(2) The temperatures for storage should stay on the cool side, but most seeds are best if not frozen.
The directions for saving and storing seeds use words like “often” or “most” since the majority of seeds are gathered and behave, once stored, in the same way. But not all do. If you know what conditions your desired seeds may need, you can preserve them until they are needed without any trouble.
(3) Some seeds need special conditions. Whether they need scarification, or freezing, certain light conditions or not, there are directions to help you have success. Key to success: following the directions for the desired seed.
Look up information on the seeds you plan to save. For newbies it is probably a good idea to stay with the common, simpler types of seeds.
If you like a challenge, however, go ahead and try something that needs scarification, time in winter conditions to sprout.
Tips on Organizing your Seeds
Seed Saving Handbook
In its 2nd edition because so many gardeners find the information so helpful. Vegetable gardening is becoming a more important endeavor for many gardeners including myself.
Where did all the heritage tomatoes come from? Those who understood these techniques and kept delicious, little-known varieties alive by saving their seeds.
Now the rest of us can learn how.
Seed Saving and Swapping Links for National Seed Swap Day
- How to Harvest, Clean and Prepare Heirloom Seeds for Storage
Vegetable Seed Saving Handbook
- How to Organize a Community Seed Swap
The benefits of swapping seeds locally are many: save money, connect with your community, find rare and locally adapted seeds, preserve biodiversity, learn from experienced gardeners – the list goes on and on. So here are a few tips for organizing a
- Seed Swap :: National Gardening Association