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Showing posts from 2015

How to Collect and Save Seeds

Why go to the bother of collecting all those tiny seeds? The first reason is thriftiness. No need for anything in your garden to go to waste. Compost, recycle, and re-use. The second reason is frugality. Why buy new plants every year when you can grow your own for free? Even further, why buy unproven plants or seeds when you know the ones you are collecting from did well and obviously flourished in your yard. Another reason to collect seeds is to ensure the propagation of heirloom varieties and rare, native plants that are not available through other means. Commercial growers and catalogs will often only carry the most popular plants and seeds. By collecting seeds from particular flowers and edibles, you are safe-guarding the future of these species. You are guaranteeing we will have a wide variety of genetic diversity in our future and not just the current “top growers.” The final reason to collect seeds is to trade them. You may have 100s of Cleome seeds and another gar

#SeedSwapDay is our Official Event Hashtag

Please post your pics and comments to social media from your Seed Swap Day events using the hashtag #SeedSwapDay . Feel free to also use the hashtag throughout the year to share what you grow from your seeds you acquired from the swap! We can't wait to see your shares!

How to Prepare for Attending a Seed Swap

Here are a few tips for getting prepared for attending a Seed Swap: ~ Be sure to register ASAP for the swap you want to attend. Space may be limited and some swaps fill fast.  ~ You can bring unused seeds from purchased packs or seeds you gathered from your own garden. Carefully pack and label your seeds as best you can . The more information you can provide, the better. ~ Each seed pack should have a "useable" amount of seed. Use your best judgement. For some plants, like zinnias you might include 20-30 seeds per packet and for others, like tomatoes, you would only need to put in 10 or seeds in a pack. If in doubt, err on the generous side as you can always break up a pack amongst swappers later. ~ Did you know you can make your own seed packs? Get great free downloadable templates are here: ~ Please do NOT bring large quantities of seed in one bag. Seed swap organizers and volunteers are over-whelmed at the check-in tables alre

How to Host a Seed Swap

Whether just among your neighbors, your garden club/plant society, or your wider community, a seed swap can be a terrific way to get lots of seeds, to meet new friends, and to learn a great deal about what grows best in our area.    When setting up a seed swap, pick a date well in advance so that you can give participants several weeks notice. Mid-winter is the perfect season for hosting plant seed events so folks who like to start seeds indoors have enough time before the growing season.    Next you’ll need a location. A big, open space with lots of table surfaces works well. You want some place that can get messy and will allow you to spread out the selections. Tip: contact your local public garden for space and to partner with them.    Send out the invitations and ask all of your participants to carefully label all their seeds. Ask for volunteers to help you set up and clean up as this is definitely not a one-person job.    Gather your supplies. You’ll want to have extra l

What IS National Seed Swap Day and How Did it Get Started?

Swapping Seeds: A Gardening Tradition and Hallmark of GREEN Living! The seed swap is a fundamental part of human history. Seeds were one of the first commodities valued and traded. Today, modern gardeners collect and exchange seeds for many reasons ranging from cultivating rare, heirloom varieties to basic thrift. The exchange of seeds perpetuates biodiversity. It is an act of giving and the ultimate form of recycling. The first annual Washington Gardene r Magazine Seed Exchange was held in Washington, DC, on January 26, 2006. Kathy Jentz, the editor/publisher of the magazine had the last Saturday of January named an official holiday and National Seed Swap Day was born. After that event’s success, seed swaps in other cities across the nation have joined in celebrating National Seed Swap Day each year on (or around*) the last Saturday in January. Please help spread the word on this fun, green occasion! *We consider any seed swap taking places two weeks before or two

Seed Swap Day Logo!

Washington Gardener Magazine held a contest for a logo and/or slogan for National Seed Swap Day last January and our winner is Matthew Smith of Richwood, OH, who submitted this simple, striking design: Matthew said, "Sharing seeds and fostering the ability of communities to garden is something I'm deeply passionate about. I'm excited to contribute this." We hope communities across the nation and the world will join us in celebrating  National Seed Swap Day! If you would like to use this logo at your seed swap event, please contact to have the file sent to you.