Seed Swap Primer

Not sure how a swap works? Check out our 8 tips.

By Lynn Coulter

Arrive early. Heirloom seeds can be hard to find, so they’ll go fast.

Bring small plastic bags, empty pill bottles or envelopes to carry your seeds home.

Bring a pen or marker. It’s easy to forget what’s what, so write down the type of seeds. You can also jot down who gave them to you and where they came from, along with any growing tips.

Share. It’s nice if you can bring seeds to trade. Even if they’re hybrids, other gardeners will appreciate them. But if you come empty-handed, don’t worry. Somebody will probably give you some stock to get started.

Don’t be greedy. Gardeners may have only a few seeds of each variety to give away, so appreciate the tiny treasures you’re given.

Store the seeds. If you can’t plant right away, store your seeds in a cool, dry, dark place until you’re ready to use them.

Grow them. Gardeners who give away their heirlooms are both generous and trusting. Don’t let them down by failing to plant and letting the seeds perish.

Pass them along. When your heirloom plants are finished, save the seeds to sow next year and pass along any extras. That’s how we’ll keep heirlooms going.

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