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Author Topic: How the Seed/Plant Exchange Works  (Read 501 times)

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Patty S

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How the Seed/Plant Exchange Works
« on: April 09, 2009, 10:45:00 AM »

It was called to my attention recently that some folks have never been involved in seed swaps, so they don't have a clue as to how it works.  I do apologize for not explaining the ins & outs of our seed exchange to our forums members when it first started, but better late than never - I'll do it now.
 
Typically, seed & plant swaps like ours are set up for the purpose of people being able to share things from their gardens with other forum members, but I've never heard of anyone refusing to share seeds or plants if someone didn't have anything to share back... I think that being garden lovers, we're all happy to share what we have when we can.

If a member isn't within a reasonable distance, making it impossible to meet & exchange in person, seeds are mailed.  Many people prefer to use the bubble envelopes, so the seeds don't get crushed when they go through the machine at the post office, but I've always sent mine in regular envelopes & mailed them at the post office (rather than just putting them in the mail box), requesting that the clerk stamp a "hand cancel" notation on the envelope.  No one has ever reported back to me that the seeds were damaged.

I know people who have mailed African Violets & other potted plants, & I suppose they just make sure that the plants are securely packed so they don't get beat up during shipping, & do something to contain the soil.  I've mailed strawberry plants to Illinois, & all I did was to make sure that the bare roots had enough moisture to last for a few days (damp paper toweling) & I put them in sealed baggies for the trip.  (Strawberries are pretty tough, so I had no doubt that they'd do fine, which they did.)

From what I've observed on other forums, I think that people generally post what they have to offer, as well as what they'd like to have, here in the Seed/Plant Exchange section. However, because this is a secure site, we ask that you share addresses & phone numbers through the Personal Message feature & never post such personal information on the public forum.

I can't think of anything else to say about how the seed exchange works, so if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask here. :ok:
If you stare at this picture long enough you should be able to see a giraffe.
                                   
                             Happy Mental Health Day!!

SkyeBleu

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Re: How the Seed/Plant Exchange Works
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2009, 01:24:06 PM »

Patti:
Thanks for adding this and for your GENEROUS sharing of your seeds the other day.  As I learn more about seed gathering, I hope to share some of mine in the future.  I wasn't expecting so much!  A small envelope with a little of these, a little of that.  It was so nicely gathered and presented to me.  Thank you! 

Happy and Blessed Easter  :dancingbunny:

Beth aka SkyeBleu
~Green Acre Farm~
~Dogs Rule My Life~ and ~Chickens Make Me Smile~

Patty S

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Re: How the Seed/Plant Exchange Works
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2009, 10:53:12 AM »

You're most certainly welcome, Beth, & I enjoyed meeting you!  (One of the exciting things about having so many "local" folks here on Bananabelt Gardening is that we have a chance to meet each other in person. :yahoo:  If we can generate some interest, I'd like to see a bunch of us getting together for an outing... a plant sale... a picnic... a flower show, some time this summer.)

I'm more happy to share my extra seeds every year.  It's best to pass seeds on for the growing season following their harvest, to ensure their viability. I've found that most veggie & herb seeds remain viable for longer than 1 year, but there is always the chance that you'll have a few empty spots in your garden rows when using older seeds.  Generally speaking, flower seeds grow especially more vulnerable with age, so I don't like passing them on after the first year... (just to save my reputation!) :giggle: If I can't give them away I usually find somewhere to toss them where they can grow, & I wind up with a variety of flowers growing haphazardly where there would otherwise be only ugly dirt, weeds or wild grasses to look at. :Flower:


Quote from: SkyeBleu
It was so nicely gathered and presented to me.  Thank you! 
Nicely gathered? It's nice to know that putting seeds in baby food jars & junk mail envelopes (all properly marked, of course) & presenting them in a burrito box is considered "nicely gathered"!   I would normally put them in ziplock bead bags & print up nice little seed packets with planting & care instructions, but due to the budget crunch this year, I wasn't able to buy the bead bags or the print cartridges... & why not recycle anyway, when all those return envelopes that come with the bills would otherwise be used to make payments?! :lala02: 

One tip that I might mention when packing seeds up for sharing, is that because envelopes don't always stay closed & seeds can fall out... or tiny ones can leak out through the corners, it's helpful to "double bag" them.  When I packed yours up, I put the larger seeds (beans, peas) in envelopes that would fit into larger envelopes, or made little bindles for the tiny seeds & then placed them into regular envelopes.  Since I didn't need to be concerned about shipping space or weight, the seeds that hadn't been separated from pods or chaff, such as the Basil & Zinnia seeds, went into baby food jars.  Also, I noted on most of the flower envelopes, the height of the individual flowers, so you'd have a better idea of where to plant them in your beds.  (If I didn't write "full sun" on any of them, I meant to :slapself: cuz just about everything I have grows in full sun, beings that I only have one little strip of shade here.)
 
If you have any questions about planting or water requirements for any of those seeds, just pop a question into the Garden Chat section. (I do have all that stuff already written out, here in my seed packet files.) The only thing I can think of that I may not have mentioned to you, is that the Basil & Zinnia seeds won't do well at all if planted too early, so wait until the ground is good & warm.  They both go crazy in warm soil & catch up with everything else in no time. :grinn: Let me know if you need any more seeds, cuz I still have LOTS!
Happy Easter to you too! Enjoy the blessings this day brings. :throbheart:
If you stare at this picture long enough you should be able to see a giraffe.
                                   
                             Happy Mental Health Day!!
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