So we went to the Chicago Botanic Garden Seed Swap and boy was it amazing. There were thousands of seeds being doled out to new and seasoned gardeners. I brought a couple dozen different types of seeds and collected maybe 3 dozen new seeds that I have never planted before. Did you know that sunflowers are a multitude of little flowers on the big head and each one of those little flowers produces a seed. Watch this short video to see sunflowers that have gone to seed, it’s really cool.
Seed swaps are a great way to share your garden. At the end of the growing season let some flowers die and go to seed (in other words no deadheading) and collect the seeds in an envelope. You can store seeds for at least a year and in some cases much longer than that, as long as they are dry and don’t get too hot.
Some of the seeds I collect are Gaillardia, Rose hips, Impatiens, Alyssum, Snap Dragon, Amaranth “Velvet Curtain”, Morning Glory, Moon Flower, Wisteria, Peppers, and Corn. These are all easy and obvious seeds in abundance at the end of the season. They all germinate quickly and you can start them indoors to get a longer growing season.
You can set up a seed swap with any group, either organized or impromptu. All you need is your seeds, envelopes, and a writing instrument. For an informal swap just pick a time and place; everyone arrives with their seeds and the swapping begins. For a more regulated system ask participants to give you a list of their seeds, compile all the lists and give everyone a chance to see what is available. Everyone can make their choices in advance and even set up swaps with individuals. You can all agree to take pictures of your new plants once they are established and share the pictures at the end of the season. The fun just keeps on going.
I have all those seeds and more if anyone is interested in swapping. I love to share seeds and plants and it will be time to start sowing indoors soon. Anyone interested in swapping let me know. And as always comments and suggestions are welcomed and encouraged.