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Free Seeds, Really

Updated on June 13, 2016
Flower & vegetable seed is available for free from various online sources. Pictured: free radish seed from Sweet Corn Organic Nursery.
Flower & vegetable seed is available for free from various online sources. Pictured: free radish seed from Sweet Corn Organic Nursery. | Source

How to Get Free Seeds

If you're a U.S. citizen, you can get free seeds—really free seeds—for your garden this year from the sources below without sending off a "donation" check, providing credit card or PayPal information, buying products online or giving up seed that you've collected.

In order to get the free seeds, you will have to provide your name and home address (after all, the sources have to actually get the seeds to your home), and in some cases an email address.

A self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) may also be required, but aside from that, the seeds from all five sources really are free.

Really.

Free Milkweed Seeds

Source

Live Monarch

For an SASE Live Monarch provides "milkweed or mixed seeds" appropriate for a butterfly garden in your area.

Send your request to the following address:

Live Monarch - Seed Campaign, 2016 3003-C8 Yamato Road, #1015, Boca Raton, Florida 33434.

Although seeds are free, contributions are welcome, and Live Monarch will accept online donations via PayPal and credit cards. For a dollar online contribution they will send 50+ butterfly garden seeds to you. One thousand seeds for $20.

FREE TOMATO SEED

This year Winter Sown is giving away six packets of tomato seed per household.
This year Winter Sown is giving away six packets of tomato seed per household. | Source

Business envelopes, sometimes called # 10 envelopes are long (4-1/8" x 9-1/2") and roomy.

So that your self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) is large enough to hold the free seeds you've requested, it's best to use a #10. Winter Sown specifically requests it.

WinterSown

For a self-addressed #10 envelope and two first-class stamps, you can get six packets of free tomato seeds from WinterSown. Each packet contains at least six seeds.

Fill out the seed request form on WinterSown's site to get the tomato seeds of your choice, or leave it blank and let Winter Sown select them for you.

Free Seed Sampler Pack from WinterSown

WinterSown is also giving six sampler-size packets of seed free to U.S. citizens who send a SASE (#10 envelope with two first-class stamps) to WinterSown Six Pack SASE, 1989 School Street, East Meadow, NY 11554.

Although you can't choose your seeds, WinterSown's site states that the organization will only send seeds likely to thrive in your region. Samplers may include vegetables, flowers and/or herb seeds.

Those outside the USA can get the seed packet sampler for $2.

For more details, visit the WinterSown site.

FREE ORGANIC HEIRLOOM SEEDS

Thanks for the free seeds, Sweet Corn Organic Nursery!
Thanks for the free seeds, Sweet Corn Organic Nursery! | Source
Chives are among the open-pollinated vegetable and herb seeds sold by Sweet Corn Organic Nursery.
Chives are among the open-pollinated vegetable and herb seeds sold by Sweet Corn Organic Nursery. | Source

SWEET CORN ORGANIC NURSERY

Free Organic Seed from Sweet Corn Organic Nursery

Sweet Corn Organic Nursery sells certified organic and heirloom/open-pollinated vegetable seeds as well as gardening supplies.

Facebook and Twitter users in the U.S. A. can score at least one free packet of seeds from Sweet Corn Organic Nursery by liking the company on Facebook, following it on Twitter and/or subscribing to its newsletter. As thanks, Sweet Corn owners Karen and Bryan will send one packet of seeds (or more) to the mailing address users enter on their "Free Seeds" page.

No SASE, form or sticky stamps required. Now that's a good deal! And easy, too.

FREE BASIL SEED

Basil leaves
Basil leaves | Source

THE U.S. GOVERNMENT SEED BANK

Free Seed from the USDA Seed Bank

Although the U.S. government won't supply home gardeners with seed, the USDA Seed Bank will give free seed to citizens who want to conduct research.

Unfortunately, using the online seed database and placing a request is a complicated process, so complicated that one gardener, who's conducting grain research with the Self Reliant Community in Graham, Washington, has written an article explaining the site's language as well as how to go about making a request: "How to Get Free Seeds from the Government Seed Bank."

Non-legitimate requests (and even some legitimate ones, if you don't word your application well) are likely to be rejected. But if your application is honored, you'll get free seed—and in a timely manner, too.


Source

About the Author

The Dirt Farmer has been an active gardener for over 30 years.

She first began gardening as a child alongside her grandfather on her parents' farm.

Today, The Dirt Farmer gardens at home, volunteers at community gardens and continues to learn about gardening through the MD Master Gardener program.

Copyright © 2013 by Jill Spencer. All rights reserved.

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    • profile image

      Tami 

      17 months ago

      Is this still good?

    • liesl5858 profile image

      Linda Bryen 

      5 years ago from United Kingdom

      what a great idea? Another way of getting free seeds is by swapping seeds with friends who also have interest in growing plants and vegetables. Thank you for sharing.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile imageAUTHOR

      Jill Spencer 

      5 years ago from United States

      Hi Tebo! Thanks for stopping by. Even though you're in New Zealand, you can still get seeds from Winter Sown for cheap (just $2). Have a good one! --Jill

    • tebo profile image

      tebo 

      5 years ago from New Zealand

      Great information. I don't live in the USA but it is very helpful for those that do. I hope lots of people take advantage of the opportunity.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Claudia Mitchell 

      5 years ago

      Who knew? This is an incredibly useful hub. Shared so hopefully lots of people use it.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile imageAUTHOR

      Jill Spencer 

      5 years ago from United States

      Absolutely, Deb! Thanks for stopping by.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      This is so wonderful! Everyone that has a little land or dirt should have the opportunity to grow something for themselves, even if they can't afford it.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile imageAUTHOR

      Jill Spencer 

      5 years ago from United States

      Thanks for stopping by, Maren!

    • Maren Morgan M-T profile image

      Maren Elizabeth Morgan 

      5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Sounds great - thanks for doing the research, Jill.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile imageAUTHOR

      Jill Spencer 

      5 years ago from United States

      Hi Eddy! Thanks for passing the hub along & for voting. Have a great day! --Jill

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 

      5 years ago from Wales

      A brilliant read and thank you for sharing.

      I vote up and share.

      Eddy.

    • Brie Hoffman profile image

      Brie Hoffman 

      5 years ago from Manhattan

      I guess I just wasn't sure if they were all heirloom and therefore non-GMO. It's a great article and worth looking into. I would just want to make sure that they are all heirloom seeds before planting them personally.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile imageAUTHOR

      Jill Spencer 

      5 years ago from United States

      Hey Deborah-Diane! Growing your own herbs and vegetables are really a savings. They're so expensive to buy, particularly the fresh ones! Thanks for commenting! --Jill

    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 

      5 years ago from Orange County, California

      Great idea for helping people save money on their groceries!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile imageAUTHOR

      Jill Spencer 

      5 years ago from United States

      Brie, your question got me going. At first, I thought, heirlooms aren't GMO by their very definition, and then I thought, I must be wrong. I see seeds labeled non-GMO heirloom all the time. So I looked it up. Heirlooms aren't GMO, at least not in the Frankenstein-like sense (though haven't people been modifying plants via seed selection, etc. since gardening began?) and products that say seeds are non-GMO heirlooms are like those naturally fat-free products that suddenly announce themselves NOW FAT FREE as if they've been improved. Having said that, I cannot say with certainty that all of the seeds given away by all of the sites are heirloom.

      Exactly, Marlene! Hope yours grow. (: Take care, Jill

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 

      5 years ago from USA

      This is such a wonderful find. Free seeds? Well, count me in. I know there is no guarantee with older seeds, but there is no guarantee with fresh seeds either, so this is a really great deal. Thank you for sharing these places with us.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile imageAUTHOR

      Jill Spencer 

      5 years ago from United States

      Hi Patty! Aren't heirlooms great? Once you sow them, you can grow them year after year. It's a real savings & a cool way to start a personal tradition. Thanks for stopping by! --Jill

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish MS 

      5 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Thanks, becuase I appreciate this list of sources and the heirloom seed movement!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile imageAUTHOR

      Jill Spencer 

      5 years ago from United States

      Hi Roberta. You're welcome! And thanks for sharing the hub. Appreciate it.

      @kikalina--You could always request herb seeds. Then all you'd need is a pot of dirt! (: Take care, Jill

    • The Dirt Farmer profile imageAUTHOR

      Jill Spencer 

      5 years ago from United States

      Hey Natasha! That's the spirit, girl. There's always next year. Sounds like maybe you have an exciting summer of travel planned?

      Glad to spread some joy, Radcliff! I've already sent off for mine and am anxiously awaiting little packets of life. Yippeee!

      Hi Brie. Each site is different, but as I did research, I didn't come across any statements on the websites specifically designating the heirloom seeds as genetically modified, but if you think they might be, and it bothers you, you could always email the sites. With The Garden Hoard, getting GMO is a possibility as some of the seeds are donations from home gardeners, and seeds in the USDA seed bank could well be GMO. --Jill

    • kikalina profile image

      kikalina 

      5 years ago from Europe

      I wish i had a patch of soil!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      5 years ago from the short journey

      Thanks bunches for posting this info! I'm looking forward to sharing it with others.

    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 

      5 years ago from Hawaii

      Wow! Great advice on how to get free seeds! I wish I could have a garden this year, but I don't know how much of one I'll have. I'll be leaving sometime in May or June and will not return until August so....yeah. Next year, though!

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 

      5 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Omg, I'm so excited! It doesn't take much these days.

      Thanks so much for sharing this info. :)

    • Brie Hoffman profile image

      Brie Hoffman 

      5 years ago from Manhattan

      Are these all non-GMO heirloom seeds?

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