Free Seeds, Really
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.
Free Milkweed Seeds
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.