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Tips for starting an online seed and plant exchange

Updated on October 16, 2012

I love seed swaps and plant exchanges. They are such a good way to try something new. A locale seed exchange is where I got the seeds to try my kids most loved garden item purple carrots, which is something I would have never tried on my own.

A seed exchange is group gardeners that meet together and swap seeds that they have left over, or will not be using. It is a good way to put your old seeds to a good use and get seeds you need, or want.

A plant exchange is where graders get together and swap seedlings, and grown plant. So if you start too many tomatoes this year for your garden you can swap some for something else.

Once you try a seed exchange or plant swap you will be hooked I promises you. You will also save a good amount of money on your garden if you try one.

Tips for starting an online seed and or plant exchange.

  • · Find where you want to host your exchange. Weather it is on face book, yahoo groups, a blog or your own site.
  • · Advertise your group. Place ads on free cycle, craigslist. Facebook twitter and any other site you are active on and it is ok to do so.
  • · Have a way for gardeners to connect and post there seeds. People are going to want to post thing such as. I have 3 pkg unopened of Beef steak tomatoes I would like to trade for herbs send me a massage for more information.
  • · Have rules and allow others to “flag” people that break these rules. Rules should handle everything from old the seeds can be for trade, to shipping cost. You will even need posting rules to keep spam away and to try and keep the peace.
  • · Have seeds to start the site off with. No one will post on a site where they think there is nothing there for them. So make a few posts of seeds you have for trade before you promote your site.
  • · If a lot of your members live in the same areas you can also plan live trade events.

Online seed and plant exchanges are a lot of fun and are a grate option if there are no like events in your area. But they do take time to get going and if you are in charge of the group it can take a lot of your time to monitor the website.

Tips for a lie seed and or plant exchange.

  • · Plane you location. Weather it is your home, a church or some place you rent out make sure there is room for all the graders that will come or that you will invite.
  • · Get the word out. If you know a lot of gardeners in your area then send out invites. If not advertise on Craigslist, twitter, Facebook, in your local paper, and also hang signs
  • · Set up so it easy to find the seeds people will be looking for. Have tables with the seeds laid out so they can be seed and label the tables such as vegetables, fruit, and herbs and so on.
  • · Have a starting stock of seeds. You might even be able to get local stores to donate to the event but even if you cannot try and start the even with a good amount of seed or plants that are common and people might be looking for.
  • · Have a greeter. The greeter will welcome the gardeners, check the seeds to make sure there good and labeled right. Also if you do not wish to run a trust event where people are trusted only take as many as they bought the greeter can count how many plants or seed they bought with then and how many they can leave with. I for one like the trust, most people will follow the rules and only take what they need.
  • · You may also want a live local speaker if you can get one, and also snacks, and drinks.
  • · Also make sure you have chairs for people to sit if people need to
  • · Have a thank you gift for all those who come. It can include printed out gardening tips or articles, free seeds, gloves or other gardening tool, and anything else you want to toss in. These can get pricy so be careful watch what you spend and talk to local shops you might get coupons or other items for your bag for free.

If you hold a live event make sure to talk to your locale shops, most will be willing to help in some way in exchange for the free advertising to the local grading market.

No matter how you choose to hold your exchange you will have a lot of fun and meet the gardeners in your area and maybe make a friend or two. I wish you luck and if you hold you exchange online or in Springfield, MO make sure to send me a invite.


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