Seed and plant exchanges are simple and easy ways to get most – or even sometimes all – of the plants and seeds you want completely free. It takes a little work on your end, but if you like to try out a variety of different plants or you love starting new flowers and plants from seeds, then you should locate an exchange in your area or find someone using one of the online gardening forums.
In a plant or seed exchanges, when someone has extra flower and plant seeds, they offer to trade them for something else. Or you can offer to perform a service in exchange for someone sending you a plant or seeds that you can’t find. Usually in the online forum, the post will state what kinds of seeds they have, and what kinds of seeds they’re wanting to trade for.
If you have the seeds wanted, and you want what they’re offering, you contact them and make arrangements to send your seeds to them in the mail, and they’ll send theirs to you.
Now, if you want some seeds that someone is offering, but you don’t have the seeds they want in exchange, you may still be able to get them if you’re willing to do a little extra work. Simply try visiting other seed exchanges, or talk to friends and neighbors, and basically get the word out that you’re looking for a certain flower or plant seed. Let people know what you have in exchange, and chances are you’ll soon have your very own offer! Then you can go back to the original seed exchange request, and make arrangements to get the seeds you’d like.
This may not work 100% of the time of course, because someone else may already have the exchange seeds needed so they can take the offer before you have a chance to.
Exchanging seeds in this way is quite fun. You get to try out a variety of different types of flowers, plus you tend to get to know other people who use the seed exchange and they love gardening too!
About.com’s Seed Exchanges – Swapping Seeds with Like Minded Gardeners page is a a good place to locate online seed exchange websites.
Now you can sometimes get actual plants or cuttings in a similar way. This isn’t so common to find on the Internet, but there’s a very good chance you’ll find plant exchange options in your local community. You can for instance, let your friends, family and neighbors know that you’d like to receive cuttings of plants when they trim their own. Or if someone has something specific you’d like, ask if you can take a cutting from that plant yourself.
You can also join your local garden club, so you’ll have regular contact with other avid gardeners in your area. Then simply let them know you’d love to exchange cuttings with others. They may already have an exchange established, or they may print exchange requests in their newsletter too.
So go out and make friends, make exchanges online and off, and enjoy your ever growing garden!
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