Need free seeds for your garden? There are many ways to get them- seed libraries, seed exchanges, seed swaps and other ways covered here.
Starting a garden from scratch can be expensive – especially if you want to grow different crops. The price of seeds goes up at the beginning of every growing season. If you want to save some money gardening, consider looking for free seeds. Having seeds will ensure you have flowers and vegetables in your garden throughout the year. Let’s explore some of the best ways to acquire free seeds for your garden.
Seed libraries store seeds and supply them to different farmers at the beginning of the planting season. You have to promise to ‘return’ these seeds once you harvest. These libraries have a good pool of different seeds sourced from different farmers. The benefit of getting seeds from a local seed library is that you are likely to get seeds for crops that are native to your zone. You can also get great (and free) information about how to plant different crops and vegetables from a seed library.
Collecting seeds from your garden is the easiest and best way to get a free seeds bank. After harvesting, save some seeds from your flowers and vegetables for use in the next planting season. Ensure that the flowers and vegetables you choose for this purpose are healthy and disease-free. Poppies and sunflowers are some of the best plants to collect free seeds in preparation for the next season.
You are likely to find local companies and other charitable organizations promoting certain types of crops and vegetables in local agricultural events. Many of these businesses will gladly offer some of these seeds freely in the hope that you will be buying from them in the future if your crop is successful. If you take advantage of these offers, you can get many free seeds for your gardening purposes.
Seed swapping is a new initiative that is gaining popularity quickly in the US. If you have seeds you do not need, you can always barter them with someone else who has the seeds for another crop you want to grow. This is a localized activity and you may need to consult other farmers within your zone. Other farmers have taken it online by creating Facebook groups such as the Great American Seed Swap group that allows people to exchange and mail seeds to each other – irrespective of where one is within the country.
When you buy fresh vegetables and fruits, you can also find ways to propagate fresh plants from these products. For instance, the top of a pineapple can be replanted to develop a new plant. There is a process to this, but if done right, you will have new plants growing from what would have otherwise been kitchen waste. Potatoes can also be replanted once the shoots appear. Garlic bulbs can be replanted to yield other bulbs once they develop new roots. Leeks can be replanted as long as they have roots.
Some plants grow on their own. These are called ‘voluntary plants’ because they do not require any input from the farmer. Some may grow as a result of being dropped by birds, from seeds in the compost, or after being dropped onto a farm by the wind. In some cases, the farmer may decide to weed out these plants. In other cases, some of these ‘voluntary’ plants can be nurtured and allowed to grow if the farmer thinks they can be beneficial.