Site Talk forum: Trading/for Postage

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Name: Kim
Iowa (Zone 5a)
I kill ornamentals... on purpose.
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Spiders! Critters Allowed Birds Houseplants I helped beta test the first seed swap
Region: Nebraska Keeper of Poultry Rabbit Keeper Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Procrastinator Garden Ideas: Level 2
Chillybean
Sep 9, 2015 9:36 AM CST
I have not traded, but have sent seeds and Iris bulbs in the mail. I told them not to bother with paying postage because I didn't want to have anyone pay for what might end up being duds if I packaged them wrong and they don't grow/germinate. I learned the automatic postal machines mash seeds, so I pad the envelops with bubble wrap. (Though I have wondered if the masher could be used for scarification? Haha. )

Currently, I have collected a few native seeds from around the yard and would like to share them. Of one variety, I do not have a large amount because most dropped before I even thought about saving any and I already gave a few to a friend.

I guess I am a little nervous about stepping into this. I do not want to send too little and people think I skimp on trades. What is deemed a proper amount?

Other than posting on the proper forum and listing I have seeds, what else is there to this? If I would rather have postage than a trade, would I mark seeds for sale?

I tried searching Ideas and Forums and I didn't find a how-to or similar with regards to trading. There must be something I am overlooking. Oh, if there is a video about it, please do not link to it, I cannot view it on our home computer.

Thank you very much.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Sep 11, 2015 7:10 PM CST
>> I do not want to send too little and people think I skimp on trades. What is deemed a proper amount?

I think the only solid answer is to tell them up front how big your packets are, then they know ahead of time.

In one big swap where it's common to trade fairly unusual or rare seeds, "20 seeds is enough".

I always look at 20 dust-sized seeds and think it is not very much, but if they all germinate, it is plenty. Sometimes really skilled gardeners will boast that they "only need a few seeds".

I go partly by how rare or expensive the seeds were. If I buy a big enough packet, I can split it up many ways.

If you collect the seeds, all you have are all you have. After you set aside what you want to archive or sow yourself, decide how many trade packets you would LIKE to make. If you look at them afterwards and feel ungenerous, reduce the number of packets until you feel generous.

But for common, commercially available vegetables or flowers, if the cost to me, divided by the number of packets I make, falls below 50 cents or so, I tell myself to put more in. For rare seeds, I might hope that the recipient will multiply them. But for common annual seeds, it is nice to give enough that they can just PLANT them, and not have to multiply them before they have a nice stand.

But now I find I would rather give seeds away than trade for them. Sometimes I get distracted or lose things, and forget to send them. Better to NOT have someone waiting and cursing while I go off into the Twilight Zone.

I tried to trade or give away Asian Brassica seeds here for a while, then gave up. No takers. I think that a lot of people here have been gardening so long that they already have everything they want, except for very specific and often rare cultivars. That's just my guess.

Unfortunately, this year Ella's "Hog Wild Piggy Swap" in Cubits needs to take a break. Otherwise I would steer you there, for an annual event that's quite an event.
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Sep 12, 2015 10:16 AM CST
I agree with Rick. Just be up front with what you have available and let people decide if that's enough. And if you just want enough postage to cover the cost of mailing, just advertise the seeds as "available for postage."
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Sep 12, 2015 6:44 PM CST
I agree
And how wonderful that you go to all the work of collecting native plant seeds. Thumbs up
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
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Weedwhacker
Sep 13, 2015 7:54 PM CST
I also agree with Rick... and Kim, It's fun to share and swap seeds! Jump in, ask for feedback on how your seeds do (likely it will be far better than any commercial seeds), and you will soon be confident in your sharing. Smiling
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
- John Powell / Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities
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C/F temp conversion / NGA Member Map
Coatesville IN (Zone 5b)
Daylilies Hummingbirder Lilies Region: Indiana Dog Lover Echinacea
Butterflies Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Claudia
Sep 16, 2015 1:01 PM CST
I agree with all of the above. I have traded tomato seeds a few times and 8-12 seeds are the norm I received & sent. I often do plants for postage. It is a good way to find homes for daylilies I no longer want.
Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them. ~Eeyore
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Sep 18, 2015 3:56 PM CST
1:1 trades are hard to find, unless you know people that just want any old thing.

Centralized swaps can be great (Hog Wild Piggy Swap and Heather's Tomato and Pepper Swap come to mind). But that's a huge amount of work for the organizer, and sometimes even takes a lot of time for the participants to specify exactly what they have and what they want.

Heather skipped last year and I haven't heard anything about this year form her. Ella's Hog Wild swap is also skipping this year.

The only Round Robin I was in had a very big box that might have cost $25 to ship from person to person, and had mostly No ID seeds or very common ones. $25 dollars can buy a lot of seeds commercially, and then they are exactly what you want and have a fairly reliable ID.
(Zone 7a)
Hummingbirder
Shell
Sep 21, 2015 6:14 PM CST
Kim, I'm glad I read your post first, BEFORE I asked my own about sharing/swapping seeds! I recently posted on a hummingbird group that I have white dinner plate hibiscus seeds - all I requested was anyone interested send me a self addressed, stamped envelope. Well, they DID - so I have to sort through the thousand or so seeds I have & pray that some are viable. Being inexperienced at the whole "seed thing", I left them on the plant too long and bowievels seem to have had their way Grumbling
Name: Kim
Iowa (Zone 5a)
I kill ornamentals... on purpose.
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Spiders! Critters Allowed Birds Houseplants I helped beta test the first seed swap
Region: Nebraska Keeper of Poultry Rabbit Keeper Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Procrastinator Garden Ideas: Level 2
Chillybean
Sep 21, 2015 6:38 PM CST
Thank you all so much for your replies. They have been helpful. I've been a little too busy to think about packaging up what I have, but I've been going out every couple of days to see what is ready to harvest. I have "tons" of Swamp Milkweed. The fact that I have that plant was a surprise in and of itself, let alone all those beautiful pods. It was about two years ago when I sowed the original seeds and I forgot all about them.

I am learning what plants have seeds that are easy to collect and others, not so much. And I am so impatient waiting for the Ironweed in my prairie patch. A couple of flower heads looked ready, but when I took the seeds off, they were still purple, not brown.

Shell,
I hope the bolweevils left you some seeds. I've been checking on my native hibiscus and actually found a couple of pods that popped open. They looked good as best as could tell, so brought them in. Most are still far from ready and I really do not know what to look for other than being popped open like I saw. Are your seeds fuzzy and brown? I think they would be good, but I've never started hibiscus from seed.
(Zone 7a)
Hummingbirder
Shell
Sep 21, 2015 6:45 PM CST
They ARE fuzzy & brown! I was cleaning out the pods about 5 days ago (dozens of pods Glare ) and I noticed a few seeds moving! Next thing - they were cracking open like eggs and these little buggers were crawling out! I'm into the 5th day monitoring them, and it's not looking good! Every time I move the seeds around, more say, "OH, Hello!" Grumbling
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Tip Photographer Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Hibiscus
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Horntoad
Sep 21, 2015 7:29 PM CST
Shell said: Being inexperienced at the whole "seed thing", I left them on the plant too long and bowievels seem to have had their way Grumbling

These are Hibiscus Beetles (althaus hibiscus) The adults feed on the pollen but they lay there eggs in the fruit while the flowers is still open. The larva borrow into the forming seed and chew their way out when they are adults. So you didn't wait to long to harvest, it was already to late when the flower opened. You have to prevent the adults from ever laying their eggs. I put organza bags over the flowers when the buds are starting to form and remove them when the pod are ready to harvest. http://garden.org/ideas/view/Horntoad/2391/Using-Organza-Bag...
You could probably remove the bag after the flower has dropped and the calyx has closed around the fruit but I leave them to make sure.
wildflowersoftexas.com
texasnatureonline.com


(Zone 7a)
Hummingbirder
Shell
Sep 21, 2015 8:36 PM CST
Oh wow! Thank you SOOO much for taking the time to give us that info, Jay! Mother Nature is being kind to me right now & I have 5 new buds that I can see. Maybe I will try again! Hurray! Thank You!
Name: Patti
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 6b)
Winter Sowing Critters Allowed Enjoys or suffers cold winters Cottage Gardener Bee Lover Dragonflies
Birds Cat Lover Seed Starter Dog Lover Region: Kansas Houseplants
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Tuckersmom
Sep 21, 2015 8:54 PM CST
I am so glad I found this thread. The only seeds I have right now are the ones that I am going to be winter sowing. However, I can't wait until I can exchange seed with people. There are still a number of seeds I would like to try, but don't want to put the money out for a whole commercial package. By this time next year, I will be wanting to swap seeds with people too. In fact, I have already purchased the organza bags. I'm not real big on patience. LOL
“In walking, just walk. In sitting, just sit. Above all, don’t wobble.”
– Zen saying
Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
Dog Lover Daylilies Organic Gardener Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1
I helped beta test the first seed swap
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DogsNDaylilies
Oct 3, 2015 8:09 PM CST
I came up with an idea for a massive seed exchange idea that we could do here on ATP and I submitted an article about my idea to the Ideas and Articles section, so hopefully it will get posted. Rolling my eyes. Whistling It is clear to me that there are a lot of us that would like to trade seeds (and plants) and find some new things.

Since I've started formulating my idea and writing the article, I've been contacted by two people wanting to trade seeds with me. One of them described a seed exchange robin that they do, which was a really neat idea and I thought I would suggest it to you. The idea was that there is a designated group of people and everyone puts a bunch of seeds in a box and ships it to the next person who takes seeds they want and puts extra seeds that they have in the box and ships it to the next person and so on... It's a pretty cool idea, but I guess it all depends on where you fall in the mailing lineup and what your seed choices are by the time it gets to you.

My idea is far more complex, but possibly more rewarding for everyone. Like I said, hopefully it gets published--and soon--so that we all can perfect the idea and have a large-scale seed-swap!
Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
Dog Lover Daylilies Organic Gardener Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1
I helped beta test the first seed swap
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DogsNDaylilies
Oct 4, 2015 10:43 AM CST
My article was rejected as an article suggestion, but recommended as a good idea for the Site Talk forum, so here is a link for anyone else who is interested in starting a movement to get a community-wide (ATP) Seed and Plant Exchange going:

The thread "ATP Annual Seed and Plant Exchange Idea" in Site Talk forum

Please take a look and read through it if you can. I put a good amount of time into thinking about it logistically, writing up the article, and editing it. Rolling my eyes. Big Grin
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Oct 7, 2015 5:10 PM CST
I think the centralized swap lets people get exactly (and only) those seeds they really want.
But it takes some paperwork and an angel to volunteer to be the central person.
Thank You! Angel Thank You!

The only Round Robin I was in had TONS of seeds when it reached me - but mostly no-name and/or very cross-pollinated with unspecified varieties. I think it was the "LARGE" flat rate USPS box. POUNDS of harvested seeds! The recipients had to scoop out individual servings and write out a label for their little packet.

Then someone got greedy, and people after her got very little variety and much less quantity.
Banning her after the fact didn't help the rest of the people in that RR.
Thumbs down Sad Sighing!

It wasn't THIS website!
Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
Dog Lover Daylilies Organic Gardener Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1
I helped beta test the first seed swap
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DogsNDaylilies
Oct 7, 2015 5:27 PM CST
RickCorey said:I think the centralized swap lets people get exactly (and only) those seeds they really want.
But it takes some paperwork and an angel to volunteer to be the central person.
Thank You! Angel Thank You!

The only Round Robin I was in had TONS of seeds when it reached me - but mostly no-name and/or very cross-pollinated with unspecified varieties. I think it was the "LARGE" flat rate USPS box. POUNDS of harvested seeds! The recipients had to scoop out individual servings and write out a label for their little packet.

Then someone got greedy, and people after her got very little variety and much less quantity.
Banning her after the fact didn't help the rest of the people in that RR.
Thumbs down Sad Sighing!

It wasn't THIS website!


That is so unfortunate. I know most people on this site wouldn't be that way, but it only takes one person to spoil it. Thumbs down I'm sorry that happened to you. Sad I'm glad you like this idea, I hope that it will give everyone a fair trade because all trades will be approved by both parties and 'signed off' on. Smiling
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Oct 7, 2015 6:09 PM CST
Yes, the dozens of people in that RR were great. Just one person made me decide not to try another RR, even though I was lucky to see the box before the greedy person.

But it was balanced out by all the generous people who were clearly BIG seed savers. There were some quart and even GALLON bags of saved seed in that big flat rate box.

Since then I've realized that I have SO little space I don't want to grow many "NO ID" plants. I want to grow mostly known cultivars so I can save "clean" seed with known IDs.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
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Weedwhacker
Oct 9, 2015 7:25 AM CST
There do seem to be a lot of ways that any sort of seed exchange can go "wrong" ...
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
- John Powell / Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities
/ Share your recipes: Favorite Recipes A-Z cubit
C/F temp conversion / NGA Member Map
Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
Dog Lover Daylilies Organic Gardener Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1
I helped beta test the first seed swap
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DogsNDaylilies
Oct 9, 2015 7:31 AM CST
Sandy, if you've had experience with seed exchanges gone wrong, could you TreeMail me (or post here without using names, etc.)? I'm hoping to build in safeguards to make the seed exchange here on ATP as fool-proof as possible.

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