critterologist said:I think we could make it work for the plant swap without Dave doing any tweaking, but it would be clunky... we'd just have to use that comments field to make it clear we were talking about a seedling or plant division, not a packet of seeds.
I wonder if duplicating the tool and changing it just a bit so it's plants rather than seeds (two separate swap tools) would be easier than adding more options so the same tool can be used for both plants and seeds... ?
What fields would be wanted in an ideal online plant-swap system? I can barely guess what those might be. But if Dave knows what would be wanted in the most ideal case, he could whittle it down to what would be easy to merge with, or diverge from, his current seed-swap tool.
I see two main options: one would be for people trying to gather together a mass order to a company that only sells plugs in whole trays if one kind of plant, and the other would be a regular person-to-person swap of plants or cuttings they mostly grew themselves.
The "Mass-order" thing is (or was) being done over in Cubits by Mamajack (I think, though I haven't seen those emails lately.) I think they do it by hand, with C-mails and pencils.
One field I can think of that plant-swappers might want is what KIND of plant: potted plant, rooted division, bare-root division, rooted cutting and bare-naked, fresh cutting (if anyone mails fresh cuttings around the country.
Once upon a time, someone talked about "I could start some cuttings of that for you, but only at a certain time of year". Would anyone try to do a swap where people signed up far ahead of time for cuttings that required pre-planning before the cut, and maybe rooting time afterwards, before it was ready to ship?
I think, for a postal swap to work, there has to be just one date and just one central person, to receive, divide up, and re-mail all the packages. Then, swapping "scheduled cuttings" might require each trader to make the cuttings and hold them (rooting them) until the agreed-upon date. So there might have to be a "spring cuttings date" and (I guess) a "dormant-hardwood-cuttings date". Presumably those would be totally different swap events.
Or, I don't know ... would people swapping plants be more willing to pay lots more postage and just mail cuttings person-to-person? Then the execution of each swap could occur at any time. The swap "system" would become a way for people wanting certain things to find other people willing to send them. The main advantage would be that any one person might send plants to people A, B and C, but receive plants back from people X, Y and Z.
Maybe "plant swaps" deserve their own thread? I don't have enough ideas to start that thread myself.
Indeed, I just had my very first-ever possibly-successful cutting. I keep trying to root stem sections from two rose bushes, and one of them finally developed a root! Until then, all I ever managed was to rot cuttings.
This was the first one that rooted instead of rotting.