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National Seed Swap Day – PLUS 8 Seed Trading Tips

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National Seed Swap Day takes place on the last Saturday of January every year. It’s a fantastic time to plan a seed swap, especially in colder climates like ours. We don’t get to enjoy planting for at least another month or two!

Mark your calendar for Saturday, January 28 for National Seed Swap Day 2023. Spring gardening is now in sight and it’s time to celebrate!

National Seed Swap Day 2021 - Dried Zinnias and flower heads for seed saving and trading

How to Celebrate National Seed Swap Day 2023

As an avid gardener and seed collector, I can only think of one way to celebrate National Seed Swap Day – trading seeds, of course!

But where do you find all the seed swaps?

1. Join Facebook Seed Swap Groups!

Some of my favorite seed swaps so far have been on Facebook. I’ve found so many kind gardeners who are very happy to share their seeds across the United States.

These are my favorite Seed Swap Groups on Facebook:

You can also find groups on Facebook for heirloom seed swap or other categories of seed swapping, selling, and more.

Watermelon seeds packed in a seed swap
Watermelon seeds packed in a seed swap

You can find local plant swap groups so you can swap cuttings, succulents, and plants as well. Some gardeners even swap handmade items in return for seeds!

2. Follow #SeedSwap Tags on Instagram.

I began working to get Bunny’s Garden happily integrated in the Instagarden starting in 2020. In the process, I happily discovered one of the wonderful folks I follow on there hosts a “SeedWishWednesday” each week!

Be sure to follow @brambleberry_farmstead for access to the weekly Seed Wish Wednesday thread.

Don’t miss the fun at Bunny’s Garden on Instagram as well! Join us for Mystery Seeds Monday! You can post an offer for seeds you want to share with two clues about what they are – a seed riddle makes it extra fun. Claim some mystery seeds by commenting on an open offer. (You can follow our adventures and tips at @bunnysgardenblog.)

But actually, since you’re here, and I appreciate that so much, you can use this direct link to get a head start! Check out my new series – Mystery Seeds Monday Seed Swap!

3. Check out the Reddit Seed Swap.

How exciting to find out about this great Seed Swap Reddit Style! Researching how to celebrate National Seed Swap Day in the United States led me to discover this amazing find.

Simply log into Reddit (or create an account) and head on over to r/seedswap. Take note that not everyone is from the same country, so you should ask before you arrange any swaps.

I just checked now and saw people willing to trade seeds, cuttings, and rooted plants! I am so excited that I just joined this group as well. It’s going to be an amazing gardening season in 2022!

If you are looking to trade plants as well, you can find other subreddits to meet other gardeners. Try r/TakeaPlantLeaveaPlant where you can trade cuttings and rooted houseplants and more!

Seeds from my clearance haul at Agway! The girls gave me these for Christmas - the lady helped pick them out over the phone to surprise me!

4. Browse through your NextDoor Neighbors and Community Pages.

Feelings of community and good will abound in online hubs like NextDoor.com. I’ve seen people finding pets, sharing good will, selling and donating unwanted items, and generally… being good neighbors!

Neighbors can be one of the best audiences for sharing plants and seeds! What fun to be able to walk next door, or down the street, to make the beauty of your garden contagious.

I actually created a NextDoor Gardening Group in my area. You can always do the same if you aren’t finding one to join in yours!

Also, you can check out your Local Patch Community. You might find local gardening groups already in bloom!

5. Follow along with Gardening Blogs and YouTube.

It’s no secret gardeners are very generous and love sharing! If you’re going to find fun seed swaps on any blog, it’s bound to be a gardening blog.

Follow your favorite gardening blogs on their social media. Sign up for their e-newsletters and follow their blog for the latest content.

Some YouTube channels even put out seed swaps and seed giveaways. You can subscribe so you’re notified before each one goes off!

Once you’re connected, you’ll be sure to catch any Seed Swap events they put out into the world!

Strawflower seeds packet next to photo of pink and orange blooms.

6. Start Your Own Seed Swap Group!

Does your area have a local gardening group? How about a plant and seed swap group? If not, you’re perfectly suited to start one!

You’ve come here, after all, looking for great ways to swap seeds and celebrate National Seed Swap Day – what better way than creating your own group?!

If you DO create a seed swap group and it’s open to the entire US, feel free to post it in a comment below since that’s what this post is all about!

We’d love to follow your adventures and help you grow!

7. Swap Seeds within Your Family.

If your kids garden, or your grandchildren – or even your parents or grandparents – it can be a wonderful experience to share those special seeds!

Swapping seeds within the family adds a precious layer of heartwarming sentiment. If only I had some of my grandfather’s tomato seeds!

Or cuttings from my other grandfather’s roses!

It would be such a nice tribute to continue generations in the garden.

8. Play Seed Swap Games on Facebook and Instagram.

Seed swap games are huge right now! Each swapping game has its own rules to keep things organized and fair for everyone involved.

Also, look out for weekly wishes on social media gardening groups and profiles. The comment section is like a regular hangout where you go to see your distant gardening friends each week. 🙂

A couple games and wishes to check out:

Seed Swap Unboxing Fun with the Family

When your seed swaps start arriving in the mail, have fun unboxing them with your kids!

After seeing how excited my girls got during our seed swaps back in 2020, we decided to make an unboxing video for our gardening adventures. It’s pretty exciting to see what you get in a mystery pack of seeds in the mail!

Seed mail *IS* the best mail, after all!

So, here’s our first attempt at an unboxing video as a bit of garden therapy to stretch us through until spring arrives.

Seed Swap Unboxing Preview

Gardening opens up a wide world of wonder for young growers, too, like my daughters, Bunny & Little Bear, who explore the rewards of their earliest efforts in seed swapping in this video. The girls – particularly big sis – traded custom seed saving envelopes for seeds to plant in their garden this year. Thanks to the generosity of wonderful gardeners across the United States, we have still more seeds to enjoy planting next season. (Now we just need a bigger backyard!)

Seed Swap Custom Seed Envelopes
Seed Swap Custom Seed Envelopes

This seed swap unboxing video is our very first one we’ve made. It offers a quick glimpse into the dynamic relationships between gardeners, particularly experienced growers sharing and trading to help inspire the next generation of gardeners. ❤︎

For Newbies:

If you are new to seed swapping, here are some helpful tips for a successful swap:

  • Protect – Bubble wrap, cut-up Amazon envelopes, or sometimes a piece of cardboard can help ensure safe arrival. Also, tape the envelope closed to keep seeds from spilling out.
  • Measure – Keep seed swap envelopes to no more than ¼ inch thickness. Otherwise upgrade to a bubble mailer or box instead of a standard envelope.
  • Confirm Postage – A kitchen scale is handy for weighing mail to make sure you have enough postage. Sometimes extra postage is required.
  • Save on Shipping – Use a shipping service like PirateShip.com for better rates when sending padded envelopes and packages. You can even ship your swaps without leaving home!

FAQ:

Some favorites to swap are zinnias, celosia / cockscomb, marigolds, basil, tomato, and pepper, to name a few.

Smaller and flatter seeds are great for swapping. You’ll have less worry about the seeds arriving safely! Also, postage costs remain lower.

In fact, many gardeners love swapping pepper and tomato seeds due to the crazy number of varieties out there! I once knew of a gardener who had over 120 different tomato varieties on her seed swap list!

Swapping larger seeds like beans and pumpkins will require a bit more packaging, care, and postage.

Look for local Facebook plant and seed swap groups! Check the bulletin board at the library, grocery store, etc.

More than anything, try to find an in-person gardening club in your area, as they might host in-person swaps at a local church or park.

If you can’t find a local garden club, start one! Use Facebook for your home base, or try NextDoor.com, a neighborhood site that also makes it easy to create a local gardening group.

The possibilities are endless for seed swaps by mail! Facebook seed swap groups make it so easy to create a post of what you have to share and what’s on your seed wish list. Others can comment there and PM you to arrange a personal swap.

You can also find regular weekly swaps or annual swaps on Instagram. The gardening community there is very engaged, active, warm, and welcoming.

My favorite swap so far is the Frugal Garden Seed Swap. You get such an incredible variety of seeds in generous portions from gardeners all across the U.S.

Seed swapping has so many benefits! We live in Pennsylvania so I really love swapping seeds in the winter while I’m impatiently waiting for my garden to thaw out. The social side of sharing seeds is heartwarming – I’ve made quite a few seed mail pen pals over the years.

Without a doubt, swapping seeds is way more affordable than buying retail seed packets all the time.

The variety of seeds you can expect in a swap is truly mind-blowing. You may even receive heirloom varieties or possibly some seeds from someone’s own breeding line!

I have two daughters who are absolutely obsessed with those LOL Surprise balls. My running joke is that we gardeners love surprises too, and seed swaps are just that!

You may be amazed at the way gardeners have embraced technology to make their seed swapping easier! I’ve seen seed wish lists ranging from handwritten notepaper to spreadsheets and even dynamic Trello boards bursting with photos.

I personally keep a little address book of my favorite seed swap friends. Also, I have a spreadsheet of my active seed swaps so I can make sure everyone gets what they are supposed to.

Seed swaps aren’t always just for seeds! Some gardeners swap bulbs, gardening gifts, stickers, plant tags, handmade items, or other surprises.

During the early days of Covid, my then-8-year-old made handmade seed envelopes that she traded with gardeners of all ages for all kinds of seeds. One gentleman even replicated her designs on painted rocks that he photographed for her. Another sent her new craft supplies to keep her hobby going!

Gardeners have amazingly generous hearts, and the swapping possibilities are endless!

Seed Swaps for the Win!

Now that you’re into seed swapping, have fun saving seeds from your own garden, too! It’s truly an amazing feeling to share the beauty and favorite crops you grow with other gardeners across the country.

Resources:

If you liked our video, please subscribe and also follow us on our Facebook page! You might also enjoy our Seed Swap Google Web Story.

By the way, if you are looking for seed swaps, you might also be interested in my other post, Need Seeds! Cheap Garden Seeds.

And if you’re ready to participate in a big seed swap, be sure to check out the guide on How to Mail a Package without Going to the Post Office.

Are you growing anything special from your family? Please tell us in the comments below – I love great gardening stories!

Remember, with the right group, ANY day can be an awesome Seed Swap Day!

Also, if you know other gardeners who would enjoy celebrating National Seed Swap Day 2023 – or swapping seeds anytime – please share the love!

12.28.21 – Edited to update the date for National Seed Swap Day 2022.

12.12.22 – Updated the date for 2023.

01.19.23 – Consolidated with Seed Swap Unboxing post and 301’d to this one. Updated images. Added FAQs and Schema.

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4 Comments

  1. Hmmm, this could be something I could do with my Girl Scout troop. Maybe I’ll have them swap seeds of their favorite veggies or something. Thanks.

  2. Very cool! I never would have thought about seed swapping groups on FB! Our living condition will be changing before long and we’ll finally be able to garden again. I’ll remember this post for sure!

    1. Thanks Joe! I am so glad the seed swap tips were helpful! Best wishes with your move and definitely check back anytime!

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