Seed Swapping

Photograph of seed pods on a plant stalk

What is a seed swop?

Saving seed from one year to plant the next is a traditional skill, practiced since man began deliberately growing food to feed himself.  A seed swap works by people bringing seeds they have saved and taking away other people's seeds to use.

We get together regularly to share the fruits of our labour 

 Why save and swap seeds?

  • Help protect biodiversity and keeps the diversity of locally adapted varieties going 

  • Maintain age-old skills

  • Get round the National List, which makes it illegal to sell varieties not on the list.

  • Keep seed making in the garden and out of the laboratory and resists the privatisation of plant genetic material.

  • Introduce you to other local gardeners and help develop a sense of community.

  • Save money

Basic tips for seed saving:

  • Start with easy crops like Tomatoes and French Beans.

  • Try to let the seed dry on the plant and once you have picked them make sure they are properly dried before storing them in cool dry conditions.

  • You may have to leave a few plants unharvested to allow the seeds to grow.

  • Envelopes and airtight tins are fine but remember to label them, what they are, variety and what year you saved them.

  • Don't save "F1" seeds as they don't breed true the next time.The packet you have used will tell you if they are F1 types

For more information, the Seedy Sunday fact sheet or try the Real Seeds "Basic Seed-Saving for Beginners".

For more information email Dee Ross. Sign in to see more contact details..