I’m the worst. Every time I go to the garden center, I end up in the seed aisle. Lured in by the promise of unusual plants or beautifully designed packages, I always end up buying some. I also save seeds from particularly robust plants or strange hybrids that form on the terrace, like the mutant tomato that grew out from under a paving slab and produced giant burgundy fruits last year.
This week I went through my seed box, and surprise, there were a lot of seeds. Some, I can’t even remember buying. Almost all, sadly, I won’t have a chance to use. So I got to thinking about how I could send them out to other people, and that’s when I found out about seed swaps.
Gardener’s Question Time is awesome. It’s a quaint, BBC Radio 4 jaunt through the world of gardening. A studio audience asks a panel of experts questions about wisteria. We all bask in the familiar voices. It’s the audio equivalent of hot chocolate and a snooze on the sofa. But I love it. And this week, the show came from Seedy Sunday, the largest seed swap event in the UK.
Seedy Sunday is based in Brighton, and is an annual opportunity to swap some heritage varieties with a bunch of fellow gardeners. And it sounds awesome. Sadly, used to live 35km from Brighton, now live about 1,035km. So, I turned to the good old interweb to see if there was something similar that I could get involved with here.
I’ve been wasting time on Reddit for years. The site that calls itself the front page of the internet, is also a strangely addictive mix of information, like-minded people and cat videos. But, it is also a really good place to swap seeds.
This week I logged onto SeedSwap, a dedicated sub-Reddit (or forum, if you like), for gardening and seed swapping. There I simply put up what I have in surplus, and what I’d like in return, and waited.
I’m pretty enthusiastic about chilies, and those were the first seeds to go. Unusual habaneros and jalapenos are very easy, pot-bound plants, and so I’ve shipped some off the US in return for some strange looking aubergines (eggplants)and a range of tomatoes.
Granted, I’m not too sure of the legality of posting seeds, but sneaky packages are bound to find their way through customs. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Facebook also has a few seed groups, and so anyone who is interested should head over there. Sadly, there aren’t any in my area, but I’m sure that’s a problem we can address in the not to distant future.
For now, I await my internet swapsies, to add to the range of seeds I’ll be starting in the coming few weeks. In the meantime, I’ve still got a lot of chilli seeds, so if you’re interested… get in touch.