If you’re like me, the mention of the word “free” makes you want to jump up and down in a manner reminiscent of Tom Cruise on the Oprah Winfrey show. For gardeners, free = good, especially when you assess a shopping cart full of plants, fertilizer, tools, soil, pots, and, yes, even the gardening gnomes that you just had to have. There is one item, however, that you can take out of your shopping cart and put back on the shelf and that is seed. There are lots of free seed (or nearly free if you don’t mind relinquishing a stamp) available to you if you know where to look. (And psssst! One of those places is right here at Gardening Know How – keep reading for details on a free seed giveaway!)
- The Tomato Seed Bank Project: Review the tomato seed bank master list, make a list of 5 varieties you would like and send it with a SASE to: Tomato Seed Bank Project, 4438 Polk Street, Dearborn Heights, MI 48125. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Feed a Bee: While their individual flower seed packet giveaway for this year may have ended, they are still fielding large seed packet requests (500 or more) from organizations for use in a variety of venues and activities. Interested organizations can send an inquiry e-mail to Feedabee@bayer.com.
- Plant A Row For The Hungry: Ed Hume Seeds will honor a request for one free packet of seeds provided you promise to share what you harvest with the less fortunate.
- Live Monarch: Send an SASE with $1 for 50 Butterfly Garden seeds (including Milkweed), or, if you can not afford the $1 contribution, you will receive 15+ seeds with your SASE.
- 2BSeeds: 2B Seeds is looking to give back and follow their family’s tradition in a very BIG way by offering a package of Free Tomato Seeds to all whom are unemployed or in need of providing food for their family.
- Seed Exchanges: Exchange seed locally with friends, family or neighbors or even online. Some seed swap websites do require a membership fee but there are websites, such as Heirloom Seed Swap and GardenWeb’s Seed Exchange, which do not. And don’t forget to factor in Facebook as well – there are many groups you can join such as The Great American Seed Swap, Free Seed Swap, Seed Trading Society, Seed Swap and Seed Exchange, just to name a few.
- Save Your Seeds: Collect seeds from the plants in your garden for use next year. Gardening Know How has a plethora of articles and a Pinterest board to assist you in saving seeds from any plant you are interested in.
- Cooperative Extension: An inquiry at your local cooperative extension may prove fruitful. Some extension offices, such as this one in Tompkins County, provide free seed as a service to the community.
- Seed Libraries: A seed library allows gardeners to “borrow” seeds at planting time with the expectation that a portion of the seeds will be harvested from the plants at the end of the growing season and returned to the library. Start your own seed library or seek out an existing one. Many public libraries are now offering seed libraries so make an inquiry with your local librarian!
- Google It: The power of Google cannot be understated. A search for “free seed” using their powerful search engine could unveil a wondrous seed bounty.
- Gardening Know How Giveaways: Every Friday, Gardening Know How hosts a fabulous giveaway. In late July, we hosted an immensely popular giveaway from The Seed Guy and we do have more seed giveaways coming down the pike so keep an eye on our blog, Twitter or Facebook.
And, if you know of another free seed source, please share it in your comment as well – Thank you!
The winner will be drawn at random from all qualified entrants, and notified via e-mail. (See Rules for more information.)
Update 10/14/15 – Congratulations to the Frugal Gardener Seed Giveaway winners below!
|Rita Alarcon||Sharon Kaminski||Nancy Sherman|
|Sandie Aliprantis||Anita Kennett||Janice Shields|
|Connie Beste||Linda King||Ann Simmons|
|Kathy Bondar||El Klemm||Susan Smoaks|
|Lisa Breece||Helen Kwiat||Colt Spatafore|
|Gregory Browne||Julie Lawrence||Elaine Stottlar|
|Carrie Conley||Cheryl Leamer||Shawn Stover|
|Christi Cox||Connie Lee||Kelly VanAuken|
|Ashleigh Delport||Jeannine McDonald||Carolyn Vitali|
|Nancy Dentler||Sakenya McDonald||Annamarie Voss|
|David Dunbar||Susan McQueeney||Lindsey Waid|
|Jann Gartman||Candace Miller||Amy Waterman|
|Brittany Gilley||Jennifer Monteiro||Anne Weaver|
|Steve Golemboski||Elizabeth Neale||Brenda White|
|Deanna Guruge||Audra O’Hara||Bonnie Wilks|
|Jennifer Herman||Melissa Oliver||Sean Willoughby|
|Carol Herman||Coty Prazak-Markwardt||JF Wilson|
|Elizabeth Howard||Jeanne Rousseau||Daniel Wolf|
|Pam Howell||Laura Royal|
|Sarah Jestings||Colleen Sampson|
|Rickie Johnson||Rose Santuci-Sofranko|