Annual Seed Exchange

Annual Seed Exchange

It’s time to start collecting seeds for our 2023 Seed Exchange!

The annual Seed Exchange is an opportunity for Cal Hort members to share their plants. Participation in the Seed Exchange is a benefit of membership; to receive seeds, you must be a current member of Cal Hort.

Here are what 2021 participants indicated they’d like; if you grow these, that donation would be most welcome:

Categories: pollinator attractants; drought survivors; conifers; California and South Africa natives in general, in particular California native bulbs and annuals

Genera: Acacia, Banksia, Protaea, Verbena, Lachenalia

Species: Papaver somnifera hybrids

Timeline:

July–November: Members submit properly prepared seeds collected from their gardens. If you plan to submit seeds that ripen later send Dave a list so he can prepare for them.

January: A list of the donated seeds with a request form is made available to members.

February: Completed request forms along with $5 for supplies and postage must be received by the end of the month.

March: Seeds are distributed by mail.

If you would like to help with cataloging and mailing the seeds please email us at calhortinfo@gmail.com and type “Volunteer” in the subject line.

Basic Steps for Preparing Your Seeds for Sharing:

  • Allow flowers or seed pods to ripen on the plant until they are dry and starting to brown.
  • Separate the seeds from surrounding plant material—petals, pods, leaves, stems. You can use a plastic bag to shake the seeds into but do not store the seeds in plastic as they can mold.
  • Spread the seeds out to dry.
  • Collect the seeds in a paper envelope or other paper wrapping and write the plant name on the outside. Avoid sending or storing seeds in plastic.

For more detailed information on harvesting and saving seeds visit:

Better Homes & Gardens:
How to Save Seeds from Your Garden to Plant Next Year

HGTV.com:
How to Capture and Save Seeds From Herbs and Flowers

Hampshire College, Massachusetts, pages 4-6 (down-loadable PDF)
Haskell Guide to Saving Seeds

See what kinds of seeds have been exchanged in the past (lists are dated by the year the seeds are distributed, i.e. the year following the year collected):

Of course, donations of any and all kinds of seeds are welcome! Plants which have given you pleasure will please others of our members, too, especially in these times of epidemic and fire, when our gardens can be a source of refuge and comfort.