by Rob Lucey, HAS Trustee
It’s time to begin planting cold season starts indoors, and the occasional warm day prompts dreams of poking seeds into the actual dirt outside. That means it’s seed swapping season!
Step one, pull out your seed collection. Step two, realize you have way too many of some seeds and not nearly enough of others. Step three, hit the seed swaps!
Sure, you might place an order with a seed catalogue or pick up some sachets at your favorite nursery, but a seed packet usually has way more seeds than you need for a typical home gardener’s bed.
Why not swap surplus volume for variety? If you saved too many marigold and hollyhock seeds last year, swap your surplus for somebody else’s extra tomato and lettuce seeds. One of the pleasures of a seed swap is acquiring varieties that you might not otherwise have tried. Pikes Peak Squash? Parsnip? Giant beets? Why not?
The other great pleasure is meeting your fellow gardeners. Often, they can provide firsthand details about growing the seeds they’re swapping. How’s it look? Where does it thrive? What’s it taste like?
Here are a few upcoming swaps:
• March 11, 3-4:30 p.m., Food to Power Hillside Hub, 1090 S. Institute St. Register at https://foodtopowerco.org/events/seed-swap-mar23. Donation.
• March 29, 5-7 p.m., SEE (Sustainable Educational Experience) Seed & Plant Swap + Garden Planning event, East Library 5550 N. Union Blvd., $5 suggested donation. https://sustainableeducationalexperience.org/community-events/.
• April 1, 1-3 p.m., during Pikes Peak Herb Fest, Colorado Springs City Auditorium, 221 E. Kiowa St. Free event.
Another great place to swap seeds is a local seed library. The best one in this area is in the Manitou branch of the Pikes Peak Library District, currently residing inside of the Manitou Art Center, 515 Manitou Ave. Seeds packets are located in the drawers of an old library card catalogue. Just leave packets of your extra seeds and take what you need.
If you are in Pueblo, there is also an excellent seed library in the Rawlings Library, 100 E. Abriendo Ave.
Joining a garden group on social media is a good resource to learn about other swap opportunities. If you are comfortable trading seeds through the mail, there are even a couple of seed swap groups on Facebook.