Master Gardeners to Host a Free Community Seed Exchange

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Brazilian Starfish Peppers, Lemon Cucumbers, or Mongolian Giant Sunflowers in a backyard garden? These options and many more will be available at the Penn State Extension Master Gardeners of Wyoming County 3rd Annual Seed Exchange on Saturday, April 2, at the Dietrich Theater in Tunkhannock.

This event is free and open to the community and will run from 10 am to noon. Seed exchanges are a unique opportunity to acquire new varieties, save money, and reduce seed waste, while learning and sharing with fellow gardeners. The community is invited to exchange seed, receive Master Gardener tips for successfully starting seeds, and take home horticultural handouts.

Participants in the seed exchange are encouraged to bring some seed to swap, but people new to the process are also welcome. The Master Gardeners will provide some complimentary seed to those in attendance without seed to share. Leftover seed from the event will be used for the Extension’s summer education outreach.

How does it work? Bring unused viable seeds to share. Vegetable, herb, and flower seeds, either commercially purchased or saved from the garden are welcome at the exchange table. Keep in mind seeds purchased last year and prior may still be viable so long as they were properly stored. If bringing saved seeds, please only bring those saved from heirloom plants as ones saved from hybrids will not grow true to type. Then, attendees can help themselves to what they can use in their gardens. The Master Gardeners will provide base stock for the table at 10 am with a large and diverse selection.

How much seed to share? Those new to seed saving and seed swaps might want some suggestions on how much seed to exchange. Take at least the minimum number of seeds necessary to meet home garden needs but at the same time leave plenty of seed for other participants to try. Some general suggestions are to share larger quantities of smaller seeds and smaller quantities of larger seeds. For most home gardeners 12-20 tomato or pepper seeds, 20-25 bean or pea seeds, and 25-50 flower or herb seeds should more than suffice.

How to package seeds for sharing? Small zip-top bags and coin size envelopes work well for exchanging seeds. The Master Gardeners will have a supply of zip top bags and envelopes on hand. Simply portion the seed to share in the bags or envelopes and clearly label with information, including variety and year.

Don’t have seed to share? Please attend to learn, but to go home with seed, please bring some to share next year.

The event takes place at the Dietrich Theater, 60 E. Tioga Street, Tunkhannock, PA 18657. For questions about the Seed Exchange, please contact the Master Gardeners of Wyoming County, at 570-836-3196 or

Penn State Extension Office in Wyoming County is located at 71 Hollow Crest Rd, Ste 2, Tunkhannock, PA 18657.

Penn State is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity, and the diversity of its workforce.

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