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Think Spring! Seed Swapping DISCUSSION for Feb. 16 swap

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

This thread is in relation to the "Think Spring!" seed swap party in Frederick on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013. See this thread for event details:

Here is where we can chat about seeds we have, seeds we're looking for, etc. You can also arrange trades on this thread (or via D-mail).

It is not necessary to arrange a single trade in advance for the swap, but it can be useful. Swap discussions are also handy for gauging interest in a particular kind of seed, so when you're packaging seeds you know if you should make up 6 packets or 26.

As I've done in the past, I'll put together a tray of "goodie bags" with names on them. This makes it really easy for you to earmark seeds for a particular person and just drop them into that person's bag when you arrive. Nametags will be near the goodie bags -- please use them! I'll also have seed baggies, label slips, and pencils for any last-minute dividing and sharing, but you'll want to do as much labeling in advance as possible so that doesn't cut into your swapping & chatting time.

Let's post our "have" and "want" lists on a separate thread here: If we make just one post per person on another thread, our lists will be easy to find. Sometimes these trading/discussion threads get pretty busy!

The thread for sign-up and other swap details is here:

Thumbnail by critterologist
Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

reserved for FAQ or other administrative details

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

non-seed items so far (from me) include
Black industrial Sharpie markers 75 cents
Silver or Gold metallic Sharpie markers $1.50
Polymer moisture crystals, medium (regular size)

The industrial Sharpies hold up far better to UV and other outside conditions. I haven't yet found a time limit to their legibility, and I've been using them several years. The metallic ones are great for writing on black or dark green nursery pots and generally remain legible for 2 or 3 years, even in my very sunny conditions. If you buy Sharpies singly, they'll go for more like $2 each, sometimes more; these prices are lower because I can get them in boxes of 12 and sets of 4, respectively.

The polymer moisture crystals are fabulous, IMO. Much cheaper to order in bulk from, so that's what we'll do. Final cost per pound will depend on how much is ordered. I'll pack into quart or gallon freezer bags. For more information, see this DG article:

Let me know if you're interested and how many markers or pounds of crystals you want. I'll probably order a big box of medium crystals, but I can get a few pounds of small, large, or powder if there's interest (it'll be more $ per pound but still a good deal).

Anybody who is ordering seeds that they think will be delivered before the swap -- please consider posting to see if anybody wants just a packet or two from the same place, so we can all stretch our shipping $.


Odenton, MD(Zone 7b)

Who was it that bought the cactus mix to the swap at Sallys'? I would like to know what was in the mix so I can make some up, seems my cats don't want to munch on cacti and succulents. :^)

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Hi Catbird, that was me.

And my cat was the reason I got into succulents in the first place! She'll gobble up anything that looks leafy (and get sick of course, but that never seems to deter her).

The recipe is Al's ("tapla" in the forums here and on gritty mix. It's 1/3 Turface; 1/3 grower's size chicken grit with the dust washed off; and 1/3 pine bark fines that have been screened to between 1/8 and 3/8 inches. There's also some lime and time-release fertilizer. I find it easy now, but it took a little while to get all the ingredients and screens ready.

I'll make more for the spring swap, but I don't have any right. It's just too darn cold to be sitting outside for a couple of hours screening this stuff. DH always asks me if I'm "prospecting for gold" when I get the screens out. :)

Central, MD(Zone 7a)

I'm on the fence now, just found out the SO is off for the weekend which happens once in a blue moon. If I can't make it I'd love to distribute seeds I have.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Could we have a volunteer to be Terp's "seed fairy" so he can participate by mail if he can't make it?

This is how "seed fairy" works, just for general info of course because we're hoping to see both Terp & SO!

If you can't make it to the swap but still want to participate, send your seeds to your "seed fairy" in a bubble envelope, with at least $2 for return postage and your address. Seeds marked for particular people will be dropped in the goodie bags by your "seed fairy," and the rest can just be put in a box to pass around. Similarly, you'll have a goodie bag where people can put seeds you requested or ones they think you'd like. The contents of your goodie bag will be put into your bubble envelope and mailed back to you by your "seed fairy" after the swap.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Terp, I could be your "seed fairy!" I think you mentioned that my place was close to your SO's, so you could just drop them off at my place. If not, you could mail me your seeds.

Central, MD(Zone 7a)

Wow that'd be great!!!

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Catbird- I have not used my gritty mix. You can have it, about enough to fill a large 'baby wipes' tub which is what I stored it in.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

I love that mix. Can't thank SSG enough for making it.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Not sure what I will have in the way of seeds to bring dear JR knocked down several open containers of seeds I had sitting on the kitchen table. We did pick up most of them but really not too sure what is what now. Really my fault instead of picking them up and putting them in a safer place I just pushed them down to the lower end of the table and too close to the edge. I can bring Black Pussywillow cuttings that I will hand out in the parking lot if anyone would like them.
I am looking for Hyacinth Bean Vine seeds I get a ton of seeds from my vines but they don't seem to get mature before the frost gets them.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Holly---I have tons of Hyacinth Bean seeds. Got them from a woman at work last year.

They will be in my box. Gita

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

"Holly and Ric's Gala Seed Mix" LOL

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Holly, I'm thinkin what sally is thinkin - just leave them mixed up, could be lots of fun trying to id what sprouts up - "Holly and Ric's Gala Surprise Surprise Seed Mix" LOL.

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

"Holly and Ric's Gala Surprise Surprise Seed Mix" JR's Special Blend !

Central, MD(Zone 7a)

Sounds like fun to me. You can sign me up for pussy willow cuttings.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Thanks Gita, I think I got the ones I grew this past year from you at last years seed swap. Really so frustrating all those pods filled with immature seeds.
Ok Paul, Have you down for some.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Terp, does this mean you're blowing off your SO and coming after all? I don't know whether to be happy or to shake my head going tch tch tch at you.

Holly, I'm happy to report that I finally had 2 Black Pussy Willow cuttings take! I got these from you at the seed swap last year. Here's what I did with them: The day after the swap, I saw it had warmed up enough that I could shove a 2x2 stake into one of my foundation beds. I made a narrow hole, then trickled a teaspoon of moisture crystals down into it. Then I gently pushed the cutting down into the dirt as far as I could (it was pretty wet/soft once I got past the cold upper layer). Tamped down the dirt around it and crossed my fingers.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)


I know i don't have to tell you this...but if you soak the beans for a few days till they sprout--
They will germinate a lot faster....I tried growing them one year--and they sure are slow.
Just do the wet paper towel and baggie thing....

I never have much luck with the bigger seeds--like H. Bean, Moon Flower, etc...
They seem to bloom so late! maybe they need to be started in the house like NOW--
and then gently transplanted out. Being a "bean"--they probably do not like to be moved...

Damascus, MD(Zone 7a)

The Hyacinth beans in Sally's garden looked beautiful last year. I was thinking about growing some, but the the resident rabbit would be having bean sprouts for dinner... :-(

This message was edited Jan 22, 2013 12:03 AM

Thumbnail by donnerville
Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Donnerville, would you please save one of your dahlia tubers for Joyanna's Fairy Garden planter? She'd love it. Thanks!

Damascus, MD(Zone 7a)

Jill, yes. I will keep a few for her.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Gita, I have good luck getting them to germinate and grow. I get a ton of bean pods but most of them never reach maturity and I never seem to have good seeds for the next year. Maybe just not a long enough growing season.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Thanks, Donner-Sally!

Holly, I ended up bringing a couple Japanese Morning Glory vines inside so the pods could finish ripening, same sort of problem... Glad Gita has a stash of them to share! I have some to plant for this year, so we'll see if I have just that little bit longer before first frost here.

I'm looking around at various "deals" on bulbs, bare root plants, etc. Anybody into Gladiolus? Crocosmia? For example, we can get 20 bags of "assorted" glads, 50 in a bag, for about $6 including shipping to me. That's a deal! Named glads are also a great price from the same seller (a couple dollars more per 50), but they have to be bought in trays of 500, or in pre-determined "collections" of several varieties. Crocosmia priced out at 50 cents/bulb, maybe a little less depending on variety.

I know a couple other folks were interested in lilies, especially the yummy smelling oriental ones. Oriental lilies and Orienpets (Oriental Trumpet hybrids) look like they're averaging $1.20 to $1.40 per bulb including shipping, but again we're talking about ordering in quantity (bags of 25), so think $6 or so for 5 bulbs of a given variety.

If there's interest in the above spring-planted bulbs, I'll start another thread for a group buy. They start shipping March 1, so we should be able to sort/distribute at the spring swap.

I'm also trying to figure out when this company's magical time is for pre-ordering fall planted bulbs and getting free shipping, because I'm thinking "daffodil group buy!" (This is a company I've dealt with, but since pricing info is only available to their wholesale customers, I don't think I should say which company on a public thread... I'm skirting around it as it is, I think, by posting "at cost" prices.)

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Jill, I'd be in for any Oriental and Orienpet lilly order. What are you doing up this late?

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

LOL I'm heading up to bed soon, mother! You should do the same... :-)

I'm all excited, because they have OT 'Satisfaction', which I think is the one Hart said did so well for her.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)


What catalog are you ordering from--the Lilies, that is? So I could see what they have.
I would be interested in the Orienpet (oriental?) lily "Honeymoon" No more than 4.
If you are ordering some other, similar ones, please let me know.

I used to have these--bought them from someone (Beauty from Bulbs??) but they have now died out.
I did not see this variety in the B, from B. catalog. They almost looked like "Casablanca"...
They were in a not so good a place. I moved them. Now I have my Lilies in a full sun bed and would
like these again. Waiting to see how the Regale Lilies will do after the move this spring.

I LOVE Crocosmias--but have never had any luck them wintering over. Should these be dug up?

Tried finding the "Honeymoon" Lily pic. No luck. Gita

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Gita, I'll Dmail you tonight. And I'll check for 'Honeymoon' or one with similar coloring. They do have 'Regale' -- I loved its ruffles! an improvement on Casa Blanca IMO. As I said, 25 per bag, so we'll have to drum up enough interest in the varieties we want, or be willing to buy more (these prices are 1/3 the cost, or better, of what I've seen elsewhere for 16/18 cm bulbs).

I haven't grown crocosmias before, but I want some. They should be hardy for us, but I'm not sure if they like wet or dry during winter dormancy. We'll learn about them!

I wanted to see if anybody wanted to get in on an order from Summerhill Seeds. She's always got interesting varieties, and I'm pretty close already to spending the minimum for free shipping, so just assume no additional cost for s/h. :-) Please Dmail me with what you want to order.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)


Many, many moons ago--probably not too much after we moved into this house (19690)
my Cousin on Oregon (they have the most amazing gardens there!) sent me some Montbratia bulbs.
That was my first go at them. They grew well ans lived for a few years--then disappeared.

Fast forward to 2 years ago--I bought some in a small packet (small bulbs as well_ and planted
them in my Yuk bed. I did see them coming up in the spring--but that was about it.

You have much better soil in your beds and, hopefully, they would make it in your garden.
After Terp comes and digs up my WS shrub--I will have that small round bed to plant my Dr. Seuss in
which will free uo a lot of the bed I have been growing it in so far.
Then I can try to grow the Montbratias there. maybe i will have more luck. I am assuming that Crocosmia and Montbratia are one and the same. There may be different varieties??

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Yes to different varieties... I love 'Lucifer' whenever I see it, and there's also a lemon yellow one that I like and a couple of orangish ones that I can do without (but that's just me).

Odenton, MD(Zone 7b)

Sally, I would love to take the gritty mix off your hands. I need to set up a little nursery for the succulent babies that have started from dropped pieces.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Let me locate it,Catbird, and you can stop by anytime!

Central, MD(Zone 7a)

Anybody out there crafty? I have a box of thread multiple colors. Look at picture. I'll bring/send it to the seed swap.

Thumbnail by UMD_Terp
Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

I could use some of the colors for sewing. Not all!

Will have to go downstairs and see what i am out of. Navy blue is one of them...
Then--pick what I need at the Swap.

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

I'll take whatever no one else wants. I've been sewing for the grandies and their dolls. Anything leftover is great! Tha k you, Paul

Central, MD(Zone 7a)

Awesome, glad they can be used. Done deal!

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Paul--How did all these threads come to be in your possession?
I am sure you did now sew your own clothes.....

Central, MD(Zone 7a)

Quote from Gitagal :
Paul--How did all these threads come to be in your possession?

A friend of a friend was doing some early spring winter cleaning.

Carlisle, PA(Zone 6b)

Looking for Morning Glory seeds (any kind), also sweet pea seeds (any kind). I have the hot pink ones that are very hardy. Thanks. Also, any seeds of tropicals.

Sure, would live a cutting or two of goldfish & Jasmine cutting or two and any morning glory seed (no matter how old) would be welcome. I still have that Alsobia you gave me, Critter, but it is in a closed terrarium in my kitchen window. It has never bloomed, but is growing like a weed. Maybe when we start getting more sunny days & the greenhouse stays warmer, I can start some cuttings to see if it would bloom in the greenhouse.

This message was edited Jan 26, 2013 10:33 AM

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