"Think Spring!" Seed Swap SUNDAY Jan 31 2016

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

With temperatures about to plummet, it's time to think about winter sowing and spring planting!

Please POST ON THIS THREAD to let me know you're planning to attend and also let me know if you'll have an item for the gift table. Questions go here, too, but trade requests and have/want lists for the swap will be handled by a new seed swap tool on AllThingsPlants. This invite/info thread will be posted on the MAG forum here and at ATP, so all our Mid-Atlantic friends can participate. This is NOT the place to debate about your garden site preferences. Thanks!

I'll post links to discussion threads and swap lists once that's set up.

Date: SUNDAY, Jan 31, 2016

TIME: noon to 4:30 pm

WHAT: lunch followed by seed swap party

WHERE: Frederick, MD, Chef Lin Buffet (scroll down for directions)

WHO: DG and ATP members and their guests
(scroll down thread )

COST: $18 in cash, please, per person
(inclusive: Sunday buffet, hot tea or soft drink, tip, tax)
If you are definitely not having a soft drink, subtract $2 and tell Sally
If you are 65 or over, subtract 10% and tell Sally
Kids are $1 per year of age

BRING: Extra seeds, either commercial or self-harvested. If you're going to split seeds into smaller packs, try to do that ahead of time, because it gets crazy! We'll have a "free to good home" pile also. Most seeds are viable 5 years or so, if stored dry & cool, but please don't offer seeds (even for the "free" pile) that are unlikely to sprout. Rule of thumb: bring seeds that you would be happy to receive. Most people bring a small item for the "gift table," which is sort of an expanded door prize thing that we like to do.

Most of all, bring your enthusiasm -- we're going to have a great time!

If you've never been to a Mid-Atlantic event, don't worry... we are a fun and casual group. Everybody brings their extra seeds to swap & share (it's very useful to make up little labeled packets ahead of time), everybody visits and talks, and everybody goes home with a nice selection of seeds to try! I wrote an article that may give you an idea about how this event goes: http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/1479/. I think we're in our 9th year!

You may want to plan to come early so you can drop by Dutch Plant Farm, my favorite local nursery for winter visits. Joyanna's favorite bird, Pogo the Parrot, lives there. I wrote an article that has a lot of photos taken there, if you'd like an idea of what they are likely to have. http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/769/ I will try to arrange a "Dave's Garden Discount" for our group on that day, so please be sure to ask for it at the register. They'll be open 10 to 5. http://thedutchplantfarm.com/home

We'll meet at noon or a little before at Chef Lin, a local Chinese buffet that's one of my favorite Frederick restaurants. First, we'll gather in the back room (12 to 12:30) to get name tags and put our "stuff" down. I'll have a tray with bags for putting in seeds or little goodies for everybody (your name will be on the bag, but please leave it where it is until you're ready to leave). There will be a "gift table" set up as well as some tables/chairs where you can leave your seeds for the swapping part of the afternoon.

Look for Sally -- the tall blond with the dazzling smile -- and give her your lunch money. $18 cash per person includes the buffet, tax & tip, and your choice of water, hot tea, or soft drink. You may subtract $2 if you do not order a soft drink. Let's make it easy on our waitstaff and on Sally by not getting extras like adult beverages or snow crab.

I know some folks might be on tight budgets, and we've all been there. If the cost of the meal might keep you from coming, please Dmail me, and we'll get you covered. I don't want anybody to miss out.

Space permitting, we'll eat at the tables in the rear of the restaurant. This will let us all eat together but be a little less cramped than in the past. As always, people are encouraged to change seats after they make another trip to the buffet, so they get a chance to talk to different people during the meal.

Around 2 pm, we'll change gears with an activity (TBA) before starting in on door prizes and seed swapping. If you have something you'd like to donate to the "gift table," please Dmail me or post that you're bringing an item (I don't need to know what; keeping a count just lets me ensure everybody gets a little something). Purchased items for the table are generally under $5. If you got a pair of too-small garden gloves for Christmas, or you have a pretty grapevine wreath you're just done with, or you have an extra rooting vase or other container -- those are all wonderful gift table items!

We can get away with a few plants on the gift table, but "serious" plant trading will have to take place in the parking lot, maybe around 4. Small bagged plants and cuttings are OK to bring inside the restaurant.

We'll concentrate on seed swapping from 2:30 to 4:30 pm. Of course, seeds can be swapped outside of that time, and of course anybody who doesn't want to swap seeds can just keep chatting and visiting. I bet some of us will be at Dutch Plant Farm after the swap, too!

Instead of our usual discussion and have/want thread for swapping, we will use the new "Seed Swaps" tool at AllThingsPlants. It's not necessary to make any arrangements ahead of time, but it can be useful to see what people have and what they might be wishing for. If you have seeds sorted out ahead of time for people, you can "deliver" them into their goodie bags (like valentine mail boxes in grade school).

You won't miss out on seafood by skipping the snow crab; the Sunday buffet usually includes sushi, steamed shrimp & mussels, garlicky little steamed clams, flounder, clams/oysters on the half shell, fried fish/shrimp/scallops, semi-fried "pepper shrimp," sweet coconut shrimp, steamed crabs, salmon and/or haddock, krab salad, and more. The hibachi grill lets you create your own combination of meats and vegetables, cooked for you on the spot.

The buffet also has everything from soups and stir-fries to fried chicken and mozzarella sticks... there's salad, fruit, and an expanded array of desserts. The Sunday menu has some nice additions, including crispy duck. Ice cream lovers are in luck -- they now have a toppings bar as well as 3 ice cream stations: Hershey's ice cream cups & bars, hand-scooped ice cream, and choc/vanilla soft serve. There's a chocolate fountain (great selection of fruit & other dipping items) and even a cotton candy machine! Don't miss the hot little fried sugared doughnuts on the appetizer bar. The selection is remarkable, and even if you don't like Chinese food you'll find plenty of possibilities.

If you can't come but still want to swap seeds, please post here or on the seed swapping thread to ask somebody to volunteer to be your "seed fairy." You can use the ATP seed swap tool to participate, send your seeds and return postage to your person, and they'll send your seeds to you after the swap.

I had a blast at our previous seed swaps, and I'm so excited about this year's gathering!



~ Critter (Jill)

This message was edited Jan 4, 2016 4:26 PM

Thumbnail by critterologist
Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)


The restaurant is in Prospect Plaza, at 417 S. Jefferson St,near a nest of interchanges where 15, 340, 40, and 270 all come together. This makes it both easy to get to from different directions, and hard to describe, but these directions worked well last year, LOL. McDonalds is at the front of the Plaza, easy to spot. Chef Lin is toward the center of this strip mall.

Combine these directions with a look at the map! (I failed to get a link... type 417 S Jefferson Frederick, MD into google, but don't try to follow the really confusing step by step directions, just use it for a map)

From the north, coming down 15 South. Get off at the Jefferson Street exit, turning LEFT (going east). Cross over the highway, and Prospect Plaza will be immediately on your LEFT (turn LEFT at the light).

From the south, along 15-340 North (the two highways merge together just south of Frederick): Stay on 340. (Don't get off onto 15 North when it diverges.) 340 more or less becomes Jefferson Street. Keep left. You'll cross the bridge over the highway, and then turn LEFT at the light into Prospect Plaza.

From the south, along 270N (coming up from the DC beltway): Get off at the Jefferson Street exit and turn RIGHT at the end of the ramp (east onto Jefferson). Make an immediate LEFT at the next light to turn into Prospect Plaza.

From the east (Baltimore), you'll be on 70 West. Take exit 53b, 15 North. Take the first exit onto Jefferson Street. Turn RIGHT at the end of the ramp (east onto Jefferson). Make an immediate LEFT at the next light to turn into Prospect Plaza.

From the west: you'll be on 70 East. Take the exit for 15 North. You're now on 15-340. Stay on 340. (Don't get off onto 15 North when it diverges.) 340 more or less becomes Jefferson Street. Stay to the left. You'll cross the bridge over the highway, and then turn left at the light into Prospect Plaza.

From Dutch Plant Farm (151 Baughmans Lane) to Chef Lin: Turn LEFT onto 40 East. Take the first RIGHT onto 15 South. Take the first exit, Jefferson Street. Turn LEFT onto Jefferson Street, cross over the highway, and then turn LEFT at the light into Prospect Plaza.

Getting to DPF. Dutch Plant Farm is off "the Golden Mile," highway 40, W Patrick St. At the corner of 40 and Baughman's Lane, there's a shopping center with a JoAnn's. DPF is just behind the shopping center. Coming from 15 onto 40W, you'd turn RIGHT at the first light onto Baughmans Lane and then take the 2nd entrance on the LEFT into DPF. (The 1st left is the side entrance into the shopping plaza.)

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Party People (24):
Holly & Ric
Jan & her niece
Jill & Joyanna
NisiNJ and her friend Ellenora
thamng & friend
Theresa (Jill's friend)
Sequoia & Darcy

This message was edited Jan 7, 2016 10:04 PM

This message was edited Jan 9, 2016 10:14 PM

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

HOW TO use the Seed Swaps tool on AllThingsPlants

1. If you don't already have a screen name here, you'll need to sign up (it's free). Go to http://allthingsplants.com/

2. Click on the "Seed Swaps" button near the top left of the main page. Then click on the "Mid-Atlantic Think Spring! Swap" to find a forum just for our swap, with discussion and info threads. Clink the link to "Join This Swap"

3. Now, on the "Seed Swaps" page, you will see "you are a member of this swap" under the Think Spring! swap. Clicking on the link for the swap will take you to all the information for the swap. Under "Your Profile," at the top of the page, please click "Manage your swap profile."

Add a brief description of yourself and your garden. This is the place for your WISH LIST, which can be very specific ("Purple-speckled Loonybird Vine") or general ("I love purple flowers").

4. Create your seed list for the swap by clicking "Manage your own swap list" under "Your Profile." Note that seeds aren't available for choosing until the checkmark at the left is green. Please try to get at least some of your seeds listed and enabled by FRIDAY, Jan. 8.

You can also create a general list of seeds for swaps (not trading, just group swaps) by clicking the "Your Primary Swap List" button at the bottom of the "Seed Swaps" page. Then, when you "manage" your list for a particular swap, you click the checkmark for seeds you are including.

As people request seeds, they will be removed from your "available" number. You'll be able to see exactly what each person has requested from you.

5. We will start calling dibs on seeds from the lists SATURDAY, Jan. 9 (I think the clock starts at 12:01 am EST). On the first day, you may ask for ONE item. On the second day, you may ask for TWO items, and so forth up until the day before the swap (when you may ask for 22 items). You may continue adding seeds to your list of offerings as we go along. This feature of the seed swap tool helps keep participants from asking for every seed at once and spreads out dibs on the less numerous choices. We'll see how it works for us. If need be, I can "up" the multiplier.

This message was edited Jan 4, 2016 3:04 PM

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

I plan to come and will bring a gift. Thanks organizing this again, Critter.

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Yeah thanks for organizing Jill.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

It's an easy event to organize, and I'm looking forward to seeing everybody! My garden is looking pretty good (in relative terms, anyway)... might have to show off the new paths etc. by hosting the spring plant swap. I can't host in fall, because by then the skeeters are pretty awful out back. Of course, if anybody else is wanting to do the spring swap, please jump right in! my garden may be in even better shape next year LOL

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

if you just got a blank Dmail from me, please disregard. apparently there's a problem with "blast" dmails. I let admin know. Hopefully it will be fixed soon, as it's the best way of contacting new or less active MAG people!

Damascus, MD

Thanks for organizing! I'll be there with gift and hopefully my girl friend who is crazy about your zinnias can make it too.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

To me--the ATP thing sounds a bit complicated.

I am an existing member--but all the creating and managing my list--PHEW!

I need to have some seeds in my list by this Saturday???? May not happen.....

I printed out the long list of directions....hope I can do this. Not something I usually do.
Have mercy!!! Gita

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Gita, once you get started I'm confident you can manage. With everything you've juggled at work and elsewhere, it won't even be a challenge!

I think it's easiest to start just by clicking the "Seed Swaps" link, then go to the bottom of the page and click to start entering seeds. Once I clicked that link, it was easy to follow. Print out the 4 steps I wrote out (you're already a member at ATP so skip the first one) and just go through them in order.

I really think it will be easier than keeping track on a have/wants thread.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)


I already have muddled through to the point where all I have to do now is start listing seeds...Your directions were superb! Only thing I "screwed up" on was posting
a picture on the Chat--which I intended to be my Avatar. I asked for help on how
to doo it in the Chat. Seems everyone else figured it out......they all have nice
Avatar pictures....

I don't even know where to begin posting what seeds I have!!!
You know how big my collection is...Have not taken any new to speak of this summer.
Nice break for me! Actually--I think I am getting away from collecting seeds.
I have so many already--I hardly want to bring my BIG BOX to the Swap!
Why? Everyone has seen it......nothing really new in there....

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

Critter, I am coming. I know, I know don't you all pass out or anything. I am bringing my niece also.

I will try again to get on ATP. I already have an account, but I can't remember my password or the email I used. I have gotten to the point where they say they are going to send me an email with info, BUT, nothing has come through on either email act. I am beyond frustrated. This has happened more than once. Sooo.... I will just say that I don't want any seeds, but my nece is bringing some. She likes heirloom veggies. She usually gets hers from Bakers. She also LOVES flowers and collects her seeds. So we are going to be having fun with you all. I told her she will LOVE youse guys. Her daughter lives in Towson so she'll probably spend the night there if she can and I'll pick her up on my way through.

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Gita, I put the step by step instructions for setting up your avatar on the thread where you asked for help, but I'll repost it here in case you didn't see it.

On the left hand pane at the top under the All Things Plants logo there is a line of icons, click the little person icon "Your Profile"
At the top of the screen under the heading "Your Actions", click "Change your public profile"
Scroll down to the bottom, last configurable item in the list is "Your avatar photo"
Browse to the photo you want to make your avatar
Then click the "Save your changes" button

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

good job, Gita! there are always some new folks who will want to see the Big Box... :-)

Jan, It will be wonderful to see you and your niece!
You don't need to list seeds if you don't want to... or just list what's newly collected... I'll be adding next week as time permits, will be crunch-busy with family stuff until the week before the swap.

I'm going to change the "multiplier" to 2, so you can make 2 requests this Friday, 4 Saturday, 6 Sunday... By the Sunday before the swap, you'll be able to make 20 requests per day, increasing to 30 by Friday the 29th. If you want early dibs on favorite or scarce items, you'll want to start requesting this weekend.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Extra, extra, read all about it!

So, Dutch plant farm has started their annual 50% off houseplant clearance sale. If there is anything you especially want to look for, please let me know. And let me know how much you would be willing to pay, or if you'll go with whatever the reduced price might be. I will try to go by there this week or this weekend, and I can pick up plants and keep them for you until the swap. Or you can take potluck on whatever is left on swap day. :-)

While we're on the topic, I also have polymer moisture crystals. If you want some, they are $6.50 per pound. I have a mix of medium and large crystals, good for planting perennials and trees. I also have smaller amounts of small crystals and powdered crystals that I could make available. I think I still have some unmixed medium or large crystals also. If you do not know what polymer moisture crystals are, please see my DG article on them.

I can usually get good bulk prices on industrial sharpie's, either regular tip or small like an ink pen. I recently bought a box of bullet tip sharpies that are supposed to write under just about any condition. I have not played with them yet, but if you want to get one let me know. If there's interest, I'll check prices... all will be $1 or less. You can't get single pens for that, that I've seen anyway.. :-)

This message was edited Jan 6, 2016 12:56 PM

Washington, DC

Jill, I'd love to buy polymer moisture crystals, two pounds if you can spare it. Plan to use them in containers on deck.

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

Thanks, Jill.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Do you want the mix, Lisa, or just medium crystals for your deck containers? I've been mixing 2 parts medium to 1 part large crystals. In small (4" or smaller) pots, I'd use just medium, and in seedling flats (with an inch of potting mix) I use small crystals... bigger ones heave plants around too much in little containers... but otherwise I've been liking the mix. If you plant bare-root stuff or ship plant for trades, you might also want a little powdered polymer, which mixes into a nice hydrating "slurry."

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

thamng, glad to see you're coming, too! I'll try to bring some zinnia seeds for your friend!

Remember to go to the AllThingsPlants Seed Swaps tool and make your seed list! "Dibs" start this weekend.

Things are crazy-busy this month, lots of family stuff going on and lots of catching up on things after being away for the holidays... I'll do my best to stay on top of things, but I know I'm going to end up packaging seeds the week before the swap. So for ones I know I have plenty of, I'm just going to put 10 or even 20 packs "available," and I'll judge interest by how many people ask for them. I'll bring a few extra packets, but I won't make up 20 packets of something if only 2 people request it.

I just got a FAT package of seeds from Bluespiral! She always has such fun seeds, some that she collects, some that she has swapped for... and she has generously shared extras with us in the past. I'll put her goodies on the "free to good home" table at the swap, since I don't think I'll have time to put single packets on my seed list.

I like that once I've put seeds on my master list for the "Seed Swaps" tool, I can easily pull them up for other swaps... Like a lot of us, I find myself collecting some of the same seeds from one year to the next, or I may have enough seeds of a given type to share with multiple swaps the same year.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

SO, apparently I don't quite have the hang of the Seed Swaps tool... I thought I had set trading to begin 1/8, but it looks like trading was enabled yesterday...

If you want to call "dibs" on something that has been posted, Go for it! I think people will continue to add to their lists (sure hope to have more than garlic chives listed before the swap date, myself, LOL). I'll change the "ticket" multiplier to 2 after the weekend, to give folks a chance to catch up.

Don't stress about the pre-party swapping. It's useful to have some seeds sorted out ahead of time, but there will be plenty of unclaimed seeds still available on party day!

This message was edited Jan 8, 2016 9:15 AM

Falls Church, VA

Hi Jill and Muddy, Pat, and the others I met last year. Happy new year! I hope I can see you all this year. Someone was really trying hard to harm my computer and I have been fighting it constantly. My old email does not work, and often my computer did not work, so I have not been getting the weekly Dave's Garden news, and also have not been receiving ATP, finally yesterday I figured out why I have not been getting news, I just gave DG my new address. I am so behind with everything. Wish I could join you all at the end of January----and then maybe my old brains will remember all of you--I had such a good time last year in April. Have a good time and a wonderful lunch!

Bordentown, NJ(Zone 7a)

I am hoping to attend and bring my friend Ellenora, who lives in Finksburg. She says Frederick is not far from her. And I will bring something for the gift table.

Now to go find ATP. I did become a member before but have never made a swap list.

Denise Warner

Edited to say: O dear, it won't let me join the swap? Does the active trading mode prevent newcomers? I can't even view others' lists?

This message was edited Jan 9, 2016 3:27 PM

Washington, DC

Jill, I would like just the moisture crystals, not the mix. Thanks.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Jill, What are the tickets for??? I keep getting messages that I got them, but I don't know what to do with them.

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

Jill, I forgot to tell you my niece's name is Tara so you can set up a bag for her. Hopefully she'll get some goodies from you guys. Thanks.

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

Hi. I created an ATP profile and went to the Mid-Atlantic Think Spring! Swap, but I couldn't find a Join This Swap link. It says this swap is not currently recruiting members. Am I missing something? Did I miss my chance to create a seed list for the swap ? Boo hoo : - (

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

My apologies, I didn't realize that teh swap tool wouldn't allow new participants to join once trading got started. i've asked Dave if that's something that can be changed... but meanwhile, I HAVE SUSPENDED TRADING AND CHANGED THE TRADING START DATE to Jan 20.

If Dave can make it so we can add participants once trading is underway, I might move that date up again so we can start trading sooner...

Continuing to build seed lists and wish lists now and then doing the actual flurry of pre-swap trading during the 10 days before the swap should actually work out all right. I'll increase the multiplier so we can get in plenty of dibs before the swap.

No worries! We'll figure out how to make the new tool work for us. :-)

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

Thanks, Critter. I have joined the swap and will start loading seeds tonight.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Everybody, please post questions or let me know if you run into any trouble with the seed swap tool. i'm learning right along with you, but I think it'll turn out to be easy to use. I'm going to be crazy-busy the next couple of weeks but will try to check in on this thread and over on the ATP swap thread at least every couple of days. So... if you run into trouble... Don't Panic!

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

I did sign up for the Swap on ATP. But--so far--I have not posted any seeds.
I don't think i will, as it does not seem to be a "requirement" to do so.
Will bring my BIG BOX....still updating all my seed enveloped. Stuffing things full!

Question----Has anyone heard from Cam? Is he still in Frederick?
I need to get in touch with him and ask him if he could drop by Jill's, or maybe drop by
the Swap. I left my food-carry tote at his house last fall--and i am hoping he could
swing by at either place so i could have it back. I miss it very much!

I sent him a D-mail. Do not know if he moved--or is still around????

Thanks, Gita

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Gita, I haven't heard anything from CAM in months either. If you hear from him... I can swing by the week before the swap to pick up your tote (and maybe my jacket) when I'm at the Y. Or maybe you can convince him to swing by and visit with everybody!

It's never been a "requirement" to list "haves" or do any pre-swap trading. I will be adding seeds to my list during that last week, because I like to be able to drop some seeds into the goodie bags at the start of the swap. :-)

Damascus, MD


Thanks so much for remembering the Zinnias. I'm hoping my friend can come with me and she can thank you in person.

See you soon!
Also - thank you for all that you do!

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Jill, on the seed swap spreadsheet is there some way to utilize photos from the plant database?

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Lisa, do you mean you want the "regular" medium size crystals (like coarse salt, the size of "Soil Moist" crystals from stores like home depot)? The "mix" is all moisture crystals, it's just a mix of sizes with some larger crystals added.

Greenthumb, I think that yes, there is a way to use plant database photos with the seed lists, but I haven't explored it. I'll let you know if i figure it out!

Washington, DC

Jill, regular medium-size crystals would be great.
Greenthumb, to use the ATP database, click "access full trade list for this swap," then click on plant name.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Gotcha, Lisa. Sorry to be complicated about such a simple item!

Hey, if anybody wants some thing from AR Leonard (like one of their fabulous "soil knives"), let me know asap. They have a free ship offer on $75 or more through tomorrow, and I think I am going to get myself one of their poly forks for my birthday. :-)

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

I know how to access the ATP Plant Database. What I am trying to find out is if there is some way to enter an image from the database in the "Image" field of the seed info as one adds the item to one's swap list.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Hey, ALL!

Thanks to Sally--I got Cam's phone # and just called him. He was driving in his car--
but we talked for quite a bit. My reason for calling him was to ask him if he would
drop by the Swap (he had no idea where it is held--)--OR--he will give Jill a call
and see if something can be arranged for me to get my food-tote back--and for Jill
to get her jacket back. He "may" drop by the Swap--just needs directions. ????

SOOO---He IS moving and his house will be put up for sale soon.
He seems to have 2 job options --either to PA near Philly--or to Tacoma, WA. Ouch!

Jill--I will D-mail you his phone number and then you can chat.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

I know what you're asking, I just don't (yet) know the answer. Anybody else been able to pull database photos into their seed list items?

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