There’s something truly satisfying about growing your flowers, vegetables, herbs and other plants from seeds, but if you’re just starting out or if your budget’s a bit tight, you may not have the seeds you want. Don’t be disheartened–there are many ways to get the best seeds for your garden for free or at really low prices. Here are just some of them!
Shopping online via gardening websites and catalogs is a fast and convenient way to find the best seeds for your garden. Many garden catalog companies offer money off your first order when you sign up. Gardening sites also offer discounts on seed packets especially if you buy in bulk, while others provide free shipping and even free samples when your order reaches a certain amount. Check for promotions every now and then for seed giveaways!
Register in gardening forums
Almost all gardening forums such as Gardenweb UK have seed exchange threads, where members offer seeds for swapping or for free. For those who are just trying out their hand at making their own garden, joining a forum provides benefits such as gardening tips, a supportive community, and yes, free seeds.
Be on the lookout for listings marked “for SASE” where all you need to do is send a self-addressed stamped envelope and get it back with free seeds. Make sure the envelop has your name and address and that the stamps will cover the cost of postage. You’ll be surprised at the number of experienced gardeners willing to part with their beloved heirloom seeds to help a new gardener out.
Join local gardening clubs or organisations
If your community has plenty of gardens, chances are there’s a local gardening club as well. These organisations may host gardening events and seed exchanges where you can get seed samples and learn more about seed varieties.
Seed swaps usually happen in late winter or early spring, when the gardening community get together and exchange seeds saved from the previous year. Technically you’ll need seeds in order to participate in a seed swap, but some swap meets may also have plenty of free seeds to give away to new gardeners. Attending these events is also a great opportunity to meet other garden-lovers and get tips for your garden.
Ask for free seeds
Another way to get seeds for your garden for free is to take up winter sowing, where you sow seeds outdoors in the winter using small plastic containers and letting nature do the rest. You can check out the WinterSown.org website to read more about winter sowing and request for seeds. You can then send a self-addressed stamped envelope and you’ll receive seed packets that are suitable for winter sowing in your region.
Save your own seeds
If you already have a garden, the cheapest way to get seeds is actually to save your own. Let a few of your plants go to seed so you can get fresh seeds from them. Learn how to properly retrieve the seeds and dry them out for planting the next year.