Throw a Grow Wild seed swap party

Four ladies sitting at a picnic table set with colourful flowersA seed swap is a lovely way of sharing seeds with friends, neighbours and others in your community. You can use leftover seeds you haven't sown or seed you’ve harvested yourself. And as a bonus you can also swap ideas and advice about sowing and growing. What’s not to love!

Seed saving essentials

First up, here is some essential information about seed collecting.

  • Check out the Grow Wild guide to collecting your wildflower seeds, for detailed tips on timing, harvesting, drying and storing.
  • Once harvested make sure you separate the seeds from other bits of plant and chaff, fishing out any insects that have been caught up in the process. If your seeds are very small you can use a sieve.
  • The cleaned seeds may be of all shapes and sizes depending on what plants they came from. If still slightly damp, leave them somewhere cool and airy to dry off. 
  • Download your special Grow Wild template below to create paper envelopes – don’t be tempted to keep them in plastic bags, as they will sweat and start to rot.
  • Label each envelope with the date of collection, the site, what the seeds are and any other useful details, like whether they are annuals, perennials or a mixture. 
  • Seeds like to be kept in a cool, dark dry place until they are planted – a ventilated plastic box in the fridge is ideal.
Now for the party planning...

We have a whole lot of tips and advice about planning a party on our wildflower celebration page, but here are some ways to make it all about seed swapping

  • In your invites or on posters promoting your party (we have templates you can use if you’re not feeling crafty) ask your guests to try and bring along some seeds. They could also bring pots of surplus plants to give away.
  • Set up a seed-swap table where people can put the seeds they have collected wild or from their gardens. You can keep it really informal and just have everyone add their seeds to the table and take what they like.
  • Those that don’t bring seeds should still be able to take some away (but you could always suggest they bring cakes or other refreshments instead!).
  • Make sure that when people arrive you explain to them how the swap will work and where to put their seeds. Reassure them they can help themselves!
  • You can make seed packets using the Grow Wild template (below) or maybe make your own and decorate with wildflowers. 
  • Why not also lay out some gardening books for inspiration and as a talking point.
  • Perhaps issue a wildflower festival pass using named, envelopes of seeds, hung on a ribbon.
  • You could organise a treasure hunt with a map to find packets of your seeds (make sure they don’t get wet, though).
  • Make party bags with seeds and include instructions on how to grow them or you could make your own booklet of wildflowers to spot in your area.

Download and print your own seed saving envelope template.