Category Archives: seed swap

Starting Seeds Indoors

2017-03-20 11.29.05

The article below is by Hillie Salo via the Seed Libraries Newsletter, Cool Beans!

Why not reap the benefits of starting seeds indoors? Perhaps you want an earlier harvest or need to extend the growing season. You can also produce larger and stronger seedlings that are less susceptible to insect attacks. Plus, it’s easier to monitor seedlings inside in pots than outside in the ground.
Caution: Remember that some plants, such as beans and peas, have a delicate root system and like to start and finish in the same spot. They prefer to be directly seeded, or planted in the garden, not transplanted. Other seeds, such tomatoes

peppers, and eggplants, need a head start. See the table for more plants and their preferences. You can also check the seed package for which method the plant prefers.

Get seeds from friends, neighbors, seed libraries & seed swaps or companies that sign the Safe Seed Pledge.
Timing
Don’t start seeds too early or the seedlings will become tall and spindly, or leggy. Use the six-week rule: Count backwards from the last frost date in the spring or the first frost date in fall.  However, depending on the crop, starting time may be earlier or later than six weeks. For example, warm season vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers need night time temperatures of at least 55 degrees or the seedlings’ growth will be very slow. Johnny’s Selected Seeds has a great seed starting calculator.  http://www.johnnyseeds.com/growers-library/seed-planting-schedule-calculator.html
Containers
Seeds can be started in a range of containers from recycled yogurt cups to purchased pots, trays, or cubes. If you’re recycling your containers, clean with a 10% bleach solution: 1 part bleach to 9 parts water. When choosing a container, the most important thing is drainage, so may sure you punch several holes in the bottom of those yogurt cups.
Soil
Special seed starting mixes can be useful because they are lighter than potting soil, but they are not necessary; many people find success starting seeds with potting soil that is not full of clumps. However, soil from the garden (or those bags labeled “garden soil”) are too heavy for starting seedlings in pots.
You can select from several brands of commercial seed starting mixes. Most of them contain some variation of the following ingredients:
  • – Coir or peat moss (the base)
  • – Perlite (helps soil drain faster) and vermiculite (increases aeration and moisture retention.) Some mixes contain sand.
You can also make your own. Explore the links below for different recipes.

SEEDING

Plant seeds close for germination, then transplant the seedlings into pots after its true leaves appears. (First, you’ll see cotyledons, or the embryonic leaves, not the true leaves.) Planting seeds close saves space, both in your containers and especially on the number of heat mats or warm spaces. For example, for pepper or tomato seeds, consider a grid of seeds 3 X 3 or 4 X 4 in a 4 in pot.
Small Seeds
  • Fill pot with soil, tap to settle.
  • Make indentations for seed: 1/8″ for lettuce, 1/3″ for tomato.
  • For tiny seeds such as lettuce sow 3-4 seeds in each hole. Try to put no more than 2 tomato seeds in each hole as you’ll just have to untangle them later, which could damage the delicate root systems.
  • Cover seed lightly with seed starting mix or vermiculite.
  • Water from the bottom, not the top, and drain.
  • Cover pots with domes, plastic, or glass because high humidity can help with germination. The covering keeps the top of the soil moist, and keeps it from crusting over. Remove as soon as seedlings appear!
Large Seeds
  • Fill with soil, tap to settle.
  • Make 3 holes for seeds, 1″ deep.
  • Sow 1 seed per hole.
  • Cover seed with soil.
  • Water from the bottom, not the top, and drain.
  • Cover pots with domes, plastic, or glass.

GERMINATION

To germinate, seeds need warmth and moisture. (For some seeds, exposure to or exclusion from light can be important, but most of the time, seeds don’t need light until they germinate. Until then, water and temperature are more important.)
Warmth
Although each plant cultivar has a maximum or minimum temperature needed for germination, most seeds will germinate at room temperature, just faster
and stronger with a little heat, especially summer vegetables. For example, tomato seeds will germinate well when the ambient temperature is anywhere from 70 to 95 degrees, but the optimum temperature for germination is 85 degrees. Lettuce, on the other hand, prefers a cooler germination range between 40 and 80 degrees, with an optimum temperature of 75 degrees. (See the table from PennState for specific germination needs of various seeds.  https://extension.psu.edu/seed-and-seedling-biology).
Find a warm place in your house such as the top of the fridge. Remember that most heat mats will raise the temperature about 20 degrees above the ambient temperature, not to a specific temperature unless you add a thermostat. Don’t use a heating pad for humans as they aren’t designed for continuous use and/or use near water.
Moisture
Moisture is important because it softens the seed coat and starts the swelling of the seed.
Check moisture daily. If container are on heat mats, you’ll want to check heat and moisture levels several times a day. Keep soil evenly moist, but not soggy. Avoid watering from above unless you have attachment that allows a light sprinkle. Instead, water from the bottom so you won’t disturb the seed. Place the seed containers in a shallow tray with water and allow them to absorb water by osmosis. Don’t leave them sitting too long in the tray. How well watered a pot is can be judged by weight. Get to know how heavy a well-watered container should feel.

SEEDLING CARE

Fertilizing
No fertilizer is necessary from the time seeds are planted until they begin to germinate. Everything a plant needs to grow is contained in the seed itself! After the first seeds sprouts, remove any covering. Seedlings need the same care as seeds – right amount of water and right amount of temperature – plus seedlings need light, good air circulation and possibly a little fertilizer.

Temperature
Once seeds sprout, the heat mat can be removed; though some like it warmer and can stay on heat mats (peppers and eggplants). In general, seedlings grow stronger and sturdier at cooler temperatures, 65-70 degrees daytime and 55-60 at night. Higher temps tend toward too much growth.
Air circulation
Good air circulation is necessary for disease prevention. Thin seedlings if too crowded. Brush seedlings with a hand to strengthen stems (simulating wind) or use a small fan.
Light
Insufficient light causes weak, leggy growth. Window sills are not enough. Indoors, seedlings grow best under fluorescent lights. A standard 4-ft shop light fixture with cool white bulbs is adequate. Place the light 1 to 2 inches above the seedlings. Use a timer to leave the lights on 14 to 16 hours a day. Move the lights up as the seedlings grow. Or use boards, old books, or bricks to raise trays of plants if the lights aren’t adjustable.
Fertilizing
Fertilize if seedlings are in pots for longer than 3-4 weeks. Use soluble fertilizer at half strength.
Moisture
Continue to monitor moisture and bottom water. Let the top crust of the soil dry out before watering again.
Hardening off
Plants that have been sheltered inside need to grow accustomed to conditions outdoors before they move there permanently. Take them outside a little bit each day, first in indirect sunlight such as a porch; then, increase the time and exposure to light gradually. You can also cut back on the watering and decrease the inside temperature a bit. Such “hardening off” will prepare you seedlings for your garden.

You can find much more wonderful information at the Seed Libraries website. Thank you Hillary for the wonderful article and to Richmond Grows for the plentiful resources for seed savers and seed libraries across the country.

Don’t forget about the 10th Annual Seed Swap Saturday, February 2nd in downtown Chico!!

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10th Annual Seed Swap

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~ A Free Community Event for 10 Years! ~

Event Details

  • 11:30am-12:00pm ‘Home Grown Seed Share‘ -open early for people with home grown seed to share AND all people affected by the Camp Fire
  • 12:00pm-3:00pm Seed Swap Potluck Style
  • Plant & Scion Swap
  • **‘Garden Space Connections’ -Help connect gardeners in need of space in 2019 with gardeners who have space to offer
  • Seeds & Plants For Sale
  • Community Non-Profits
  • Food & Beverages For Sale (courtesy of Chico Natural Foods!)

**New this year, ‘Garden Space Connections’! In light of the Camp Fire we want to help connect people who cannot utilize their own gardens this coming season with those who have garden space to share!

 

What To Bring

  • Surplus Seeds, Bulbs, Plants, Cuttings & Scion to Exchange
  • Used Envelopes/Containers & Pens/Pencils (please label your items)
  • YOU DO NOT NEED TO BRING SEED TO ATTEND!

 

To Volunteer

We need volunteers to help us make the 10th year of the seed swap a huge success, please consider volunteering for a shift or two. It’s simple and easy to do online: https://www.volunteersignup.org/YLCRA

For More Information

Hosted By

Sponsored By

WOULD YOU LIKE TO SPONSOR THE SEED SWAP? Contact us at info@chicoseedlendinglibrary.org

 

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~ Donations Help Keep The Seed Swap Going ~


The Annual Seed Swap and the Chico Seed Lending Library (CSLL) are programs that are fiscally sponsored by Earthshed Solutions, a 501(c)(3) public charity. If you wish to make a tax-deductible donation to help keep the Seed Swap going strong please follow the link to make an online donation or contact us at info@chicoseedlendinglibrary.org.

 

Gift Baskets at the Seed Swap!

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GARDEN O’DELIGHT fundraising gift baskets will be available for suggested donation at the 9th Annual Seed Swap! The seed swap is Saturday, February 3rd at the Trinity Church in downtown Chico from 12-3pm.

ALL proceeds will help fund the 10th Annual Seed Swap and Chico Seed Lending Library! Each basket has a specific theme based on the items inside -from Trees to Seeds to Kids. See below for what is inside each basket.

HUGE thanks to the local businesses who donated items: Magnolia Gift & Garden, Hodges Nursery, The Plant Barn, Floral Native Nursery, Grub Grown Nursery, Fanno Saw Works, The Bookstore, Butte County Good Food Network and more!

All donations above fair market value (FVM) are tax-deductible through our fiscal sponsor, Earthshed Solutions, a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Donations can be made by credit card or cash at the event. Gift basket suggested donation prices are based on fair market value of the items and range between $25-100 depending on the basket of choice and your generosity.

Gift Basket Details

#1 TREES

(FVM $83.20, Suggested $70-90)

  • $25 Magnolia Gift & Garden gift certificate
  • 7 ½” Hand Pruners
  • 7” Folding Pruning Saw
  • Shear & Scissor Sharpener
  • Garden Gloves
  • 10 Plant tags

#2 HERBAL

(FVM $41.65, Suggested $25-45)

  • $10 Grub Grown Nursery gift certificate
  • 2 -4″ potted Herb Plants
  • Dried Herb Tea
  • Garden Gloves
  • Bulb Planter
  • Container Herb Seed from Renee’s Garden
  • 11 Seed Starting Pots
  • 10 Plant Tags

#3 FLOWERS

(FVM $44.23, Suggested $30-50)

  • 1 gallon Flowering Perennial from Hodge’s Nursery
  • Book: 1001 Questions Answered About Flowers by Norman Taylor
  • Garden Gloves
  • Rainbow CA Poppy seed from Renee’s Garden
  • Seed Balls (with wildflower, pollinator and native grass seed)
  • Wooden Handle Trowel
  • 10 Plant Tags

#4 WILDLIFE

(FVM $59.85, Suggested $45-65)

  • Book: Why We Garden, Cultivating a Sense of Place by Jim Nollman
  • 1 gallon Flowering Perennial from Hodge’s Nursery
  • Bird Feeder
  • 10 Plant Tags
  • Garden Gloves
  • Garden Trowel
  • Butterfly & Hummingbird Garden seed from Renee’s Garden
  • Seed Balls (with wildflower, pollinator and native grass seed)

#5 FUNGI

(FVM $68.24, Suggested $50-70)

  • $10 Grub Grown Nursery gift certificate
  • Mushroom Garden Art
  • Mycorrhizae package
  • Mycelium: Wine Cap Stropharia (Stropharia rugoso-annulata)
  • Wooden Handle Garden Spade
  • Garden Gloves
  • 10 Plant Tags

#6 SEEDS

(FVM $62.34, Suggested $45-65)

  • Book: Grow, Cook, Eat: A Food Lover’s Guide to Vegetable Gardening by Willi Galloway
  • Three Sisters & Cover Crop seed mix from Renee’s Garden
  • Seed Storage Envelopes & Labels
  • 12 Seed Starting Pots
  • 2 pair Garden Gloves
  • 10 Plant Tags
  • Garden Trowel
  • String Dispenser
  • Seed Balls (with wildflower, pollinator and native grass seed)

#7 GARDEN

(FVM $85.90, Suggested $70-90)

  • $25 Floral Native Nursery gift certificate
  • Burlap Pot Cover
  • Container Kitchen Garden seed mix from Renee’s Garden
  • Apron
  • Garden Gloves
  • Garden Trowel
  • 10 Plant Tags
  • Seed Balls (with wildflower, pollinator and native grass seed)

#8 GARDEN

(FVM $74.17, Suggested $55-75)

  • $20 Plant Barn gift certificate
  • Light Snipper/Pruners (bypass blade)
  • Cat Treat Greens seed mix from Renee’s Garden
  • Wooden Handle Garden Fork
  • Plant Hanger
  • Garden Gloves
  • 10 Plant Tags
  • Magnolia Gift & Garden T-shirt

#9 KIDS

(FVM $55.37, Suggested $40-60)

  • $10 Grub Grown Nursery gift certificate
  • Garden Bag with Kid-Size Trowel, Fork & Spade
  • Small & Large Kids Handmade Aprons
  • Garden Gloves for Kids

#10 KIDS

(FVM $59.80, Suggested $45-65)

  • Book: Grow Your Own for Kids by Chris Collins & Lia Leendertz
  • Kids Watering Can
  • Small & Large Kids Handmade Aprons
  • Rainbow Kitchen Garden seed mix from Renee’s Garden
  • Garden Gloves for Kids

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For More Information

9th Annual Seed Swap

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The Chico Seed Lending Library (CSLL) is hosting the 9th Annual Seed Swap, a community event in celebration of seed, seed saving and the joy of the Spring gardening season. This annual exchange of seed will take place on Saturday, February 3rd , 2018 from 12-3pm at the Trinity United Methodist Church (285 E 5th St) in downtown Chico.

Again in 2018, we will open up the seed swap at 11:30AM for people who have home-grown seed & seed stories to share, face to face, with local seed savers.

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Home Grown Seed Share 2017

The Seed Swap is a FREE EVENT and will include the open exchange of seed as well as plants, bulbs, and cuttings, and scion wood in a ‘potluck’ style setting. There will be food and drinks for sale, gift baskets for a CSLL fundraiser, plants and seed for sale in addition to local non-profits, music, and fun for all ages.

For 9 years…

Chico’s Annual Seed Swap events have been a great way to bring our community together to share seed, plants, and gardening ideas.  In addition to the traditional exchange of seed there will be the opportunity for participants to exchange plants and scion wood too. For those who may not know, scion wood is the top section of a healthy tree branch, typically a fruit tree, which has been cut in order to be grafted onto a different tree or root stock. Exchanging locally adapted fruit trees, in particular, is a huge asset to local food security.

There will be local vendors selling plants, seeds and fruits/vegetables. Delicious food will be for sale, generously donated by Chico Natural Foods Cooperative. Drinks will be for sale by CSLL -like hot apple cider, coffee and various teas. There will also be unique gift baskets filled with seed, garden items and local foods available as a fundraiser to support the Seed Swap and Chico Seed Lending Library.

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Fundraising Gift Baskets 2017

How the Seed Swap Works

The seed exchange itself functions in the same manner as a community potluck: there will be more than 8 tables for seed each labeled with a different type, such as warm and cool season vegetables, flowers, native plants, herbs and more.  Participants place their clearly labeled bulk or packaged seed on the appropriate table then continue around to the other tables to gather seed that others have brought.  Often whole packets of seed are left on the tables, but opening them and taking only what you need and sharing the rest is in the nature of the Seed Swap.

one seed = one plant

We ask everyone who participates in the Seed Swap to remember that 1 seed = 1 plant. Please ensure you do not take more than you need. Over the years we’ve seen how popular this event is in our community and we’ve also seen people taking boxes of seed away with them. This type of participation only detracts from the purpose of the seed swap… which is to share seed with everyone.

Providing seed to share is not required but please bring your own pen and envelopes or other containers to store your new seed -it’s a real help to everyone. The exchange of root divisions, cuttings, plants, scion wood, and garden harvests is also something people enjoy doing at the Seed Swap. This annual community event is always free and a fun way to celebrate the approaching Spring season for all members of our community.


Volunteer

You can Volunteer to help with the Seed Swap by signing up to work a shift or two such as event set up or helping serve food. Signing up to volunteer is simple and done online at the Seed Swap volunteer signup website: www.volunteersignup.org/WPDR3. Volunteers are greatly appreciated and receive a bonus for their help.

volunnteer online signup


Seed Swap Hosts and Sponsors

The Chico Seed Lending Library (CSLL), Earthshed Solutions and the GRUB Education Program have hosted the annual Seed Swaps since its inception 9 years ago. The Trinity United Methodist Church is generously providing the location for this event and Chico Natural Foods Cooperative, Redwood Seed and Sustainable Seed Co. are sponsoring the 9th Annual Seed Swap.

Would your business or organization like to SPONSOR the 9th Annual Seed Swap? Contact us at info@chicoseedlendinglibrary.org. You will receive promotion in all of our marketing of the Seed Swap as well as a booth space at the event.

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Donations keep the   Seed Swaps going strong…

The Annual Seed Swap and the Chico Seed Lending Library (CSLL) are fiscally sponsored by Earthshed Solutions, a 501(c)(3) public charity. If you wish to make a tax-deductable donation to help keep the Seed Swap going strong you can do this online or contact us at info@chicoseedlendinglibrary.org.

8th Annual Seed Swap

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The Chico Seed Lending Library is hosting the 8th Annual Seed Swap, a community event in celebration of seed, seed saving and the joy of the approaching gardening season. This annual exchange of seed will take place on Saturday, January 28th, 2017 from 12-3pm at the Trinity United Methodist Church (285 E 5th St) in downtown Chico.

New this year, we will open up the seed swap at 11:30AM for people who have home-grown seed & seed stories to share, face to face, with local seed savers.

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The Seed Swap is a free event and will include the open exchange of seed as well as plants, bulbs, and cuttings, and scion wood in a ‘potluck’ style setting. There will also be vendors with food, drinks, seed, and plants for sale in addition to local non-profits, music, and fun for all ages.

For over 7 years Chico’s Annual Seed Swap events have been a great way to bring our community together to share seed, garden ideas and farming information.  In addition to the traditional exchange of seed there will be the opportunity for participants to exchange plants and scion wood too. For those who may not know, scion wood is the top section of a healthy tree branch, typically a fruit tree, which has been cut in order to be grafted onto a different tree or root stock. Exchanging locally adapted fruit trees, in particular, is a huge asset to local food security.

The Seed Swap will also have local vendors selling plants, seeds, vegetables and other garden related items. Delicious food and drinks will be for sale, generously donated by Chico Natural Foods Cooperative. There will also be community non-profits and local groups sharing information about seed saving, gardening, agriculture, and environmental topics.

how-it-works

How it the Seed Swap Works: The seed exchange itself functions in the same manner as a community potluck: there will be more than 8 tables for seed each labeled with a different type, such as warm and cool season vegetables, flowers, native plants, herbs and more.  Participants place their clearly labeled bulk or packaged seed on the appropriate table then continue around to the other tables to gather seed that others have brought.  Often whole packets of seed are left on the tables, but opening them and taking only what you need and sharing the rest is in the nature of the Seed Swap.

Providing seed to share is not required but bringing your own pen and envelopes or other containers to store your new seed is a real help to everyone. The exchange of root divisions, cuttings, plants, scion wood, and garden harvests is also something people enjoy doing at the Seed Swap. This annual community event is always free and a fun way to celebrate the approaching Spring season for all members of our community.

You can Volunteer to help with the Seed Swap by signing up to work a shift or two such as set up or helping serve food. Signing up to volunteer is simple and done online at the Seed Swap iVolunteer website: http://seedvolunteer.ivolunteer.com/8thannualseedswap. Volunteers are greatly appreciated and receive a bonus for their help.

Seed Swap Hosts and Sponsors Chico Seed Lending Library (CSLL), Earthshed Solutions and the GRUB Education Program have hosted the annual Seed Swaps since its inception 8 years ago. The Trinity United Methodist Church is generously providing the location for this event and Chico Natural Foods Cooperative and Redwood Seed are both sponsoring the 8th Annual Seed Swap.

 

7th Annual Seed Swap

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WHEN: Saturday, January 30th, 2016 from 12pm – 3pm

WHERE: Trinity United Methodist Church (285 E. 5th Street in Chico)

Join our Facebook event page!

~ Always A Free Community Event ~

EVENT DETAILS

  • SEED SWAP ‘Potluck’ Style
  • Plant & Scion Swap
  • Seeds & Plants For Sale
  • Community Non-Profits
  • Food & Drinks For Sale by Chico Natural Foods
  • Silent Auction (a benefit for the 8th annual seed swap)

how it works

What To Bring

  • Surplus Seeds, Bulbs, Plants, Cuttings & Scion To Exchange (please label your items)
  • Used Envelopes/Containers & Pens/Pencils

~ You Do Not Need Seeds To Attend ~

To Volunteer

We’re always looking for people to help out with this annual event. If you are interested please follow the link below.

Sign Up to Volunteer Online: http://volunteercpg.ivolunteer.com/volunteer7thannualseedswap

 For More Information

  • Sherri Scott (GRUB Education Program, CSLL) 342-3376, sherri@grubchico.org
  • Stephanie Ladwig-Cooper (Earthshed Solutions, CSLL) 828-6390, modcpg@gmail.Com
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Carpooling or Riding Bikes is Encouraged

Hosted By

Sponsored By

~ Always A Free Community Event ~

SEED DONORS

A special shout out of thanks and gratitude to the seed companies below that DONATED SEED for our 7th Annual Seed Swap! Please consider utilizing them for your future seed needs!

Adaptive Seeds

AGTOS

BCHS rareseeds logo

BG

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At the Seed Swap please consider donating through the jars on tables or through our Silent Auction! Thank you!