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If you are a gardener you'll want to read below to find out how to get free seeds. By storing your own seeds, trading seeds, and joining a seed library, you may never have to pay for seeds again.

Occasionally there are some free seeds that companies send to those who request them. You can look for these on my free sample list. You can also get some free seeds by requesting a free seed catalog.

There are more than 70 catalogs sent to you for free, which will give you some great ideas for planning your own garden.

Save your own seeds

The easiest way to get free seeds is to just save your own! But just leaving them in a bag and tossing them in the basement is no way to deal with it. Some seeds are actually not even suitable for storage.

Take a look at these free resources to learn more about saving seeds:

Beginner's Guide to Seed Saving - This is an easy-to-read guide for new seed savers. A small paragraph or two is devoted to some common plants to teach you how to extract the seeds so you can save them for future use.

Seed Sovereignty Guide to Securing Seeds (PDF) - This is a detailed guide that gives suggestions for extracting and storing seeds in just over 20 pages.

Saving Seeds - Download this free book called Saving Seeds for instructions on saving seeds from 29 wildflowers and 18 vegetables including lettuce, peas, tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers.

Visit SeedSave. Org for an online version of this book, this makes it a lot easier to navigate through the text.

Saving Your Own Vegetable Seeds (PDF) - This is another free PDF that you can download for reference to learn more about saving vegetable seeds. You can find information on radishes, soybeans, spinach, carrots, beets, and more.

Vegetable Seed Saving Handbook - This is an online resource that has seed saving instructions for over 50 vegetables. Each section has the time frame in which the start value can be saved. Be sure to read the Saving Your Seeds section for more information.

Use a seed exchange to get free seeds

Sharing seeds with others is another great way to get free seeds. You can give up the seeds that you don't want while getting the seeds that you want to do at the same time. This is a win-win because you both get the seeds you are looking for without paying for them.

Seed exchange can be done in two ways. You can either meet up with someone physical to exchange seeds or communicate with someone over the phone, email, or website to set up a long distance exchange.

HeirloomSeedSwap. com - Search for submissions (or create your own) under the Vegetables, Herbs, Flowers, Trees and Shrub, Grapes and Mushrooms categories to find the seeds you want. Each submission includes requests for seeds that the submitter wants in exchange .

Garden. com - Seed Swap is a free forum at Garden. com for 2 way seed trade. That means there is no money, just a clean exchange between two people. You can search for seeds that you want or seeds that you want to give away.

GardenWeb. com - Like other seed exchanges, GardenWeb. com is a forum where members can submit requests for exchange. Communication can be public or via private messages. Some of the posts are even information about local meetings so that you don't have to send and receive the seeds over the mail. You can filter these forum posts by city or location.

GoneToSeedSwap. org - This exchange site lives on sperm donation, much like these other sites. When there are enough donations for a seed you'd like, you can contact them by email to explain which seeds you are willing to donate in exchange for the ones you want. See their seed list page for all of the seeds you currently have.

There may be local seed exchanges that you cannot find on these websites. Do a general online search (City of Seed Exchange) to find one near you that someone has already set up.

You can also try searching Facebook for seed exchange groups or a "seed swap" event like this one in Ohio, USA.

Get Free Seeds through Seed Libraries

A seed library is similar to a book library in that you "borrow" seeds and then return an equal or greater number of seeds after the plant has grown. It's basically the same as a seed swap, except you don't need to have the seeds ready in advance. This method is especially useful when you are just starting out with gardening.

Seed libraries give you the ability to grow what you want for free while allowing others to do the same at the same time.

Just like with a seed exchange, try searching a local seed library to find one near you. The Seed Library Locator Map can be a good starting point. You can find locations on a map to see all the different libraries that support seed borrowing.

Also check out a list of libraries in the King County Seed Lending Library. The Pima County Public Library is an example of a seed library.