Rob's seeds for trade/sale
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Job's tears seeds for sale
Where do they come from?
Seeds on my trade list come from a good many sources.
- I collected the
majority of varieties from our own garden. Many of them in the most recent
season, but some of them may be a year or two old.
- Commercial sources - even with all the seed trading I do, every year I still
place an order or two from a few favorite seed companies. Since I only start a
few plants of each variety, I always have seed left over, and often put it on my
- Gardening association seed exchanges - I participate in the seed distributions
of the American Horticultural Society and Hardy Plant Society/Mid-atlantic Group
most years. While the distribution for some varieties is limited to just a few seeds,
others are more generous, and result in leftovers.
- Seed trades with other gardeners - Through the years, I've traded with
gardeners in many countries on several continents, mostly through Gardenweb.
The online gardeners' community is vibrant and full of generous and kind folks.
Again, some trades are small, others contain more seed than I could ever start myself.
My trade list doesn't specify the origin of each seed variety, but I maintain
accurate records; feel free to ask.
Will they grow?
I make an effort to personally try to germinate every variety of seed I
collect in my garden - even if it is a plant that I don't need to propagate
(because it self-seeds, or spreads vegetatively). That way I can be sure to
send viable seed, and can offer personalized germination information. Some
varieties I collected this year for the first time, and haven't tried yet.
I offer these for trade if I have clearly succeeded in collecting seed (not
chaff or duds) - otherwise I hold off until I've tested it myself.
Likewise, I usually have experience with seed from other traders, and try
to relate the experience in these pages. Occasionally, I receive seed that
resists my efforts to germinate it. If it is a particularly desirable
variety, I may list it on my trade list, but will always warn prospective
traders of this circumstance.
Some traders insist on "fresh seed". I only expect "viable seed" (and am
always willing to take a gamble). Most seeds remain viable for many years.
While I try to collect fresh seed of most species every year, I don't get
around to every single one every year, and will continue to offer seed
that's a little older if I believe it remains viable. My seed germination
details often provide a clue as to long-term seed viability of individual
What's in a trade?
My trades will have at least 20 seeds, unless I have a very small supply,
in which case I will inform you of the number I have before finalizing the
trade. Usually, the trades will contain many more seeds - it depends on how
many I have on hand.
For the most part, I clean my seed pretty well. With a few varieties,
separating seed from chaff by hand is nearly impossible, or incredibly
time-consuming. In this case, it's easier to just plant chaff and all, and I
send seed uncleaned. This applies to well under 5% of the varieties on my
What would I like in return?
I maintain my list of seed wants on my PlantLinks
trading profile. This is just a collection of plants that have struck my
fancy, often because of online discussion forums or magazine articles; some
may not be easily grown, or come true, from seed. If you maintain an
extensive seed trade list yourself, or have unusual species to offer,
chances are I can find varieties I'm interested in.
I prefer to do trades of at least five varieties, to make it worth the
effort and postage. Seed shipments should always be packed in bubble wrap
or bubble mailers, to avoid having the seeds crushed in shipment. This
means a little more postage, too - at least 53c (up to 1 oz).
If you'd like to suggest a trade, send me an e-mail
with the varieties you're interested in and (a clickable link to) your seed
trade list. That way, I can reserve the seeds for you while I peruse your
What if we can't trade?
If you don't have seeds to trade, or if your trade list is shorter and
contains mostly common varieties (a good clue is if most of your offerings
also appear on my list!), I can sell most of my varieties for a nominal
charge, to cover my costs and effort:
- $1 for postage/packaging
- $1 per seed variety (minimum 3 packs).
In other words: one
dollar more than the number of packets you want. If you'd like to go that
route, send me an e-mail and we'll work things
October 02, 2015