5 Tips for Organizing a Neighborhood Seed and Plant Swap


Looking for a great way to meet your gardening neighbors, build community and get free plants? Host a seed and plant swap! We hosted one in our small urban neighborhood this spring, and can't wait to do it again next year. Here are five tips for how to organize a seed and plant swap for your neighborhood.

Gauge interest in a swap

Set up plenty of tables for your seed and plant swap.

Set up plenty of tables for your seed and plant swap.

Really, all you need is one other interested fellow gardener, and your plant and seed exchange can grow from there. If you've already met a gardening neighbor or two, ask them about the idea. If you haven't, then reach out - I posted a note on my neighborhood's Facebook page. Try posting in a community newsletter, or on a nearby shop bulletin board.

Choose a space for your swap

We used an area park, but you could also use backyard or front walk. I used to host weekly food-coop pickups on my tiny front porch - just spread everything out on the steps, porch and sidewalk. Ask a church or business if you can use their space - most are happy to support a community event like a plant swap.

Set some swap guidelines

Let people know what to expect by spelling out a few details apart from time and place. No need to get too organized here. For example, you might want to note that everything at the plant and seed exchange - including tools - are free. Tell people to bring plants in giveaway containers. Figure out if you need folding tables.

Send out swap notifications

Use social media, flyers, posters - whatever method your neighborhood uses to share news and event notices. If you want to open the event to other urban gardeners, spread the word (and try to find a point person) in those communities as well.

Prepare to share

Swap means share! Divide your seeds and label them in envelopes or small bags. Divide plants and replant them in to-go containers. We used saved tin cans, but you could also use newspaper pots, takeout containers, and seedling pots saved from nursery purchases.

A seed and plant swap can be a great way to build community, and that has more benefits than just free plants - read more about the benefits here. We met fellow gardeners, made friends and got to know our neighborhood better. Let us know if you host one, and if you have any additional tips to share!

SpringPhaedra Hise