I have a sensitive question, need advise...

seedbandito(7 NC)May 1, 2006

There's talk of a plant swap close enough that I may make the drive. It has been asked by one of the posters "how to transport seedlings to the swap? In paper towels or what".

Now I really hate to sound petty, but I started seeds and plants in my greenhouse way back in the cold months and I have some large, healthy, blooming plants. Many of which are in large pots with lots of dirt. I'd really hate to walk away with only mere "seedlings".

How does a plant swap work as I've never been to one. Is there a protocol for large plants versus seedlings? As I said, I hate to sound petty, but I have a lot of time & expense tied up in my plants to only walk away with seedlings. Thanks for your advise. Ya'll have a great evening!


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bakemom_gw(z6 Central Ohio)

Read the directions for the Ohio Valley swap. It seems to work for us. Most people bring nice potted up plants. Some bring cuttings, some bring winter sown babies in pots, and some bring plants in the state of transplant shock. Our swap works on the honor system. You pick what you think is fair. If you have some really neato things that you feel you really must make a nice trade for, I would suggest setting up a side trade with an experienced swapper.

Personally, I pot up in Miracle Gro potting soil and I pot up at least a month in advance so the plant can get settled in and there is some indica of survival rate. I always bring more than I take home and if I find a few goodies, then great.

I would be concerned that if you are expecting a 100% tit for tat swap experience, you might be disappointed if you are trading extremely high quality/rare plants.

I do bring winter sown seedlings to our swap but they are either robust annuals in the spring or well developed perennials for the fall. They are all potted up in Miracle Gro at least a month in advance, bottom watered, and generously sown. They are 100% ready for plantout. Pop out of the container and plant. I don't understand the paper towel question as that seems a risky way to transport and trade. Under that scenario, I would not be willing to trade either.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2006 at 3:43PM
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seedbandito(7 NC)

Thanks bakemom, tit for tat wasn't my concern, the seedlings wrapped in paper towels was. I did suggest to the paper towel trader to pot them up in something, anything, so they'd at least survive the trip!

If I was still an "Erie-ite", I'd have to drive to ya'lls swap. That sounds like it's gonna be a ball! Hope you have a good time! Thanks again, I found the directions you mentioned. Have a great evening!


    Bookmark   May 2, 2006 at 4:32PM
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It is a tough question, and unless you want to get really specific ("2 inch pot opr larger") you just have to stress that it's a swap, and there should be some parity. I think Bev (one of the organizers of the CO swap) has said in the past: "Bring something you'd be pleased to take home."

Of course, my goal is to always take home far less than I brung....

    Bookmark   May 2, 2006 at 6:29PM
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storygardener(5/6 central oh)

Hi Nancy...Bakemom and Alison pretty much have said it all. But, your friend asked you how to transport her seedlings. This is your opportunity to tell her they should be potted up in potting soil - she can use a stryofoam cup with a hole in the bottom if she doesn't have pots.

As for the swapping. It just depends on how your swap is set up. The Columbus one is done in rounds. Everything is equal..since you are brining your extras - it may not be tit for tat. However, other folks do swaps as a shot gun start - everybody runs around grabbing till the plants are gone. I've been to those and they are awful. That's why we do the Ohio swap in rounds. Other swaps I've been to - folks set up there own table with things. There's a "viewing time" and then a trading time. Folks do swaps between each other. This is kind is very, very time consuming and a pain in the neck and unorganzied.

Find out how the swap will be run.

If you want can...find out with other folks are bringing and do some side trade. Often, those are very much fun.

We always ask folks to present their plants well.

I wish you could come to the Ohio swap too! It would be fun.

Good luck...Beverly

    Bookmark   May 3, 2006 at 11:33AM
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princess_mimi(z5 6 OH)


I wish you could come to our swap too! My sister-inlaw is thinking about coming from Greer South Carolina. Maybe if you stood by the highway and held out your green thumb!?!? ;)

Beverly has taught me a lot during the four years that I've been the "brawn" to her brains putting on the Central Ohio swap. She always says that we are not the "Plant Police". Folks are usually pretty good about what they bring and what condition it's in. Some newbies take a while to catch on to some of the niceties but so far they have, eventually.

One of the things that I have done with small seedlings (at our Ohio swap) is to plant them in 4 packs. That way the reciever gets a better trade than just one tiny baby. This year I have winter sewn babies that I just chunk out and pot up ahead of time. I have 5 boys so a month ahead is not always doable but I do pot in good stuff and give them at least 2 weeks to settle in. I won't take anything to the swap that is sad looking.

I also have a friend that has brought droopy unpotted plants a couple of years running. I just suggested to her that we get together and pot up her stuff. We're doing it tomorrow. It won't be way ahead of swap time but at least there will be some time to let them settle in and they won't look as if they are (and perhaps actually BE) on death's door step!

I hope that you have a good experience at your swap!


    Bookmark   May 8, 2006 at 10:24PM
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quirkpod(7 Lewisville NC)

Most people at our swaps here wrap plants in wet newspaper, then in a plastic bag like a grocery bag. They survive well, take up much less space in the car and dont tip over. This method is accepted with everyone in my neck of the woods. We rarely see actual seedlings, but divided perennials.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2007 at 9:04AM
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Nancy, where in NC are you located?

Mimi, I live about 10 miles north of Greer. Does you sister in law belong to the forums? I have been trying to find local people to swap with.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2007 at 10:23AM
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princess_mimi(z5 6 OH)

Sorry, County Girl! My DSIL is not on the forums. She isn't as obsessed as I am. I'd offer to bring you some goodies when se visit but this year we're taking all 11 of the cousins to New York for our visit. (Add 5 adults to that and what a crowd!)

Hope you find some folks!


    Bookmark   May 5, 2007 at 8:29PM
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