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Gardening for free from other people's extras

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I want a garden each year and have been surprised at how often I go and buy plants or seeds and end up having leftovers that I don't have room for and no one wants. It's a terrible waste! The past few years, our family of 5 has committed to growing only the plants and seeds that other people aren't going to use. How many times do people buy a 6-pack of a certain kind of tomatoes but only have room for 2? Through networking, I have been able to plant gardens for several years by taking what others don't want and giving them and us the satisfaction that their "unwanted extras" are helping another family eat healthy!


~I'd love your vote if you think this is a good idea~


Thank you,


Mom to Ian (6), Cora (4) & Chi (2)

post #2 of 6

I generally have a lot of seedlings left over after planting and I have given lots of them away.  To my dismay they usually end up dead on someone elses back porch since they didn't ever actually plant them.  It's pretty annoying to me and I find it very wasteful.  I never give seedlings away anymore.  Last year was the last straw. 


The ladies I gave them to admitted that they just let them die because they didn't plant them.  These were the same ones that knew I always had left overs and begged for them.  If I found someone who would truely benefit from them I'd still give them away.  Otherwise at this point no way.

post #3 of 6

My local nursery does a seedling swap each year.  Bring in your extras and you get credit for each one you bring in.  Then they sort them all and you get to pick out different ones to take home.  Might be worth looking into if you always have extras.

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

That is frustrating. But I have to be honest. If they were truly your extras anyways--what would you have done with them if they hadn't taken them? If you had other people miss out on the chance to plant your extra seedlings then you can always cross those others of your list for the future recipients. But if it's truly a gift then it's about the receiver, not the giver. And maybe they need a little help in the gardening area? Offer your assistance! :-)

post #5 of 6

This is another reason why I would love to have a happy community to go in on things with.  Are there any co-ops in the area where you might meed some like-minded folk?  The seedling swap sounds so cool - maybe if I was ambitious enough I would want to coordinate something like that!


When I Freecycled things I always kind of screened people.  I wouldn't make them write out a hard-luck story or anything but I tended to give things away to people who were enthusiastic and polite and didn't have a history of no-shows or whatever.


post #6 of 6

Extras are a given with gardening.  I always overplant and have extra seedlings.  I offer them to friends and neighbors, most people don't want them.  


Overplanting means that I pick the best and strongest seedlings for my garden.  The rest go to a friend or end up in the compost heap.  I have never really thought of it as waste.  It was a small effort on my part to start a seed and the seedling is simply recycled back into the garden.  


Freecycle is a good idea -- I am sure to have extras this year and will post them.  I might find a likeminded soul nearby who would be as happy as TinsleyTribe to have them for their garden.  





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