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Published: Wednesday, 2/22/2012

COMMENTARY

Seed Swap signals new gardening season

BY KELLY HEIDBREDER
BLADE COLUMNIST

OK, gardeners, it’s time to find those sacred envelopes of favorite seeds you saved from last season and put them to good use.

Toledo Botanical Garden and Toledo Grows is sponsoring the Eighth Annual Seed Swap and it’s a great way to try something new in your garden.

“The Seed Swap has become a kickoff to the gardening season in Toledo attracting visitors from northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan,” said Amy Stone, Ohio State University Extension Agent for Lucas County.

Community activity

This is how it works: Bring in your seed envelopes and make sure they are marked with the plant name and growing instructions. It also is helpful to have the color of the bloom and timing of the bloom if you remember.

“It is an excellent community activity for everyone — from the beginner gardener to those with two green thumbs,” Mrs. Stone said. “They also have activities for children planned.”

Organizers will take your seed packets and give you tickets in return. Then, you can look around the seed swap and choose something new to try. “There has always been a nice combination of veggies, fruits, ornamentals, and natives too,” she said.

This is a fantastic source of seeds for any gardener because they have proved to be hardy in our climate. The gardeners in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan had so much success last year, that they are bringing their overflow to the Seed Swap, so stop by and pick up something new to try this year.

“There is always an excitement in the air at the Seed Swap. We are very lucky to have the Toledo Botanical Garden and Toledo GROWS in our community to coordinate the event, and numerous community organizations and agencies that add to celebration,” Mrs. Stone said.

Mark the calendar

You will walk away with more than seeds. Cindy Bench from Bench Farms will help beginner gardeners. Ann Miller will be on hand to share great gardening secrets about gourds. Don’t miss Matt Ross’ presentation about the seductive lives of plants. Ross is the landscape turf management instructor at Owens Community College. You also will learn about saving seeds from Mary Machon of Bensell’s Greenhouse, selling your bounty at farmers markets, and other outlets from Greg and Olivia Willerer and how to raise chickens from Lindsey Graham.

The whole event is at the Erie Street Market, 237 Erie St., downtown. Workshops start at 10 a.m. and last until 5 p.m. and the Seed Swap runs from noon to 3 p.m.

Save me a few seeds!

Contact Kelly Heidbreder at getgrowing@gmail.com.



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