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- If you want to work at it, you can get free vegetable seeds for your garden.
- You can save seeds from plants you grow in your garden.
- You can order seeds from the U.S. Government USDA website.
- And you can join a seed trading program.
For a very small investment, I was able to get free vegetable seeds for more than three quarters of the plants I plan to grow. I invested $7 and got seeds for 19 varieties (actually many more if you count the ones I’m not going to grow).
What’s more, the $7 bought more than just run of the mill seeds. These seeds are mostly for heirloom vegetables and, in some cases, rare varieties. They would have been expensive if I was even lucky enough to find them online.
Free Vegetable Seeds from USDA
First, I got three unusual heirloom tomatoes from the USDA Agricultural Research Service for free. It cost me absolutely nothing — not even postage – for these beauties.
See the details of how I got these free seeds at Free Seeds from the Government. The interesting thing is I didn’t have to stop at three varieties. If I had room in the garden, I could have asked for more.
Second, I signed up for Dave’s Garden so I could begin seed trading. The gardening site sent me 29 packages of seeds. It cost me a $5 membership fee and almost $2 in postage.
See Getting Started: Seed Trading and My “Kick Start” Seed Trading Package for the details on how it works. I grew 15 of the 29 they sent me and saved the seeds from my garden so that I can donate them back to DG.
Third, I saved seeds from last year’s garden for four of the varieties that I liked. Last year was the second year I saved Brandywine tomato seeds. The tomato I saved seeds from was as big as a small pumpkin and wonderfully delicious.
Year after year the seeds I save get better and better.
Varieties saved from my garden
Here’s a list of the varieties I got for almost free:
Caspian Pink Tomato
Italian Roma Tomato
Varieties from the USDA
IXL Bolgiano’s Extremely Early Tomato
Pomodoro Palla di Fuoco Tomato
Kwand His Hung Shih Tomato
Free vegetable seeds from Dave’s Garden:
Moss Curled Parsley
Red Sails Lettuce
Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce
Savoy Perfection Cabbage
Hollow Crown Parsnip
Mixed Colored Marigold
This is a lot more than I’ve grown in the past, especially if you take into account the 10 or so varieties I used to buy from seed catalogs.
Now if I could only figure a way to get heirloom seed potatoes at little or no cost. Unfortunately, I never have the self restraint needed to stop from eating all the potatoes that I grow.
Of course, getting seeds this way is a bit like going to Las Vegas … you place your bet and see if you win. I hope my odds are better than playing the slot machines because my luck isn’t very good in Vegas.
If all this is too chancy or too much work for too little gain, you can order your heirloom vegetable seeds by using the link below.
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