The 13th annual Toledo GROWs Seed Swap is the preeminent garden party of the year. Gardeners celebrate the promise of spring’s warmth by swapping those miraculous tiny plants cocooned in a protective sheath, which burst forth into a bounty of vegetables and flowers (aka seeds— glorious seeds)!
Here’s how to get the most out of this seed-swapping celebration:
Where/When/How to swap:
Join the party on Saturday, February 25 from noon to 3pm, at historic Scott High School, 2400 Collingwood Blvd. There is free admission and easy parking. Bring your own bag. Everyone will receive five tickets to swap for seeds. Bring more seeds to swap (individually packaged and dated no older then 2015, no bulk seeds accepted) or pick up additional packets for a 50-cent donation per packet. Pick up a program booklet to view the layout map to locate your favorite seeds. Don’t miss the all-you-can-take table of free, older seeds.
Stop by the Wild Ones Oak Openings Region Chapter table (oakopenings.wildones.org), where members offer local, native seeds they have hand-harvested. They will happily talk to you about the benefits of native plants and how to grow them. Visit the herb table to discuss everything herbal with the Maumee Valley Herb Society experts (maumeevalleyherbsociety.org). Get the buzz on honey bees from the Maumee Valley Bee Keepers (facebook.com/Maumee-Valley-Bee-Keepers-Association) and join Tree Toledo to be part of the area-wide tree-planting project.
Take the kids over to Toledo Botanical Garden Children’s Area for fun hands-on seed activities. Learn about rain garden installation, soil testing, garden design, tool sharpening, critter control, natural garden products and more. Purchase handmade bird houses, canning supplies, wildflower seed bombs and pre-owned gardening books. Also enjoy live music, performed by the Root Cellar String Band, raffle items and food.
At 1pm, attend the Golden Rules for Successful Gardening with Seeds with expert Cindy Bench of Bench Farms (benchsgreenhouse.com). She will guide you through the process of seeding and beyond, including great germination tricks, seedling care, planting and seed harvesting and storage.
At 2pm, Cheryl Rice, a Northwest Ohio Urban Conservationist with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (and self-proclaimed “soil geek”), will share her expertise on soil health’s relationship to plant health. She’ll discuss where to find and how to use historic maps to research your property, as well as online soil surveys and sampling/soil testing to determine your garden’s nutrient needs and the risk of contaminants, such as lead.
Seed Swap is noon-3pm. Saturday, February 25.
Scott High School | 2400 Collingwood Blvd
Toledo GROWs | 900 Oneida St.
To volunteer at their urban farm or in a community garden, inquire about children’s programs, or to start or register a community garden, visit toledogarden.org or call 419-720-8714.