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NATIONAL SEED SWAP DAY – Last Saturday in January

NATIONAL SEED SWAP DAY – Last Saturday in January


National Seed Swap Day on the last Saturday in January serves as a reminder to gardeners that spring is on its way. It’s also an ideal time for gardeners to gather and swap seeds in preparation starting seeds indoor.

Click play and enjoy a story about National Seed Swap Day featuring our founder, Marlo Anderson.  If you enjoy the 2 minute show, subscribe with your favorite podcast player.

The seed swap is a fundamental part of human history. Seeds were one of the first commodities valued and traded. Today, modern gardeners collect and exchange seeds for many reasons ranging from cultivating rare, heirloom varieties to basic thrift. The exchange of seeds perpetuates biodiversity. It is an act of giving and the ultimate form of recycling.


The day is full of opportunities to celebrate. Give these ideas a try.

  • Exchange seeds with friends, attend a local seed swap or help organize one.
  • Post your events online so they are easily found using #SeedSwapDay
  • Experienced gardeners, offer seed collection, labeling, and preservation tips. 
  • Generate interest in your seed swaps by planning urban gardens or community gardens. Not only do they improve the look of your community but they also provide nutritious food, too.
  • Offer classes for starting seeds indoors and successful transplanting. 
  • Be sure to include children. They love to garden!

Use #SeedSwapDay to post on social media.


The first annual Washington Gardener Magazine Seed Exchange was held in Washington, DC, on January 26, 2006. Kathy Jentz, the editor/publisher of the magazine had the last Saturday of January named an official holiday and National Seed Swap Day was born. After that event’s success, seed swaps in other cities across the nation have joined in celebrating the day each year on (or around) the last Saturday in January.

Submitted by guest columnist Kathy Jentz

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