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The Zen of swapping seeds

How to use Seed Swap

List, find, swap. Three easy steps to swapping seeds.

Swapping seeds is easy. It works in the same way as going to a physical seed swap, you just do it online instead.

  • First you need to sign up and register with the site.
  • Next, list the seeds that you've saved so that everyone else can see what you have available to swap.
  • Now decide what seeds you're interested in by searching or browsing through our plant database.
  • When you find something, check whether anyone is offering some seeds to swap; and if so, make an offer.
  • When you both agree on what you want to swap then simply post your seeds and wait for yours to arrive.

That's it in a nutshell.

How it works - seedswap

Creating an Account

Registration is free. Once you've created an account you'll be able to:

  • list seeds to swap
  • swap seeds with others
  • send messages to other users

Step 1. Review the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use

Step 2. On the Sign In page, select Register

Step 3. Fill out and submit the form. Choose a user name, and provide details about you, your email address and your postal address (this is where seeds will be sent to you). Once you've submitted the form, a confirmation email will be sent to you.

Step 4. Check your email and click on the link in the email to confirm your registration

Step 5. Sign in with your email address and password

If you have any problems then click on the Contact link at the bottom of any page and we'll be pleased to help.

Listing your Seeds

Sign in to your account and go to Swap Manager > Listings and click Add Listing

Step 1. Give your listing a meaningful name, such as the plant name.

Step 2. Select the plant that your seeds have been saved from. Either scroll down the list or use the autocomplete feature.

NOTE: If the plant is not listed in our database then use the link at the top of the listing to contact us. Tell us the plant name and we'll add it as quickly as possible. Leave your listing for the moment until we've got back to you.

Step 3. Include the quantity of seeds for this listing. For larger quantities just give an estimate - no need to count them all!

NOTE: we limit the quantity or value of the seeds you can have in any single listing to a maximum of 500 seeds or a value of £5.

Step 4. Give a brief description of your seeds so that another user can understand a bit about them. Mention particularly about the parent plant and the produce you got from it. There's no need to describe the general plant variety details as that will already be covered in it's description from our database.

Step 5. Say what the general condition of the seeds are (hopefully good), whether they are open pollinated or heirlooms and approximately when they were collected from the plant.

Step 6. Place a marker on the map to show the approximate location of the where the seeds come from. This is usually where the parent plant is grown. Plants adapt to their local environment so it's usually better to swap with someone in the same area or where the environment is most similar.

Step 7. Publish your listing. You'll be asked to confirm that your seeds are not hybrid ones (as these are usually patented and you don't own them).

Your listing is now live and can be seen by other seed swappers!

Finding Seeds

To find seeds that you're interested in, either search for a plant or browse through the plant database.

Searching for plants

If you know the name or variety of the plant then enter this in the search bar. Potential matches will be shown as you type.

Browsing the plant database

Selecting Seeds and then the type of seed will show a page of the different categories (for instance the different types of vegetable seeds). Clicking on the category shows the varieties currently listed in our plant database.

NOTE: If the plant you're looking for isn't in our database (and it's an heirloom plant) then use the contact form to tell us.

Clicking on the variety allows you to: see more information about it, add it to your wishlist or find out whether there are any seeds of that variety listed. Adding a plant to your wishlist allows you to check if any seeds are available at any time.

What's available

Once you've decided on a plant you'd like, you can find out whether any seeds have been listed for that plant. Click on What's Available either from your wishlist or the plant details to see how many seeds are available and in which listings.

A map shows from where the seeds were collected and clicking on the listing indicates which listing is located where.

Simply pick the listing from what's available and get ready to swap...

Swapping seeds

Swap your seeds in three easy steps.

Step 1. Offer some of your seeds for some of the seeds you want

  1. Select the listing you're interested in and click Request A Swap.
  2. Make an offer by filling in the form. The swap offer is in two parts: what you want, and what you're offering.
  3. First give your offer a short meaningful reference such as the types of plants being swapped (e.g. CarrotsForBeet). Next, say how many seeds you would like in the Quantity Wanted.
  4. Decide what you want to offer. The other persons wishlist is shown which may help you. Your offer comes from your own listings and you can decide how many seeds you want to offer.
  5. You can also offer more than one type of seed to swap if you wish, up to a maximum of three.
  6. When you're happy with your offer then send your proposal.

In Swap Manager > Swaps your offer will appear in the New section with the status of Proposed.

Step 2. The person, who has the seeds you would like, accepts your offer

The other person will notified that you've made an offer so you need to wait until they either accept your proposal, reject it, or send you a private message to further discuss your offer. Either way, you'll receive a message when they do.

When your offer is accepted it will appear in Swap Manager > Swaps in the In Progress section and shown as being Accepted.

Step 3. You each post seeds to one another (you do the swap)

In the details of the swap you can get the postal address of the other user.

Make sure that your seeds are well packed in a sealed seed packet and preferably in a padded envelope.

Once you've posted the seeds, mark them as being sent (in the swap details). When you've received the other seeds then mark them as being received. After each person has received their seeds, the swap is complete. You can still private message the other user if you want to ask them any questions.


Later you can write a review of the swap if you wish.

Go into the swap details and click Rate Swap. Score your rating from one to five, and then comment on how well the swap went.