Setting up a Seed Bank

Monek Marie
Monek Marie ModeratorPosts: 3,191 admin
edited January 18 in Saving Quality Seeds

Has anyone participated in a local seed bank?

I am going to set one up and feel comfortable about it, except for how many seeds to put in a packet. I know rare ones would have less seed. Any suggestions?


  • torey
    torey Moderator Posts: 4,188 admin

    I've never been part of a seed bank or seed saving organization before. Good luck with yours. Keep us updated on how it goes.

    You might check on the seed companies web sites to see what they put in a package. Compare between companies, although that can be challenging as some sell by seed count and others sell by weight.

    From the quick look I had there seems to be quite a discrepancy between the number of seeds in a package depending on the varietal, so I am assuming that they are the more rare ones (or the latest new fad). Baker Creek's Japanese Red Mustard (common) has 200 seeds per pack but the Ultra Violet Mustard (never seen this variety before) only has 100 seeds.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Moderator Posts: 3,191 admin

    Seed banks don't usually offer as much at a seed company and yes, seeds companies set prices by the rarity of the seed. I have paid a fair amount of money for rare seeds. I didn't like it but I wanted the seeds. And I made sure they grew and I saved seeds from them.

    I have over 50 annual flower seed varieties, 60 vegetable seeds plus a break down in each vegetable (about 25 kinds of tomatoes or 25 or more pepper varieties) 35 herbs and 40 or so perennials. And I included seeds that most would consider weeds.

    @torey hmmmm an ultra violet mustard? I do like color in a garden.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Moderator Posts: 3,191 admin

    Most seed banks are a one on one trade around here. I haven't seen any close by in a year or so but they are fun.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 774 ✭✭✭✭

    Don't know of any seed banks per se around here. We do trade seed and plants among ourselves in our garden clubs.

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl North Coast OhioPosts: 1,366 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't have any tiny seed varieties, so I have been mostly putting between 25 and 50 seeds per pack. depending on seed size.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,198 ✭✭✭✭

    I wonder if growing and selling rare varieties is a viable business on a small scale? Or do you need significant acreage to justify it?

    There are many varieties out there that are available from very few sources, and demand appears to consistently exceed supply.

    I'm not aware of any local seed banks. Most gardeners I know buy their seeds every year, though it's not unusual for them to propagate plants by methods other than seeds. Brambles, alliums, and so forth are often propagated and shared.

  • torey
    torey Moderator Posts: 4,188 admin
    edited January 19

    Something that does occur in my area is Seedy Saturday which is supported and sponsored by the local farmers market organizations. It is usually held on the same day as National Herb Day which is the first Saturday in May. This year is May 7th.

    Great opportunity to swap or sell seeds that you may have grown yourself or even ones that are left over from last year but still viable.

  • Cornelius
    Cornelius Posts: 681 admin
    edited January 23

    @Monek Marie I am helping to establish my Colleges seed bank. I am currently putting some seeds from my own collection into it (I was putting in about 5-10 seeds and the plan is to grow them in a community garden and save the seed for future years.) Once it is fully established then members could keep some of the seeds from the garden for themselves (that is the current plan at least).

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Moderator Posts: 3,191 admin

    How nice to have a seed bank at your local college @Cornelius . I may contact mine to see if they would be interested. They do have community gardens in the side yard.

    I have most of my perennial seeds packed up and ready to divide for possible seed banks. Next early veggies and the flowers.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Moderator Posts: 3,191 admin
    edited April 20

    I have a talk I am giving on Saturday on seed saving and gardening tips in general. It's at one of our small local libraries. (I love this library because it feels like home and really caters to children)

    I will talk a bit on gardening in general them seed saving, why its important and how to do it. I have a large selection of seeds to share and hopefully others will too. But if they do not, it does not matter. We agreed as a starting project if they don't have seeds bring snacks or a plant to share. We did not want anyone to not attend because they felt they did not have seeds.

    The plan is to give out seeds with information to help them save seeds to donate to the seed bank in the fall, use for their gardens and to share with friends. Hopefully that will be a great start to having a seed bank that will be open in this library all winter and spring and hopefully to become a lasting part of the community.

  • SuperC
    SuperC Cook at Wahlburgers The Frozen Tundra in the Northern MidwestPosts: 597 ✭✭✭✭

    Yes, seed trading. Sounds worth researching if this is happening around the communities here for National Herb Day May 7

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 923 ✭✭✭✭

    There is a seed bank here in one of the libraries near me and they offer several kinds of seeds. They have about 10 seeds at the most, I think, in the packages I've gotten at least. And the bank travels so to speak to the other libraries it's connected to in the area here.

    Maybe, as your seed bank gets bigger @Monek Marie, you could do something like that and visit other libraries.😊

    Good luck!

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