Free Planters, Free Seeds, Free Soil
Free end-of-season plants.
I live near a country
market that sells seedlings and hanging baskets supplied by a nursery.
At the end of the season, these plants get marked down until they are no
longer salable. Then they are put on a "Free" table. I shop at that table
The local X-Mart Stores
follow the same procedure except for the Free table. Often they are glad
to have me remove a group of flats so they needn't handle them. Sometimes
I pay a pittance for them. Often I can trim them back to new growth and
enjoy them during the autumn months.
But I always get MUCH
more than I paid for,
because they include soil Amendments that get spread on my garden,
years Seeds, and hanging Baskets, plastic Flats,
and Pots that
don't help clog the landfills.
I get flats full of
spent flowers that may or may not have blooms or identifying labels. But
they always have Hundreds of Seeds!
No matter how dead the plants are, the seeds are Very much alive.
seeds just happen to be some of the Highest..Quality
available, since the nursery only delivers the Very Best seedlings.
However, if they are from cross-pollinated plants, they may not produce
A bloom photographed on July 15,
2002 would be numbered 020715- 01Pansy Pink. A different bloom on the same
day would be 020715- 02 Mallow Blue, etc.
If there is a label, I mark the
date on the back and put it in the airtight container with the seeds and
a packet of Silica Gel.
If I cannot identify the plants, I put the seeds
in a container marked "mixture Short" or "mixture Medium" or "mixture Tall". It's always a pleasant surprise
when these unnamed mixtures sprout and bloom in my flower gardens the following
If you know a Boy Scout or Girl Scout group, or have a Nursing home nearby,
the members may be delighted to have your contribution of Seeds or Flowers.
And your affiliation with them may make Garden Centers more anxious to donate their rejects.
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