Is your yard exploding with massive plants? Are things looking a tad…jungle-like? Early fall is a great time to divide overgrown perennial plants and bulbs, so why not organize a community plant-sharing or swapping event? Sharing a plant from your flowerbed is a great way to get to know other gardeners in your area. Your cuttings will go to a new home, and you’ll also get to pick up some new specimens to beautify your garden! Here’s how easy it is:
• Pick the right spot
Hold your plant-sharing event in a local park, schoolyard, or someone’s extra-long driveway, making sure there are plenty of shady areas. Encourage participants to bring folding tables so you can group plants according to their needs – shade-lovers on one table, sun-worshippers on another.
• Spread the word
Start a social media campaign, use word-of-mouth, or put up notices at local garden and home improvement centers or community gathering spots to advertise your event. Some online garden forums promote plant swap events, too. Tell your neighbors, friends and co-workers!
• Choose only the healthiest plants to trade
Bring along robust, sturdy plants, and never take more than what you bring to a swap. Label every pot or plant clearly with common or botanical name, including instructions if required. Encourage participants to bring photos of their plant in bloom, too!
• Invite some experts
Having a couple of local Master Gardeners or horticulture instructors on hand to answer questions, identify mystery plants and provide valuable advice will be very beneficial to your swappers! Sometimes, someone’s ‘purple vine’ will turn out to be something very special!
• Expand your offerings
Let people know that pre-loved gardening books and magazines can also be donated to the swap, along with garden pots or decorative items. You may also want people to bring seeds to trade or give away.
• Make it a potluck!
Invite participants to bring snacks to share or produce from their gardens to sample.
Need more information on how to thin out your plants? Here’s a great video on how to divide and share your perennials!
Share your swapping success stories and photos with us!
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