How to Get Free Seeds for Your Organic Garden

Inside: Who doesn’t love when something’s free? Discover how to get free seeds for your garden.

How to Get Free Seeds for Your Organic Garden |

With visions of rows of lettuce, tall tomato plants and cucumbers curling up trellises, you head to the nursery to grab some seed packets and bags of soil. Only to realize you also need containers. And, maybe some transplants in case the seeds don’t work out. What about fertilizer? And mulch?

Suddenly this fun gardening project has turned into a money pit.

Gardening expenses add up. But that shouldn’t get in the way of the fun. Growing your own food has so many benefits. Fresh air. Exercise. The joy of picking a plump, ripe tomato off a four-foot-tall plant you grew from a seed.

You’ll probably still need to buy some gardening supplies this season, but I have a secret way you can save money. It may seem like a small money-saver, but you can get all kinds of seeds for free—if you know where to look.

How to Get Free Seeds for Your Organic Garden |

How to Get Free Seeds for Your Organic Garden |

3 little-known ways to get free seeds

The first option is by far the most accessible for newbie gardeners.

1. Find a local seed library

I recently discovered that my local public library offers a seed library. (The seed library is at the Ruiz Branch of the Kansas City Public Library if you’re local and interested.)

A little 20-drawer cabinet tucked away in a corner of the library houses dozens of herb, flower and vegetable seeds. All you do is pick out the ones you want and “check them out.” After you plant and grow your seeds, you harvest them and return them to replenish the seed library’s stock.

What a cool concept!

(P.S. If you’re in the Kansas City area, you can also check out Seed Savers KC, which offers a seed library with more than 200 varieties.)

How to find a seed library in your area:

  • Check at your local public library
  • Check with a community garden in your area
  • Join The Seed Library Social Network, an online forum that can connect you to a seed library and other gardeners in your area
  • Join the Seed Savers Exchange, a member-to-member seed swap

Even more benefits of seed libraries:

  • Find seeds specific for your region
  • Get heirloom seeds, old-time varieties that increase biodiversity
  • Improve your community through teamwork and shared interest in gardening

How to Get Free Seeds for Your Organic Garden |

Seed libraries aren’t the only way to get free seeds. If you’re an experienced gardener, you could start delving into saving your own seeds.

2. Save your own seeds

The first time I saved seeds from bell peppers was easy because the seeds are right there and easy to grab from inside the fruit.

But saving seeds from other plants is a bit more confusing. What’s the method for saving cucumber seeds? Or tomato seeds? And how the heck do you save seeds from a carrot?

While saving your seeds is the most cost-effective option (and a personal goal of mine for the year,) it’s best to take it in baby steps. Saving seeds requires more know-how than you’d first expect, as I found out when I started researching the best seed saving techniques.

How to Get Free Seeds for Your Organic Garden |

And, if you’ve already started saving seeds, or plan to soon, you have another option for getting free seeds. From your friends.

3. Host a seed swap party

If you know a few avid gardeners, then host a seed swap party, where you each bring a few different varieties of saved seeds and swap.

If you’re not close to that level yet, keep this option in mind for your future awesome gardener self.

How to Get Free Seeds for Your Organic Garden |

I can’t wait to watch my tomato, bell pepper, lettuce, basil, dill, kale and spinach seeds grow thanks to the free seeds from my local seed library.

Starting my garden didn’t turn into a money pit, after all.

How to Get Free Seeds for Your Organic Garden |

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DIY Rope-Wrapped Bottles for a Farmhouse Look

DIY Rope-Wrapped Bottles for a Farmhouse Look |

Every time the glass recycling bin is full and ready to take to the recycling center, a battle rages in my mind.

‘Couldn’t I do something with these bottles?’ ‘Will I need them for a future craft project?’ ‘I hate just getting rid of them, even if I am recycling them.’ ‘Is there a way to reuse them?’

Also, ‘Am I a hoarder?’

I never want to miss an opportunity to upcycle something. Who knows what beautiful project those sticky glass bottles could become?

If you too are reluctant to part with items that you could potentially repurpose, reuse or upcycle into something amazing, I have a project for you.

While you can’t save every glass bottle in your recycling bin, you can make (a few of) these DIY rope-wrapped bottles.

Go grab a few lucky bottles from your bin and let’s get started.

DIY Rope-Wrapped Bottles for a Farmhouse Look |

So, you already have your glass bottles, but you’ll also need rope and a hot glue gun. I used leftover rope from when I turned this old dresser drawer into a wine rack, but there was only enough to cover one bottle. I purchased this sisal rope from Home Depot to finish the other two bottles.

What you’ll need:
– Glass bottles
– Rope (I got mine from Home Depot)
– Hot glue gun

DIY Rope-Wrapped Bottles for a Farmhouse Look |

How to make DIY rope-wrapped bottles

The process is pretty straightforward.

Start at the bottom of your bottle and begin hot gluing and wrapping your rope around the bottle. Take your time and make sure you don’t leave any cracks between the rope strands.

To finish off, loop the rope around all the way to the very top of the bottle.

Keep going until you’ve completely covered the neck of the bottle. Snip off the end of the rope.

Put a dollop of hot glue on the end of the rope and tuck it inside the bottle to make it stay. This way, you’ll completely cover all of the glass.

DIY Rope-Wrapped Bottles for a Farmhouse Look |
It’s so satisfying to see that simple Snapple bottle completely transformed.

(Side note: If you don’t want to risk the bottle label peeking through, remove it before you get started. Easily remove labels by running the bottles through the dishwasher or rubbing them with a scrub brush.)

DIY Rope-Wrapped Bottles for a Farmhouse Look | redleafstyle.comDIY Rope-Wrapped Bottles for a Farmhouse Look |

When used as vases, these rope-wrapped bottles can add a farmhouse feel to your home. The rope is rustic and perfectly neutral, so these bottles can fit into the décor in any room.

I used fake greenery that I bought at the Dollar Tree to dress up the bottles.

Normally, I’m not into fake plants, but I wanted to brighten up a dark bathroom that doesn’t get enough sunlight to support live plants. These bottle vases and fake, spiky greenery were the perfect solution.

DIY Rope-Wrapped Bottles for a Farmhouse Look | redleafstyle.comDIY Rope-Wrapped Bottles for a Farmhouse Look |

And there you have it.

That’s how I rescued a few glass bottles from the recycling bin.

The rest went to the recycling center because, I mean, you can only have so many rope-wrapped bottles, easy boot shapers and bracelet holders. But I’m sure I’ll come up with more ways to use glass bottles in the future!

DIY Rope-Wrapped Bottles for a Farmhouse Look |


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Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine's Day |

Every year I receive a red rose from a man. He’s not my boyfriend.

Don’t worry, so does every other woman in my office.

Every Valentine’s Day, this guy comes in with his bag of fresh red roses and hands out one to each lady in the office. It’s a sweet tradition that I look forward to every year. He’s definitely the most-liked person in the office on February 14, and every women is a little bit more smiley than usual with our roses displayed on our desks in paper coffee cups and random thermoses.

(My honey deserves a mention, too. The bouquet of a dozen red roses and one bright yellow one I found on my dresser this morning definitely beat out the single one I get at the office.)

Here’s hoping your Valentine’s Day was as sweet as mine.

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