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Abraham Lincoln's First Home in Illinois

Directions for seed swap

If you plan to bring seeds to the seed swap, please prepare them as follows:

  1. Please “clean” the seed as well as you can – remove seeds from pods, remove fluff, chaff, etc.

  2. Many native seeds must go through a cold period before they will germinate. Listed below are three options that can be followed to prepare native seeds collected in the fall:

    1. Placed in a damp medium (sterile soil, sand, sphagnum moss, vermiculite) and stored in a refrigerator for several weeks (6 weeks is recommended).

    2. Placed in a freezer. They must be clean and dry before freezing. (Silica gel can help thoroughly dry seeds). Place in an airtight container for cold storage.

    3. Stored in an unheated garage or other building but they must be in a rodent proof container.

  3. If you are storing several kinds of seeds, label, and date the container to avoid confusion. 

  4. Seeds can be packaged, before or after cold storage, in smaller units so they can be easily shared – 20 to 30 seeds/packet.

  5. Label each packet of seeds with the following information:

    1. Common Name

    2. Native or non-native

    3. For Native - scientific name

      1. Species, if possible, if not then genus.

      2. Is it a cultivar?

      3. Where collect (example - wild – backyard).

  6. Other information which may be included (on a notecard or slip of paper)

    1. If collect from wild – where? - if from backyard, etc., where from originally if known.

    2. What conditions does the plant need – shade, full sun, moist, dry, etc.

    3. Is it a spring wildflower, a prairie plant, etc.?

    4. Is this plant aggressive (easily spread by roots or self-seeding)?

    5. Is this a host plant for butterflies or an important pollinator plant?

  7. Go to the following website Illinois Wildflowers for more specific information on native plants.

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