How do I get seeds?
Send us a wish list either printed or copied from HERE (So that we have all the lists in the same order.) This will let our volunteers go round a line of trays in that same order and fill your envelopes as quickly as possible.
Please send a stamped addressed envelope (SAE), big enough and with enough postage for your 'order' so we can post your seeds to you.
Information on postal rates is HERE
We hope to have some visual examples on here soon to give a clearer idea.
We cannot promise to give everyone all the seeds they ask for, we will do what we can. The more information you give us, the better the choices we can make on your behalf.
Post Seed Wish Lists and SAEs to
Bristol Seed Swap
PO Box 3449
How do I know what seeds you have, and what to ask for?
We get so many seeds donated, of so many varieties, it would be impossible to keep a list on the website of what we have.
The Seed Wish Form we ask you to fill in gives you space for notes so you can ask for specific varieties, e.g. 'Marmande Tomatoes', or for a more general type of thing, e.g. 'Beefsteak tomatoes' or 'tasty heritage'. You can also help by adding notes - do you like the weird and wonderful, or more 'normal' crops.
For flowers, we can never predict what we will have, but you could ask for 'wildflowers for shade', 'something good for bees' or ' I like red and yellow and have a sunny border to fill'.
Also let us know if you have a big space or are growing in pots on a balcony - the more information we have the better we can do for you.
I don't have seeds to swap, can I still join in?
Everyone has to start somewhere, and we want to get everyone growing.
If you are skint, seeds are free too.
If you can afford it you can make a donation via Paypal or by putting a few extra stamps in your envelope (postal swap) or cash in the donation tubs if we have a real world event.
For next year, please try saving some seeds to bring to the Seed Swap. The easiest ones are french beans, peas and lettuce as these don't cross with other similar species or varieties
Frequently asked questions for the postal Seed Swap
Are the seeds free?
Yes! We want as many people as possible to grow food and to get into gardening generally. Money should be no barrier to doing so.
Give what you can - take what you need.
Donations of seeds or money for seeds are welcome if you can afford it - it is entirely at your discretion, no one is going to ask you about it.
We are looking at ways to include people who have never come to the Seed Swap, and who might find it hard to cover postage.
If you can afford to, we ask you to make donations via Paypal. Bristol Seed Swap is self funding and run entirely by volunteers. Next year's event depends on this year's breaking even.
Where can I drop off seeds?
We have volunteers round the city who are happy for you to drop seeds through their letterbox - see our map HERE
or using this link:
Drop off your request for seeds at the same time, as we aim to make sure people who give seeds get what they want in return, and these lists will get priority.
Why are there no drop off points near me?
Our drop off points are determined by who volunteered to accept seeds when we put out a request for help. The distribution reflects where we have most supporters, rather than the ideal arrangement.
If you find yourself in an area which hasn't got a drop off point, would you consider becoming one. Your address would be publicised, but with no name or other contact details. (We would ask for a phone number so we can arrange to fetch seeds from you.)
If you can help us, please email us so we can add you to the map. email@example.com
How should I pack seeds?
We would appreciate seed donors cleaning seeds as far as possible and packing them in envelopes in the kind of portion a gardener would want.
Whole sunflower heads, unshelled beans etc make it time consuming for our volunteers to process and pack the seeds and they may go to waste.
If you have lots of seeds to donate, more than can go through a letterbox or be posted, please contact us:
bristolseedswap@gmail,com and we will arrange to pick them up.
How should I label seeds?
Please label the seeds with variety, specific names and the year they were harvested if you know it.
If you can also give details of how they were saved, or if they were bought it will allow people to judge if they will breed true.
and if you have any stories about what the plants mean to you - is this your Gran's favourite, did it crop wonderfully for you etc etc. people love to hear about it.
When will I get my seeds?
We will begin to pack and post seeds from the start of February. Isolation rules may mean only one or two households can have access to the seeds at a time, which will slow us down. However, we will do our best to get all the seeds out by mid March latest.
Please remember this is all being done by volunteers, and we really do want to get seeds to as many people as possible.
If you'd like to help us you can volunteer by emailing us
How many seeds can I get?
You can ask for as many seeds as you like, but if we get masses of requests we may have to limit what each person gets - you could mark the ones you want most.
We are re-packing seeds to make up packs that would do for one garden for one year, so 10-12 tomato seeds, 50 cabbage etc. We recommend sowing seeds in modules or trays and planting out seedlings to get the most out of the seeds you have. (Or yogurt pots and plastic food trays with holes in).
If you are wanting seeds for a community garden or school or plan to share with a group of friends let us know and we will try to get you enough to you.
Please try to be realistic about what you have space for - (we know that isn't easy.)
Can I post seeds to you?
Yes. please send to:
Bristol Seed Swap
PO Box 3449
(Do send your wish list at the same time)
My question isn't covered here - what do I do?
We do not have the resources to answer lots of emails, and cannot respond to queries about individual requests. Please trust that we will do our best to get your seeds to you, and will post here and on Facebook if we are extending our time frame for sending out seeds, have shortage of seeds etc.
For more general questions please -
1) Poke around the website,
2) Check out our social media for updates and further information
Facebook: we have a page Bristol Seedswap and also a group Bristol Seed Swap and seed savers | Groups | Facebook
Twitter @SeedSwapBristol Instagram @BristolSeedSwap
Still no joy? - ok email us - firstname.lastname@example.org
We will do our best to get back to you promptly, and add the information on here for other people to share.
How to save seeds from "easy" vegetables and wild flowers Bristol’s well loved permaculture activist, Mike Feingold will be talking about how to save seed and why this is important. Mike has been at the centre of Bristol’s practical permaculture community for many years. He runs a thriving community orchard at Royate Hill, where he also has his own allotment.
Mike teaches on the Shift Bristol permaculture course and co- ordinates large teams of volunteers every year to run practical permaculture areas at festivals including Glastonbury Festival.
He’s also involved in redistributing unwanted food to communities in need across the city.
Mike’s talk will focus on seed saving from ‘easy’ vegetables, as well as saving wild seed. He’ll also touch on the politics of seed saving.
Often taking inspiration from the natural environment, poet Mark De’Lisser weaves words that explore the ever shifting tides of the human experience.
Born in London and now settled in Bath, Mark has written professional commissions for the Bath Abbey and Roots Allotment, and regularly collaborates with musicians.