Seedling Swap

With all this warm weather, many new and seasoned gardeners in DC are having trouble waiting to plant their garden this year. So, DC State Fair has the answer–if your tomato seedlings got zapped by a late cold spell, stop by the DC State Fair Seedling Swap on Saturday, May 5, and find a new seedling!

The second-annual DC State Fair Seedling Swap will be held during opening day at the 14th & U Farmers Market, on Saturday, May 5, from 9 to about 11 AM. There’s still time to start some seed to share with fellow gardeners, so get your hands dirty this chilly weekend and sow some tomatoes, peppers, okra, and herbs to share! Also plan on chatting and exchanging information about the seedlings you’re bringing. Did you save the seeds from years past? Is the variety an heirloom from your grandmother’s side of the family? How well do they do in the city heat? Be ready to learn from experienced local gardeners!

If you’re a new gardener and don’t have seedlings to share, don’t worry–we’ve got you covered! Anyone who shows up will walk home with a healthy seedling to grow and show at this fall’s DC State Fair. To plan for your DC State Fair entries for this fall, keep an eye out for any vegetables/herbs/fruit that could taste good; get jammed, pied, pickled, or cupcaked; grow long; grow heavy; or just look crazy-funky!

Please show up as close to 9 AM as possible if you plan on swapping, so everyone has the opportunity to learn about all the varieties and discuss growing tips. (If you have never started seed before or are looking for a quick how-to, there are many available online. There are also sow-date calculators that can tell you when seed should be sown indoors and later transplanted or direct-sown outdoors. April 15 is about the average last-frost date for DC, but who knows how early it’ll be this year?)

The event is free and no registration is required. Just bring your labeled seedlings and be prepared to share and learn growing tips! So whether you’re from U Street or beyond, whether you have seedlings or not, and whether you even have a garden plot or not, come out on May 5 and swap them seedlings!

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