the irritating thing about trading

perennialfan273(zone 5)May 4, 2009


Even though I've been on gardenweb for several months now, it's still very hard trying to participate in the exchange when you don't have much and everyone else does. Everyone is constantly acquiring new plants (and probably have been for who knows how many years) while in the meantime all the new gardeners are playing catch-up.

Anyways, to make a long story short I like to participate in the exchanges but it's just so hard to compete with people who have been doing this for so long. I try to be generous when I trade and offer up what I have but the fact is I'll always be playing catch-up and I'll probably never really be able to trade with the more experienced gardeners (I feel like I'm trading cards or something lol).

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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

Hi pf273,

I can understand how you feel and kind of remember feeling the same way.

How about listing some thing on your plant wish list? That way folks will know what you are wanting. Then start your own trade thread announcing you have such and such to lily of the valley. Lots of folks want those, but don't necessarily post looking for them.

When I first started, I walked around my whole property looking at what all I had available to trade. Plants, bulbs, and even cuttings.
Then after talking to a best GF, I listed some things she had in abundance too, as she had said she would share what she had with me, even if it was for trading.

Over the years I have bought a lot of stuff too, usually at discount, end of the season, or abused half dead things that I then nursed back to life. A small investment of some named irises will reward you with some great trading material. Just make sure you keep the names with them, get pics when they bloom, and don't let the clumps grow together after they are planted.
After some irises bloom here, I will be offering up some repeat irises for postage. They may be purple, or lavender, but regardless of what color they are, they have rebloomed for me in the past. Might you like them for postage a little later? I can give you a better idea about how many fans there are and approx cost, or could just send a LB if there are that many, or whatever.


    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 4:14PM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

It may also help if you would put your location in the one box allowed for the garden zone, so it will show on your member page and also will automatically be shwon whenever you post. See I am zone 5/6 S IN

Many folks, myself included will not respond to trade posts where the member's location is not shown on their member page.


    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 4:30PM
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Take cuttings whenever and wherever you can and root them.
Weigela, willow trees, pussy willow, forsythia all root very easily.
Always carry small plastic bags, snippers and a marking pen.
You never know when you'll see seed pods while traveling.
Buy sale plants that can be divided, even if you can't use them, use them for trade. I noticed you have mostly mints and herbs listed for trade. With postage so high, people really weigh whether it's cheaper to trade for something or buy it locally. Herbs and mints usually can be purchased for under a buck at stores.
Don't be discouraged if you have only been trading a couple months. The good thing about gardening is your list is always 'growing' :)

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 1:57PM
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gardencraze(9b Groveland FL.)

Wow! I thought I was the only one carrying snipers, plastic,bags, a bottle of water and don't forget a small cooler a must in central FL. heat. I ask anybody that has plants. To my surprise they share with me or I ask if they want to trade 99% it works for me.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 11:28AM
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Good idea. Also ask on Freecycle. I know when I'm thinning plants and can't get a suitable trade, I'll offer them on Freecycle.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 6:35PM
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jsoto(5--Southern WV)

I understand how you feel b/c I'm a newbie too, but "Rome wasn't built in a day." It's likely that all of the old timers on here started out in the same position that we are. You just have to start somewhere, work hard, keep going, and not give up. Please check my trading list b/c I'd be happpy to trade w/ you. Another suggestion that I have is to tell your co-workers, friends, church members and any other people you know that you will thin out their old overgrown beds for free if you get to keep all the items that you thin out. You'd be surprised at how many flowers you can get this way. In fact, most of the items I have I got that way. It's great b/c you know the flowers are hardy and will likely grow easily when you transplant them to your yard. At least that's been my experience. Plus, it often helps out the other person too b/c they are too busy or too old to do the work. We started out doing this for our friends, but I also just posted a sign on this issue at our local PO. I also might post an ad on craigslist for this. I'll let you know how it goes.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 11:27AM
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Yes, your list will grow & grow!! When at friends, look around at what they have, neighbors can usually start some plants that way also to trade. I have found that anyone who has plants is usually very happy to share their beauties with you!! Then, even if it's something you are not in love with, you can trade for something else. I also carry around a "kit" in the car...scissors, baggies, bottle of water, etc. I get great little seeds & cuttings that way. My mother and I will ask anyone to share cuttings ...they usually ALWAYS are more than happy...keep on gardening, it'll happen!!!!!!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 12:33PM
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Ditto to all the comments above, you'll remember this post someday and laugh at yourself because you won't be playing catch-up anymore. Cheryl

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 2:01PM
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kilngod z6b(Zone 6b)

I was in the same boat about 4 years ago - had about 4 kinds of plants to trade. Because I was also interested in growing from seed, I started collecting from the two plants I could, a lobelia cardinalis (cardinal flower) and rudbeckia triloba (brown eye susan) that both sprung up in my garden "wild". (I didn't pull them because they "looked like something" - my DH laughs at me when I say that. Usually it's just a weed.)

...and then traded my fool heart out with that lobelia. by the next year I had lots more plants going, and saved seeds from those as well as snatching from all over town. Went to an in-person local swap with the little that I had and benefited greatly from veterans' generosity....and now my garden is bursting.

It's like a big rock rolling down a hill. Hard to get those first pushes going, but then it's rolling down the hill totally out of control. lol!

I didn't trade at all my first year -- just collected and grew out what I could in preparation to. Keep your eye out also for the "plants for postage" things that come up. I didn't know about those at all in the beginning, just read the "trade" idea and battened down the hatches to have something to trade.


    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 9:55AM
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claysoil(z6 PA)

Wonderful advice from everyone! If you follow it, you'll soon have gardens full of variety. I had nothing when I started at GW, and you WILL catch up if you focus on what you have and what will do well in your gardens.

Let everyone you know know that you are looking to expand your gardens. I became the SPCA of plants at work! Co-workers brought in bags! Collect seeds where ever you go. Go to the seed exchange, and trade there to create "stock". Look for local plant swaps and garden clubs. Shop the end of season sales (seeds too! They're good for more than a year, and will be named varieties!). Offer what you DO have for trade, and make sure that wish list is filled in on your page. Myabe try something more general like "yellow bloomers for my sun garden".

You worry that so many people have more to trade than you do; you can benefit from that. I am continually amazed at what people offer me for my ordinary plants. I am now able to trade named hostas and daylilies that were given to me in exchange for my common, unnamed plants. I do agree with Sue to add your state to your info. I see you are zone 5 and I want some lavendar, but there is a big difference in cost shipping to New England or to the west coast for me. I might skip over your post rather than ask where you are shipping from or making an offer.

You will achieve your goal if you keep planting! And as you said, continue to be a good trader and build that reputation.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2009 at 10:13AM
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Sweetheart, have you taken a hard look at your list of WANTS? You don't want generic varieties, you want NAMED VARIETIES (8 times); black mondo and bamboo (pretty specific), and several others which are specific by name or variety. I don't know about others, but your post and list comes across to me as being just a little whiny and cheeky. I don't know about Zone 5, but here in the South we say "beggars can't be choosers." Set aside a few dollars to buy a couple of very nice things each year then offer them in trade when they are large enough to divide. When you have something nice to trade, the traders will come to you. Think positive. We all started out "behind" someone.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2009 at 6:45PM
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do like i did, when you see a sasbe or beap, send for it, and my daughter loves them, so i sent for them for her too, she has her very own fairy garden which she takes care of. tons of flowers in them, i have no idea which is which. wintersow. you'll get more for your buck!!! and yes, if you see any seeds, grab them, i also take walks, and in ditches, there are "weeds" that are flowers people want, its funny, but we all want weeds from other areas. LOL i was talking to a friend of mine, and he was talking to a person who is a spealist in plants and such, flowers- weeds. we just named them flowers. **big smile** so last year, we went road side shopping, it was the most fun we had, and lost some weight too. and got excersize. :') **big smile** pretty soon you'll have a huge box full of seeds, then it's gonna be 2 shoe box full's of seeds!! :') ~Medo

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 5:57PM
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