Fall Garden Fair Plant and Seed Swap

San Antonio Express News
November 7, 2004

By Lynn Rawe

Fall is in the air, and for Extension and the Bexar County Master Gardeners, this means preparations are underway for the Fall Garden Fair – a gardening & horticultural extravaganza. The Fall Garden Fair will be held on Saturday, November 13th at the San Antonio Botanical Gardens, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A very popular activity is the Second Plant and Seed Swap. The swap will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with remaining plants/seeds being sold or swapped during the last hour of the Fall Garden Fair. This swap will let you trade plants and seeds with other gardeners, using the rules described below. Plan on visiting the swap several times during the day, as new plants and seeds come in throughout the day.

Plant Swap: How it Works
Bring up to 10 live, healthy plants in a one-gallon or smaller containers that meet the rules described below. (A one gallon container is about the size of metal coffee can.) You will receive one ticket for each plant that you bring, which you can trade in on plants that other gardeners have left at the swap booth. Plant tickets cannot be used for seeds, and vice versa.


  • Bring healthy plants that YOU would take home, in a container no more than one gallon in size.
  • Bulbs, corms and other tubers are accepted; please have these separated into individual bags with 3-4 in each bag.
  • Plants MUST be rooted. Planted cuttings will not be accepted.
  • Label your plants with as much information as you have for their new owners.
  • Visit the swap several times while at the Fair; new plants come in throughout the day
  • The following plants will not be accepted: prickly pear, purple heart (due to lack of interest by other swappers), plants that are sickly, have bugs, or are not well established, and plants rooted in water, unless they are water plants, in which case you must leave a container for them.

Regrettably, due to capacity, plant swap staff will not be able to hold plants for you at the booth, or assist you with getting plants from your car to/from the swap.

Seed Swap: How it Works

Bring seeds packets to the swap that meet the rules below, and you will get one ticket for each packet which can be exchanged for a packet of seed brought by another gardener to the swap booth. Bring one or more packets of viable seeds gathered within the last year to the swap. Each packet must contain at least 20 seeds. You will receive one ticket for each packet you bring, which can be exchanged for another packet of seeds. Seed tickets cannot be used for plants, and vice versa.


  • Bring seeds that have been collected within the last year.
  • Seeds must be securely sealed in an envelope or Ziploc bag. On the container, clearly write the name of the plant, the color of the flowers (if any), and the approximate date gathered (season and year will be fine)
  • Each packet should have at least 20 seeds, unless they are extremely rare, in which case, five per packet. For plants that produce large quantities of seed, please be more generous
  • To ensure variety, please do not bring more than five packets of the same type of seed per person
  • Please do not bring seeds that are easily available, like Texas mountain laurel, lawn grass, mesquite, acorns.
  • Please do not bring seeds that will not breed true (e.g. hybrids).

Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee the viability of either seed or plants, but, many of our own Master Gardeners have participated in the swap for several years, and have been quite successful with their new acquisitions.

Make plans now to bring your family and friends to the Fall Garden Fair. There is plenty for adults and children alike with gardening exhibits, educational & craft activities, Farm Animal Petting Zoo & Cow Milking, Children’s Garden Show & Veggie Olympics, Master Gardener Bulbs, Blooms, & Buds Mart, and lots of delicious food at reasonable prices. Admission is: Adults $6.00, Children $3.00. Call 207-3255 or 467-6575. For more information, please go to www.sabot.org.

If you have any questions that might make your gardening tasks easier, please contact our office at (210) 467-6575, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and ask for the Homeowner Hotline.

This article was written by Lynn Rawe, County Extension Agent-Horticulture, with Texas Cooperative Extension in Bexar County.


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