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A Dye Garden ~ Sourcing Seeds

This post contains links to the web sites I found useful in sourcing seeds for my dye garden. It contains no affiliate links or adds. However if you want to support my work, feel free to fuel me with a kofi.

Seed packet images credit to Bedhead Fiber Co.

Looking for sources for seeds to grow dye plants in your garden this summer? Here is a list to get you started!

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Super Important:

Before ordering and planting seeds, please look into noxious weeds in your area. Many beautiful dye colors can be created with plants that are threatening to the local environment. If they grow wild in our area then: WHOOT! We can wild harvest as much as we please for our dye pots. However if they have been eradicated or are a threat, PLEASE don't introduce them via a dye garden! For more information regarding how to look into noxious weeds in your area, check out this blog post.

Where to Start?!

Now, this is gonna sound like a no brainer, but I can get all excited by the magical potential represented by seeds and add them ALL to my cart before I remember this wise and simple suggestion: MAKE A LIST! At $3.50 - $5.50 a package, its easy to suddenly purchase far more than we can fit in our garden or seeds for plants that won't produce well in our location. So before we can begin adding to our list, we must do our homework. There are some very important questions we need answers to before we start buying seeds. I share them, along with resources to help answer them in the blog post A Dye Garden: Making A Plan. While you're there, download the free printable I created for myself to get you organized.

Sourcing Seeds

Okay! So we got a list and and idea of what we want to plant (as well as clear understanding of what we should not plant). It is time to get some seeds!

I always turn to my local seed collective first. While they rarely focus specifically on dye plants, there are many plants grown for their beauty that can be used to create dye baths. Two examples of local seed sources I have used are Methow Valley Seed Collective (quite useful for my Western Washington peeps) and Denali Seed Company (useful for my Alaska peeps). Both are added to the list below. You can find a local seed collective in your area by searching "seed collective ___" and filling in the blank with your location. You can also contact your local cooperative extension to find out if there are any seed collectives or local seed companies in your area. Locally owned nurseries often stock seeds by local collectives or companies and can be a great resource as we learn about the plants that grow best in our bioregion.

Methow Valley Seed Collective - www.mvseedcollective.com -

We're a network of farms collaborating together to curate vegetable, flower, and herb seeds adapted to our bioregion: the intermountain west.

Denali Seed Company - www.denaliseed.com -

OUR MISSION: To supply gardeners with quality, farm fresh seed at a reasonable price and only offer varieties that have proven their performance in Alaska's far north climate. All varieties sold by Denali Seed Company have been field tested in Alaska to prove they perform well in short season, cool climate areas and under arctic and sub-arctic growing conditions.

For some dye plants, madder and indigo for example, I must turn to a seed company that specializes in seeds for dying fiber. Bedhead Fiber is semi local to me, a small company, are committed to their values and walk their talk. The Woolery and Botanical Colors are fantastic resources for information as well as seeds and are committed to supporting the fiber community.

Bedhead Fiber - www.bedheadfiber.com -

Bedhead Fiber is a declaration of adoration for plants, fungi, natural fibers, farmers, the slow process. We believe in the power of plants, the necessity of healthy ecosystems, and supporting farmers. bedhead fiber is grateful to live and work on Duwamish land.

We are proud to be a family-owned small business for over 40 years, and look forward to serving the fiber arts community all over the world for years to come!

Botanical Colors - https://botanicalcolors.com -

Botanical Colors offers natural dyes and education to textile and fiber arts artisans around the world. We support regional farmers, organic farming, regenerative soil and are forever excited creating new plant-based colors out of our Seattle-based studio.

Storing Seeds

Seeds are most often purchased in paper envelopes along with a note to store in a cool dry place. I keep the seeds in the envelope they came in and I always write the year on the envelope if it isn't labeled already. Together all my envelops go into a brown paper bag and that bag is stored in a tiny rubber made tub in the garage. I have some seeds I have collected from my own garden stored in jars, but only after I was sure they were very dry (living in a desert I can dry seeds with confidence). The jar storage is a total aesthetic and probably not the best choice for seed viability the following year.

I would love to hear from you! Do you have a local seed source or are you aware of another company specializing in dye seeds? Are you tempted to admonish me for my jar storage method for seeds? I would love to learn from you. Share in the comments!

Happy Making! ~Sönna

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