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Swapping Soil, Seeds and Suggestions 

Tucson Plant Exchange

11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, March 29

Maker House 283 N. Stone Ave.

321-266-8685;facebook.com/events/1458776364337090

Gardening and lawn care are hobbies (or chores, depending on your perspective) shared by thousands of Tucsonans who want keep their yards from resembling untamed desert. The Tucson Plant Exchange brings that communal approach to gardening together in one place, where for a few hours on Saturday anyone with questions, ideas or tips for taking care of greenery can discuss them in a relaxed setting. Gardeners are also encouraged to bring some of the results of their labors with them, organizer Nate Cohn said. "We encourage people to come over with cuttings, seeds, extra gardening supplies," said Cohn, a programmer for hydroponics company Sea of Green. "People can trade plants, trade stories. Everyone can help each other out." This is the fourth plant exchange event, the second at Maker House. Cohn said the idea started out as a house party, but has evolved from five people at a friend's place to more than 30 the last time it was held at Maker House. "We're hoping to have even more this time," he said. While online advice and other sources are valuable, Cohn said it can be helpful to have an in-person forum available for people to discuss plant-related topics. "There are people working on their front yards and maybe there's something they don't know," he said. "I get a lot of my knowledge from other people, in what works for them and what hasn't." This is especially true in southern Arizona, where the combination of high temperatures, tough soil and a constant influx of new residents from other states can lead to plenty of confusion about how to get things to grow here. "In Florida, you can throw a seed in the ground and that will do it," Cohn said. "In Arizona, there's a lot more to it. It takes a lot more work." The event is free, and Sea of Green will be donating plants and bagged soil. National hydroponics wholesaler Botanicare will provide complimentary samples and nutrients.

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