The use of the AGS seed exchange online should be fairly self explanatory, but you may find these notes helpful to get you started. You will need to first log in, and then click to get to Your Seed Order
How to Start Ordering Seed
Only members of the Alpine Garden Society can participate in the Seed Exchange. If you are not already a member, but there is still time to join online and order seed this year.
To place your order online, you need to be a registered user of the new website. Members of the AGS can register with an email address and a new password. If you were registered on the old website, you will need to re-register on the new site. The site will recognise single and family memberships and family members can both place a seed order. Family members will use the same email address and password. This is different from the old website.
The appearance of the introductory page varies depending on the stage you have reached. If you access it without logging in, you will get an invitation to:
There are also options to get a reminder of forgotten userIDs and passwords.
Changes on the new site
Main and Surplus Orders
Once you have logged in and linked back to the seed exchange system, you will see options for creating your seed orders. There are two types of order:
1. A main order in which you list individual seed items that you want, classifying them as first or second choices. Your order will be filled with first choices as far as possible, and where they have run out, your second choices will be used.
2. A surplus order which is completed after the main distribution is complete. This is where you can either list Genera in which you are interested and receive a random selection from these genera, or receive a random selection from the whole list.
Members may submit a main order or a surplus order or both. Easy Packs can be ordered as part of your Main and/or Surplus Orders. When you are ready to submit your orders, it is easier if you pay for them both together. Alternatively, you can also submit just a main order and pay for that and then come back later and submit a surplus order. However, once you open a main and a surplus order, then you must complete each of them in turn before you can submit them.
Creating your Main Order
To create a main order, click the 'Create Main Seed Order' button. At this stage, you have not made any selections.
The online seed list is organised alphabetically. Wherever you go, you will find the 26 letters of the alphabet across the top and bottom of each page and each of these letters is a link that will take you into the seed items that start with that letter. There are special categories of seed, namely Damp-Packed Seed, Wild Collected Seed, Bulbils, Cormlets and Rice and Ferns. In the online system, these can be accessed as part of the alphabetical lists where they are marked as being from a special category or they can be viewed as separate lists. If you wish to do this, at the bottom of each page is a set of links to these special category lists. You may want to work your way through the list alphabetically, or you can go straight to any letter of the alphabet if you wish.
An alternative method of completing your order, or for those who prefer to initially choose from the printed list then transfer the number, it is possible to type in the seed list numbers.
If you go to the seed items beginning with A, you will find them listed by genus. Some genera appear as a clickable link. This means that there is more than one item available in these genera and you will need to click on a link to see what they are. For genera that contain only one item, this is listed directly without an additonal link. If you click on a genus link, you will find the list of all the items available in that genus.
Wherever an item is listed, there are three selection options next to it. One of these selections is always marked to show the status of that item in your order so far. To start with, all items are marked as 'no'. To add an item to your list of first choices, click the choice box next to '1st'. To add an item to your list of second choices, click the choice box next to '2nd'. These choices can be easily changed later if you have too many first choices or too many second choices.
When you click on a choice, you should wait for the page to reload and acknowledge the selection before you click anything else, or you may get an error message. If this does happen, you will NOT lose your order. This is most likely to be a problem if the internet is congested, or if you are not on broadband.
You do NOT need to create your order all in one go. At any stage, you can logout and if you come back later you will find your order exactly as you left it. You will find that when you click on the choice box next to an item part way down a page, it will become the top item on the next page ready for you to carry on moving down. There will always be a link available for you to move back to the earlier part of the current section.
Reviewing and Editing your Order
Wherever you go, a message will appear showing the current status of your order. This allows you to track how close you are getting to filling your quota.
Here we have selected 7 first choices out of a quota of 23. 23 is the quota for non-donors - if you are a donor, you will have a quota of 30. One second choice has been selected so far. At any stage, you can click on the 'Go to Order So Far' link and review your choices.
On the order page, you can review your order, changing first choices to second choices and vice versa. On this page, you can decide at any time that your main order is complete. The other thing you are asked to do on this page is click the choice that says whether or not you want the remainder of your allocation filled with randomly chosen items.
Carry on working through the list ordering more items until your quota for first and second choices is complete. If you exceed either of your quotas, the 'Order Complete' button will not appear until you have adjusted your order by reclassifying items.
You may find it easiest to make lots of first choices and then review them and reclassify the ones you wish to make into second choices.
When your choices in a category exceed the quota, the quota message appears in red.
Here you have chosen 27 first choices out of a quota of 23 - not a problem at the moment, but you will have to adjust your choices eventually before you are allowed to close your order.
Eventually, when your choices are within the limits of your quota, you will be able to click the 'Order Completed' button and you will be taken back to the main Seed Exchange page.
At this stage, your order will not have been sent to the team making up orders, you still need to submit your order.
Paying for your Main Order
Once your main order is complete, you will be taken back to the main seed exchange page and you can submit your main order without creating a surplus seed order.
If you submit your main order at this stage, that will not prevent you from coming back later and making a surplus order separately, but you can also make a surplus order now and submit/pay for both orders together.
If you do not receive an email confirmation of your order, then we have not received it and you should return to your order and ensure that you have clicked on "Order Completed" for your Main and Surplus Orders and then either click on "pay with WorldPay" or "Submit Order"
Creating a Surplus Order
To create a surplus order, click the 'Create Surplus Seed Order' button. For a surplus order, you need to specify how many packets you require in total. The cost of surplus seed is £8 for 20 packets (this is the minimum order), then £4 for each further 10 packets. There is no maximum quantity. You may choose Easy Packs at this stage (each Easy Pack contains 10 packets of seed). You also need to decide whether you want us to complete your order with a random choice from the whole seed list if we can not meet your genus requirements.
To choose your genera use the alphabetic links again, but in this case you will select the genera you want, rather than individual items. You must select at least five genera, and also genera that contain at least four times as many items as the packets required as many items may be in short supply when we make up surplus orders and this will enable us to complete your order. The system will make these calculations and will not allow you to proceed unless you fulfil these requirements. This is to ensure that we will be able to fill your order from your choices.
To add a genus from which you want us to choose your surplus seed click yes in the same way as before.
When you have completed your order you will be taken back to the main seed exchange page where you can now pay for your surplus order (together with your main order if you have not yet paid for it).
Easy Packs contain ten specially chosen varieties of seed, in a variety of colours, which are easy to germinate and grow and are suitable for beginners or those wanting quick results. The packs will contain information on the plants included, and an instruction sheet on how to germinate and grow these varieties. None of the plants in these packs need Alpine House cultivation. You may request any number of packs within your Main Order allocation. One Easy Pack contains ten packets and counts as ten of your choices. You may also order any number of Easy Packs on their own as a Surplus order, or as part of a Surplus Order.
Creating a Second Family Order
A family membership can have up to two users. A change on the new website is that both family members will now use the same email address and password and they can then each create a Main and a Surplus seed order. Create your first seed order in the normal way, then below your order, click on the Switch button to switch to the other member’s order.