Seed Library

Seed Library. Borrow a variety of vegetable, herb, and flower seeds to grow from the Piqua Public Library.

Choose from a variety of vegetable, herb, and flower seeds to borrow from the Piqua Public Library. Plant them at home or in your community garden, enjoy the harvest, save the seeds and return them to the Seed Library to share with others.

What is a seed library?
A seed library is a collection of seeds that you can borrow to plant and grow food, herbs, and flowers at home. After your plants mature and “go to seed,” you save the seeds and return them to the library so they can be shared with others.

What kind of seeds are available?
We have a variety of seeds donated by the following seed companies: Seed Savers Exchange, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply, Prairie Moon Nursery, Ohio Prairie Nursery, Ferry-Morse, American Seed and Burpee. Some of these seeds are heirloom seeds, some are organic and some are conventional. Click here to see our Seed Catalog.

Why is seed saving important?
Today’s gardeners are returning to the seed-saving tradition when harvesting and protecting the previous year’s seeds were essential to providing the next crop. Seed saving creates a seed stock well-suited to the Miami Valley climate, the plants are more pest-resistant, and growers save money on their seeds and plants. Seed saving helps create a culture of sharing and community, too!

How do I check out seeds?
To check out seeds, fill out our online Seed Request Form. Fill out the form to request the seeds you would like to borrow (borrowers are limited to five packets of seeds). One of our employees will fill your seed request and you can pick up your seed packets just like you would if you had requested a book. When the season ends and the plants “go to seed,” save some for yourself and return the rest for the Seed Library.

Do I have to return seeds?
We encourage donations back to the Seed Library, but you are under no obligation to save and return seeds. We want you to learn the basics of gardening and seed saving, first.

What’s the difference between beginner and advanced seed-saving?
Some seed varieties are easier to save than others. Please try to match the seed-saving difficulty with your gardening skills and time.

  • Beginner: These easy varieties are great for beginning seed savers. They produce seed the same season as planted and are mostly self-pollinating. Seeds include beans, lettuce, peas, and tomato.
  • Intermediate: These varieties produce seed the season they are planted but require separation to keep unwanted cross-pollination from taking place. These include corn, cucumber, melons, radish, spinach, and squash/pumpkin.
  • Advanced: These are better suited for more expert seed savers. They may or may not produce seed the season they are planted, and require special precautions such as hand pollination and tenting to ensure purity. Varieties include beets, carrot, dill, mustard greens, onion, and sunflowers.

How do I share my seeds?
If you would like to donate seeds to the Seed Library, or if you are returning seeds you have borrowed, please include the following information on a paper envelope with your seeds inside:

  • Your name
  • Name of the plant
  • The year the plants were grown
  • The town that the plants were grown in 
  • Notes (any special information about growing or harvesting the plant that you would like to share with the next gardener)
     

 

Resources

Books: 

  • Heirloom Vegetable Gardening: A Master Gardener's Guide to Planting, Growing, Seed Saving, and Cultural History by William Woys Weaver
  • Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre by Brett L. Markham
  • Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners by Suzanne Ashworth
  •  Small-Plot, High-Yield Gardening: Grow Like A Pro, Save Money, and Eat Well from Your Front (or Back or Side) Yard 100% Organic Produce Garden by Sal Gilbertie
  • The Vegetable Growers Handbook by Frank Tozer

Websites

Videos