IMPORTANT UPDATE: Due to staff changes and the number of requests, it may take up to two weeks before your seeds are ready. We appreciate your patience.
Choose from various 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 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 we can share them with others in our community.
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 are heirloom seeds, some are organic, and some are conventional.
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 form. The form allows you to request seeds you would like to borrow (borrowers are limited to ten packets of seeds per month). Library staff will fill your request, and you can pick up your seed packets. Then, save some for yourself when the season ends and return the rest to 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 first to learn the basics of gardening and seed saving.
What’s the difference between beginner and advanced seed-saving?
Some seed varieties are more straightforward 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 seeds in the same season as they are planted and are primarily self-pollinating. Seeds include beans, lettuce, peas, and tomato.
- Intermediate: These varieties produce seeds the season they are planted but require separation to prevent unwanted cross-pollination. 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, carrots, dill, mustard greens, onion, and sunflowers.
How do I share my seeds?
We love seed donations from local gardeners! We can only accept seeds that have been cleaned, please do not donate whole seed heads. If you would like to donate seeds to the Piqua Seed Library, or if you are returning seeds you have borrowed, we need you to fill out the Seed Donation Form or include the information from the form on a piece of paper with your seeds.
- Name of the plant - scientific names must be included
- The year the plants were grown
- The town where the plants were grown
- Notes (any unique information about growing or harvesting the plant that you would like to share with the next gardener)
We do not accept some seeds as donations from community members. Please do not donate seeds from the following plants:
- Mystery seeds, we cannot take unidentified plant seeds.
- Seeds that you saved from hybrid or F1 plants (we have seeds in our collection that are hybrids, but saving seeds from these plants will not result in plants that resemble the parent plant in the next growing season).
- Seeds from invasive species. Invasive plants are not native and cause ecological damage. These species multiply, reproduce in high amounts and out-compete native species. The Ohio Invasive Species Council has a list of invasive species. Please check if you are unsure if the plant you have saved seed from is invasive.
- Tree and shrub seeds. Many trees and shrubs have large seeds. They may also require cool and moist conditions for long-term storage. Unfortunately, we cannot store large seeds or seeds that need cold moisture.
- Seeds that have been cold-stratified. These seeds are ready to be planted or kept in cold storage. Unfortunately, we cannot store seeds that need cold moisture.
- Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners by Suzanne Ashworth
- Heirloom Vegetable Gardening: A Master Gardener's Guide to Planting, Growing, Seed Saving, and Cultural History by William Woys Weaver
- 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
- Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre by Brett L. Markham
- The Vegetable Growers Handbook by Frank Tozer
- The Farmer’s Almanac: Start Saving Those Vegetable Seeds
- The Farmer’s Almanac: How to Save Vegetable Seeds
- Growing in the Garden: How to Save Seeds
- Our Heritage of Health: How to Save Seeds from Your Garden for Next Year
- Seed Savers Exchange: Seed Saving Where to Start
- Seed Savers Exchange: Seed Saving Chart
- You Grow Girl: Seed Starting Guide
- Check out our Seed Saving Playlist on YouTube
Recommended Uniform State Seed Law (RUSSL) from the Association of American Seed Control Officials (AASCO)
“Seeds being distributed may not meet germination or varietal purity standards prescribed by the state seed law. Patented seed or varieties protected by the Plant Variety Protection Act will not be accepted or distributed without permission of the certificate holder.”