Did you know you can come to the Library and “borrow” seeds for FREE!
How does it work? Come and borrow the seed, plant them, let them go to seed, and then return some of these next generation seeds for others to borrow. (Don’t worry- there aren’t fines if you don’t return the seeds).
How do you sign up?
Come down to the Library and fill out a free membership form. It’s as simple as that!
Basic seed saving guidelines
- Plan your garden to reduce cross pollination by using the isolation distances below.
- Always save seeds from the healthiest, “true-to-type” plants.
- Select seeds for different characteristics such as size, taste, and disease-resistance.
- Don’t save seeds from hybrids.
- Label your garden and packets.
- Never plant all of your seeds in one year.
Great Plants for Beginner Seed Savers
Peas & Beans (Legumes)
- Plant: To ensure varietal purity isolate different varieties of beans by 100 ft. and peas by 50 ft.
- Harvest: Let beans and peas dry on the vine until crispy. Collect. Shell.
- Know your bean species: If you know the scientific name of your bean, then you can plant one of each species and not have to worry about cross-pollination. Ex. Fava beans (Vicia faba) can be planted right next to Kentucky wonder beans (Phaseolus vulgaris).
- Plant: Isolate different varieties of lettuce by 10 ft.
- Harvest: Let lettuce bolt. When half the flowers have turned white and fluffy, cut off the stalk and put upside down in a brown paper bag to dry. Remove chaff.
- Plant: Isolate different varieties of sunflowers by 1/4 mile! Other strategies are to plant lots of the same variety of sunflower and rub your hands over the flowers to increase self-pollination.
- Harvest: Let sunflower head dry on plant. Collect seeds.
- Plant: Isolate different varieties by 10 ft.
- Harvest: Collect ripe tomatoes. Squeeze pulp and seeds into a jar. Let ferment 2-3 days until a mold forms. Add water. Pour off mold, floating seeds and any pulp. Viable seeds will sink. Repeat until the water is clear. Put on a labeled paper to dry.
- Plant: Isolate different varieties by 400 ft. Peppers will cross!
- Harvest: Remove seeds from fully ripened peppers, use gloves if hot. Dry.