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SEED LIBRARY

The Seed Library exists to encourage growth of local plant varieties, and cultivate a community of sharing.


Everyone is invited to participate in the Seed Library, even if you want to casually try your hand at growing a garden and need some seed in order to do so. The goal is to get people growing!


To check out seeds

1. Peruse the Online Seed Catalog and pick out as many seed varieties as you want, with the expectation that you only request what you will actually grow.


2. Fill out the Seed Library Request Form below. After you submit the form, we will contact you to go over details and seed availability before the order is completed. All orders will be mailed to the physical address you provide.


Please note that: You become a member of our seed library automatically when you check out seeds to plant! We operate on the honor system and encourage all members to learn basic seed saving techniques.


The Seed Library was established in March 2019 in partnership with Wasatch Community Gardens.

Why Save Seed?


Promote biodiversity: Large seed companies often have a limited variety of hybrid seeds that do not produce viable offspring. Saving and sharing seed promotes a more diverse network of seed that is viable and can be used to breed your own varieties. Some unique plants only exist in the possession of one or two gardeners. Seed sharing helps save some seeds that are in danger of disappearing.

Preserve characteristics: By saving your own seeds you can hand pick seed from your best plants based off of taste, color, smell, and productivity. Preserving these characteristics helps broaden the genetic diversity within garden plant varieties.

Local adaptation: By saving and distributing seed locally, we increase the vitality and resilience of our plants. Collecting seed and replanting it results in increasing resistance to local disease and insects. It also encourages our plants to become more well adapted to local climates and soil conditions.

Connect with your garden and community: Participating in local seed-saving efforts gives you a deeper connection with your garden because of the connection you have with the gardeners that produced that seed. It also deepens your connection with your community when you save and share seeds of your own with others, broadening your influence on sustainable gardening practices.

Protect Pollinators: Allowing some of your garden plants to mature and flower supports pollinators by providing a source of food, and in return they pollinate your plants allowing you to harvest seeds for the following year.

Save money: Saving and sharing seed is far less expensive than purchasing new seed every growing season. By saving seed year to year you can essentially eliminate costs associated with purchasing new seed.


To Check Out Seeds


The Seed Library Order Request Form above includes a link to our seed catalog. Select your preferred seeds, include your mailing address, and we'll send them to you. On average, patrons will wait about a week to receive their seeds in the mail.

Sometimes we're out of stock of a particular variety by the time we fulfill your order. Instead of omitting your selection, we like to give you something else that might suit your needs. We hope that you can appreciate the substitutes just as much, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Note that the online ordering system is only in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. Normally, the Seed Library is on display near the Welcome Desk on Level 1 of the Main Library. The self-serve Seed Library will return as soon as the Library reopens and we will no longer offer mail-order service.


To Donate or Return Seeds


We are now accepting seed returns at our outdoor bookdrops at all locations. Seeds should be sealed in a sturdy envelope or small packet and labeled with your name, contact information, and helpful information such as variety, year grown, and source. Otherwise we will not be able to provide other Seed Library users with details about growing conditions, germination rate, or flavor profile.

Seeds are generally accepted regardless of whether we supplied the original seeds or not. Note that the Seed Library does not accept Genetically Modified (GMO) seeds. We do accept “hybrid” seeds, but they must be labeled so that patrons know that seeds saved from these will not grow true-to-type.


How Do I Grow the Seeds I Received?


We've compiled a few resources to help you successfully grow the seeds you've planted:

Carrots Love Tomatoes by Louis Riotte

Four Season Harvest by Eliot Coleman

Mulch It! by Stu Campbell


HOW TO PARTICIPATE

The Plot consists of 18 raised 8' x 4' garden beds. Plots are assigned by lottery. The application is open from January 5 through February 15 each year and will be available here.


To be considered for this lottery, you must be over 18 years of age and live between North Temple and 900 South and between 600 West and 700 East. Only one garden plot per household is permitted. Gardeners will be informed of their allotment on or before March 1.


Gardeners who fulfill policy requirements — including plot maintenance, meeting attendance and community behavior expectations — may reapply for the same plot each year.


If accepted as a gardener you must have the time to cultivate your garden. Below is an estimate of the time you should plan on allotting to The Plot per week:

GARDEN TASK SPRING SUMMER FALL
Weeding/Bed Preparation 2 hours 2 hours 1 hour
Watering 1 hour .5 hour 0 hour
Planting 1.5 hours .5 hour .5 hour
Harvesting .5 hour 1 hour 1.5 hour
       
TOTAL hours per week 5 hours 4 hours 3 hours



If you are not able to commit to authoring a plot for a whole season you can still participate! See the Composting and Classes at The Plot sections to the right or come to a volunteer session every 2nd Saturday of the month from 8:30–10:30am between May and October. Volunteers will be thanked with produce or seeds upon availability.