This year, I was determined to save some seeds! I work with the Seed Library, after all. It only seems proper.
However, as someone who doesn't have a yard, I've always had a difficult time growing things. Saving seeds always seemed like one step too many. So I picked the easiest one I could think of—a flower: this year's featured Kaleidoscope Mix Nasturtium.
I planted 4 nasturtium seeds in a box planter in April and waited to see what would happen. As the tiny plants grew (and grew AND GREW), I started to see what looked suspiciously like the seeds I had planted pop up all over the vines, sometimes in groups of two or three, and fall off onto the dirt and deck as they dried out.
Eventually I had a large handful all drying out on a paper towel! I tried to keep them in a dark-ish, well-ventilated spot in my apartment:
Once they're all completely dry, I'll pop them in the donation envelope for someone else to enjoy (although I'll probably keep another 4 for myself)!
All in all, I found the process of saving nasturtium seeds extremely easy and would highly recommend them to another newbie like me!
Seed Library FAQs
The 2023 season begins Wednesday, March 1.
Seed libraries are a lot like other kinds of libraries! Their main purpose is to share or lend seeds to a community. Seeds libraries encourage gardeners to save quality seeds that are suitable for the local growing area. Successful seed libraries can even preserve rare or heirloom seeds from the area as well.
During the growing season, visit our repurposed card catalog (at either location) and select the seeds you’d like to try growing. There is no need to check out the seeds like you would with other library materials. We do ask that you not take more than you are willing to plant and that you consider saving some seeds to “return” to the seed library for others to “borrow” next year.
We have many print materials available at the library with information about seed saving! We have also compiled information online from websites we like, if you prefer online sources.
Both the Main Library and the North Branch have donation envelopes and a seed donation box located near the seed library catalog. Please fill out the donation form on the outside of the envelope as thoroughly as you can before dropping it off inside the donation box. If your donation is too large to fit through the slot, please speak to a staff member at the Information Desk.
Please thresh your seeds. Processing donations takes a lot of staff time, which can be saved if your donations are ready-to-plant and not still inside pods, fluff, wet, etc.