Dane County Libraries: Growing more than readers
Seeds are available now!
What is a Seed Library
For thousands of years people have cultivated gardens enjoying the fruits of their labor.
Until recent times saving the previous year’s seeds to plant the next crop was an essential part of the process. Today many people are enjoying the return of the seed saving tradition.
Seed saving is important because you:
- Develop seeds that become acclimated to our local climate
- Grow plants that are more pest resistant
- Save money on seeds and plants
- Know where your food is coming from
- Become less dependent on large food producers
By participating in the seed library you are helping to create a culture of sharing and community. Saving seeds leads to a sustainable future for your community and your garden. If you already save seeds, consider contributing to our seed library.
Borrowing seeds from the seed library is FREE! However, your contribution to your community is priceless. Gardening allows you to become more self-sufficient, eat more nutritious food, and save money.
To participate in the seed library we ask that you not only save seeds for yourself but also for the seed library. When you return seeds to the seed library they will be cataloged and other community members can check them out.
The greater number of seeds that are returned to the seed library the greater the number of community members who can benefit.
How it Works
The seed library will start with these seeds because they are fun and easy to grow for beginner seed savers. These seeds tend to produce plants that are like what you planted and are self-pollinating. The seeds are generally easy to harvest and dry.
|Beans||Hot Peppers||Sweet Peppers|
|Chard||Lettuce (2)||Tomatoes (2)|
- Choose up to 5 packets of seeds to checkout, take home and plant
- You will receive instructions specific to your seeds on how to plant and save seeds
- Check out related programs at participating libraries
- Plant your seeds and enjoy the fruits of your labor!
- Before harvesting your seeds review the specific instructions you received at checkout.
- Once the seeds are collected and dried set some aside for yourself to use next year, fill out the information on the labeled envelopes, and place the seeds inside.
- Drop off your seeds at your library for others to check out!
- UW-Extension Plant Health Helpline:
May-October there will be a Master Gardener who has gone through the PHA training in the office from 9-12:00, Monday- Friday to answer gardener's questions. People who call when we aren't at the phone can leave a voice mail. We always call back. There are times when we have to call back the gardener if we have to do some research to give the caller bona fide answers. Gardeners can also email us which is very helpful for some questions because people can send email pictures. The pictures are often very helpful.
- Phone 224-3721
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- learningstore.uwex.edu/Vegetables-C81.aspx and learningstore.uwex.edu/Lawn-Garden-C2.aspx (click on the selected article's cover and scroll down to click view pdf)
- Wisconsin Horticulture through UW-Extension
- Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic from University of Wisconsin-Madison/Extension
Seed Saving Links:
Seed Donation Form (pdf)
Planting Instructions (pdf)
Dane County Bookmobile
Visit us at www.dcls.info for a complete schedule of community visits or call us at 608-266 9297
E.D. Locke Public Library
5920 Milwaukee St., McFarland, WI 53558, 608-838-9030 www.mcfarlandlibrary.org
Fitchburg Public Library
5530 Lace Road, Fitchburg, WI 53711, 608-729-1760
Goodman South Madison Library
2222 S Park St, Madison, WI 53713
Oregon Public Library
256 Brook St, Oregon, WI 53575, (608) 835-3656
Visit our website at
Funding for this program generously provided by the John A. Johnson Fund and an anonymous donor through the Madison Community Foundation.