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Seed Library

Providing the Portage Community with a source of open-pollinated seeds that citizens can grow, save, and plant again.

Launched in May 2021, our seed library provides free garden seeds for the use of our community. Those who “check out” seeds are encouraged to save seeds from the varieties they grow and return some to the library in order to share them with others and maintain the vitality of the collection.

We have an online inventory and seed request form, so you can browse from the comfort and safety of your home. You can use this as a guide for when you come into the library to get your seeds, or you can fill out our online request form, and we will pack them up for you to pick up at the library.

Browse the Seed Library

Request seeds

Some plants can cause negative or adverse reactions in humans or animals. It is your responsibility to educate yourself about the plants you are considering adding to your landscaping. Please see the links below for a guide to toxic plants.

Poisonous and Nonpoisonous Plants, ASPCA

Using the Seed Library

Ready to get started? Here’s how it works.

Borrow: Visit the library to select the seeds you would like to plant. Fill out the form indicating which seeds and varieties you are checking out and drop it off at the Adult Information Desk. Or browse our collection online and submit a seed request form. You may select up to five seed packets per week.

Grow: Follow the planting instructions, get your hands dirty, and have fun! For growing guides for individual plants, go to Farmer’s Almanac Growing Guides.

Save: Make sure to observe the Seed-Saving Guidelines for your particular variety. When seed is mature, harvest, dry, and store it for use next season. If you are not able to save seeds, consider donating a few seed packets to the library so we can continue our Seed Library next year.

Return: Put your seeds in an envelope and return them to the library. Be sure to save some for yourself! You will need to fill out a Seed Donation Form for each seed. These forms are available at the Adult Information Desk or you can download and print it here.

Contributing to the Seed Library

When you return your saved seeds, please fill out a form by clicking here so we have adequate information about the seeds. These forms are also available at the library.

Notes

  • If you bring in seed from varieties obtained from outside of our seed library, please ensure that they are not hybrids. Hybrids will not grow true-to-type in future generations.
  • If you suspect the seeds you saved for the library may have been cross-pollinated, diseased, etc., please let us know. We won’t think any less of you, but we need know this so we can keep our seed pool as healthy as possible.

Resources

New to seed-saving or gardening? Got a green thumb but want to dig in deeper? Stop by the library or see below for all your seed-y resources!

Books:

Browse our collection of gardening books here or visit the library and look in the nonfiction collection for 635 call numbers.

Online Resources:

Seed Savers Exchange — Extensive and user-friendly information to expand your gardening and seed saving know-how with helpful garden tips, how-to guides, and more.

Michigan State University has a Lawn and Garden hotline where you can call to ask any questions about gardening that you may have. You can go online to Ask an Expert or you can call the hotline at 1-888-678-3464. The phone hotline is staffed Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 a.m. – noon.

Sponsors

We are grateful for donations from Community Members, the PDL Monarch Waystation, and for seed donations from the following companies, which have formed the core of our collection so far:

Charles Hart Seed Company
Hudson Valley Seed Company
Territorial Seed Company
Seed Savers Exchange
Sow True Seed
West Coast Seeds