Whether you're a long-term gardener or new to the craft, we offer you the opportunity to try out new seeds. The Seed Library is just to the right of the Welcome Desk near the Post Road entrance to the Library.
Share your garden with us on social media! Just tag us at @darienlibrary on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
How to Borrow
Choose one of our Mini Seed envelopes and use a different envelope for each variety of seed you wish to borrow.
Label your envelope with what you’re borrowing.
Put seeds in your labeled envelope. Take 2-3 seeds for every plant you intend to grow this season. For example, if you want 5 tomato plants, take 10-15 seeds.
Please let us know what you’re borrowing in the guest book.
We want people who take seed to get what was on the label and we want to protect from passing on disease. The following is our basic seed protocol.*
Save from healthy plants. Even if a disease does not get passed on through the seed, we do not like to have some selection for disease resistance by only saving from healthy strong plants.
Save from a number of plants so that the seed has some genetic diversity in it. The quantity that is optimum depends on the type of plant. For self-pollinating plants, a minimum of 6 plants is necessary. For cross pollinating, you want to save from a much larger population.
If the plant cross pollinates, you want to make sure you keep it isolated so it stays “true to type." Check with a seed saving chart or book to get isolation distances.
When you bring seeds to share, please label with as much information as you can.
* The Seed Protocol is from the West County Seed Exchange
Guidelines for Returning Seeds
Please do not share hybrid seeds. Hybrid, F1 or VF plants will not produce plants like the parent plant. They may produce something somewhat or very different, or they may produce nothing at all.
Do not return seeds from the brassica (e.g. Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kale, Brussel Sprouts & Cabbage) or cucurbit (e.g. cucumbers, squash, melons) families unless you have taken appropriate steps to prevent cross-pollination.
Dry: Make sure seeds have dried completely
Clean: Have seeds reasonably cleaned by removing as much of the chaff as possible.
Properly saved: Only return seeds that you know how to save properly. Super easy seeds like tomatoes, beans, peas and lettuce can be fairly reliably saved without cross-pollination and unintentional hybridization.
Label: Write as much information on your returning seed packet as possible. Next year’s borrower only has what you have written on the envelope to help decide whether to plant or not. The more information the better!!
* The Guidelines for Returning Seeds are from the Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library