The Seed Library is NOW CLOSED (as of 5/22/23)
All of our seeds have been taken. Stay tuned for our Seed Library which will return in early 2024!
A variety of seeds, including fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers, are available to CAPL cardholders to increase biodiversity and sustainability within our area and allow gardeners to try growing new varieties of plants with little risk. This year we urge you to practice seed-saving and return them to the Library so that we can close the loop and truly turn this into a sustainable resource for the community (seed-saving tips are listed below in the FAQs).
Seed Library FAQS
Q: Who can take seeds from the seed library?
A: CAPL cardholders only.
Q: How do I “check out” seeds?
A: Select your seeds and fill out the Sign Out Sheet in the binder. The sheet helps us keep up with inventory and may help us determine which seeds to order in the future. The Seed Library cart is located in the alcove near the Service Center and New Fiction books.
Q: How many seed packets can I take?
A: We have varying quantities of seeds for each variety. Please only take what you have room to grow, and please only take one packet per type of seed to ensure availability to others. Each packet has a range of 3 to 10 seeds, depending on the variety.
Q: Do I have to return/donate seeds to be able to take seeds?
A: No, but we do appreciate donations of heirloom or open-pollinated seeds that you collect. Please remember, you should only save seeds from healthy plants. We do not knowingly accept genetically modified, hybrid, or patented seeds. If you would like to make a donation, please fill out one of our donation forms (pdf) to submit with your seeds.
General gardening resources
- Our Basic Guide to Growing
- Gardening books in our collection
- U of I Extension zone hardiness map for IL (jpeg)
- Last average frost day from IL State Water Survey (png)
- Seeds Savers Resources
- Burpee Gardening Advice
Seed saving general tips
- Select seeds from your best plants
- Only save seeds from open-pollinated varieties
- Clean dry seeds (remove any chaff) before storing
- Place seeds in an envelope and label with the variety and date
- Store seeds in a cool, dry, and dark place
- Read Saving Seeds: 7 Reasons Why and Dozens of Tips for How
- Seed saving books in our collection