Seed Library

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FAQs

  • The Seed Library is a collection of open-pollinated and heirloom seeds that you can borrow from to plant and grow at home. Our seed collection depends on donations and seasonality. You'll see different seeds available at different times, so check in frequently to see what's available.

    See the list of libraries that have seed collections you can browse. If your library does not have a collection, you can place holds in the catalog and have the seeds sent for pick up at the library of your choice. 

    Learn more on our Welcome page, and browse through all our resources, news, tips, and events on the Seed Library page!

    Download our brochure to learn:

    • What is the Seed Library
    • Why we save seeds
    • All about choosing and borrowing seeds
    • How to save and share seeds from your garden
    • What are some helpful seed saving resources to get you started
    • How to stay connected with the Seed Library community

     

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  • You can browse seeds in person at any one of our seed library locations below.

    You can also search our online catalogopens a new window and place seeds on reserve for pick-up at your local branch library. When using the online catalog, type “seed library” or the plant’s common name into the keyword search box to get a listing of all available seeds. You can add the planting month to your search, too! See more on that hereopens a new window.

  • Using your Seed Library couldn't be easier! Download the printable brochures below to have on hand.

    Download our brochure to learn:

    • What is the Seed Library
    • Why we save seeds
    • All about choosing and borrowing seeds
    • How to save and share seeds from your garden
    • What are some helpful seed saving resources to get you started
    • How to stay connected with the Seed Library community

    En español: Prestadas lleve semillas.

    Download the brochure Share Seeds from the Pima County Public Library to learn about:

    • Saving and sharing seeds
    • Choosing seeds: Easy or Advanced
    • Three ways to save seeds
    • A gardening glossary and a list of the PCPL Seed Libraries

    En español: Comparta semillas.

     

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  • Your Pima County Public Library card is your key to borrowing seeds. You can check-out up to 10 packets of seeds per month, checking them out just as you would books, DVDs, and any other library materials, with one exception, there are never any late fees (overdue fines) with seeds! Seed Library locations.

    Download our brochure to learn:

    • What is the Seed Library
    • Why we save seeds
    • All about choosing and borrowing seeds
    • How to save and share seeds from your garden
    • What are some helpful seed saving resources to get you started
    • How to stay connected with the Seed Library community

     

    View in full screen

  • When growing to save seed, please try to match the seed saving difficulty with your level of gardening experience.

    Easy Seeds

    Easy seeds are great for beginning seed savers. These plants are mostly self-pollinating, so the risk of cross-pollination is minimal (but not impossible). Saved properly, they are reliably the same as the parent plant.

    Advanced Seeds

    Advanced seeds are better suited for more expert seed savers. These plants are cross-pollinating and are very likely to cross-pollinate with other plant varieties, which can result in "mystery" plants. Saving seeds from advanced plants requires special precautions such as hand pollination, tenting, and other methods to ensure varietal purity.

    See A Beginner's Guide to Sharing and Saving Seeds

     

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About the Seed Library

Welcome to the World of Saving and Sharing Seeds

The Seed Library is a collection of open-pollinated and heirloom seeds that you can borrow to plant and grow at home. By saving seeds as a community we help create local seed stocks that are better acclimated to our unique desert climate and which support an abundant and genetically diverse landscape. We support gardeners from beginner to expert, and help you learn how to grow, harvest, and save seeds.

Our seed collection depends on donations and seasonality. You'll see different seeds available at different times, so check in frequently to see what's available.

International Seed Library Forum

The Seed Library was proud to be a part of the first International Seed Library Forumopens a new window held in Tucson on May 3-5, 2015 where the Joint Resolution in Support of Seed Librariesopens a new window was adopted.

 

Thank you to our partners and donors!

Native Seeds/SEARCHCommunity Food BankUniversity of Arizona Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology, and the UA Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners helped launch the Seed Library.

We also want to acknowledge the Seed Library trailblazers that inspired us, mentored us, and helped pave the way, most notably Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library and Westcliff Seed Lending Library.

The seeds that make up the collection have come to us through the generous donations of local and national seed companies, businesses, and individuals. We'd especially like to acknowledge Aravaipa Heirlooms, BBB Seeds, Botanical Interests, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, High Mowing Organic Seeds, Seed Savers Exchange, Garden Medicinals & Culinaries, Gardens of California, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, and many, many more.

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