Seed Library

Welcome Back Spring by Checking Out the Eight Seed Varieties at the 2024 Seed Library!

The T.B. Scott Free Library will once again be checking out heirloom seeds for FREE to library card holders. Seed varieties for this year include:

  • Genovese Basil
  • Greek Oregano
  • Bloomsdale Spinach
  • Healthy Pepper
  • Tommy Toe Tomato
  • Green Globe Artichoke
  • Red Milkweed
  • Zinnia Mix

The principle behind the seed library is simple: library patrons check out their choice of seeds, enjoy the growing season all summer long, then “return” a portion of the seeds that they collect from their fall harvest so that those seeds can be used for next year’s crop of seed borrowers. Borrowers are free – and encouraged – to keep the bulk of the seeds they collect so as to have them for the next year’s planting. All of the seeds chosen come from the Seed Saver’s Exchange, an Iowa-based non-profit whose goal is to preserve and promote plant diversity in home gardens.

If you prefer curbside pickup, request your seeds by calling 715-536-7191.

Explore the eight different varieties of seeds available this year

Genovese Basil

This classic large-leaved Italian sweet basil, prized for its flavor and heady aroma, is a top pick for many cooks when making pesto. Fragrant plants grow 18-24″ and produce densely branched plants when pinched back regularly. Can be chopped and frozen in olive oil for winter use. Annual.

Greek Oregano

This species is thought to have a cleaner and sharper taste than true oregano. An essential garden herb with a pungent flavor, this perennial bears light green, pointed, oval leaves that are slightly wavy at the edges.

Bloomsdale Spinach

Vigorous upright plants with dark green, glossy leaves. Fine quality, very tender, excellent flavor. Quick growing variety with heavy yields. Well adapted for late spring or summer plantings, slow to bolt. Great for all spinach uses.

Healthy Pepper

Sweet 4″ long conical fruits ripen from yellow-green to orange then red. Early maturing 30″ plants are resistant to disease and rotting and will ripen even during cloudy summers. Great for fresh eating, roasting, and salsa.

Tommy Toe Tomato

Exceptionally vigorous plants yield hundreds of large red cherry tomatoes throughout the season. Can be used for fresh eating, roasting, or drying.

Green Globe Artichoke

This hardy variety of artichoke is productive even in climates as cool as zone 3. Plants grow 3-5′ tall, and have 3-5 flower buds per plant in the first year. This variety works for boiling and steaming.

Red Milkweed

This milkweed bears bright pink-and-red, vanilla-scented flowers in June and July. Surprisingly adaptable, this 5-foot-tall perennial is the preferred food source for Monarch butterflies and can grow in wet to well-drained soil.

Zinnia Mix

This zinnia mix contains fast-growing plants that can reach 30-40″ tall. Blossoms can reach 4-5″ in diameter, making them excellent for cut bouquets. These zinnias are also great for attracting pollinators to your garden, especially butterflies.

Produce photos and seed information courtesy of Seed Savers Exchange

Explore the eight different varieties of seeds available this year.  (Hover over each image for details)

Genovese Basil

This classic large-leaved Italian sweet basil, prized for its flavor and heady aroma, is a top pick for many cooks when making pesto. Fragrant plants grow 18-24″ and produce densely branched plants when pinched back regularly. Can be chopped and frozen in olive oil for winter use. Annual.

Greek Oregano

This species is thought to have a cleaner and sharper taste than true oregano. An essential garden herb with a pungent flavor, this perennial bears light green, pointed, oval leaves that are slightly wavy at the edges.

Bloomsdale Spinach

Vigorous upright plants with dark green, glossy leaves. Fine quality, very tender, excellent flavor. Quick growing variety with heavy yields. Well adapted for late spring or summer plantings, slow to bolt. Great for all spinach uses.

Healthy Pepper

Sweet 4″ long conical fruits ripen from yellow-green to orange then red. Early maturing 30″ plants are resistant to disease and rotting and will ripen even during cloudy summers. Great for fresh eating, roasting, and salsa.

Tommy Toe Tomato

Exceptionally vigorous plants yield hundreds of large red cherry tomatoes throughout the season. Can be used for fresh eating, roasting, or drying.

Green Globe Artichoke

This hardy variety of artichoke is productive even in climates as cool as zone 3. Plants grow 3-5′ tall, and have 3-5 flower buds per plant in the first year. This variety works for boiling and steaming.

Red Milkweed

This milkweed bears bright pink-and-red, vanilla-scented flowers in June and July. Surprisingly adaptable, this 5-foot-tall perennial is the preferred food source for Monarch butterflies and can grow in wet to well-drained soil.

Zinnia Mix

This zinnia mix contains fast-growing plants that can reach 30-40″ tall. Blossoms can reach 4-5″ in diameter, making them excellent for cut bouquets. These zinnias are also great for attracting pollinators to your garden, especially butterflies.

Produce photos and seed information courtesy of Seed Savers Exchange

Recommended Resources Available at Your Library

Container Gardening for the Midwest
by William Aldrich and Don Williamson with Alison Beck and Laura Peters

Instant Container Gardens
by Pamela Crawford

Gardening with Heirloom Seeds
by Lynn Coulter

Vertical Gardening
by Derek Fell

Starting from Seed
by Jack Kramer

T.B. Scott Free Library
106 West First Street
Merrill, WI 54452

Telephone (715) 536 - 7191

Monday: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Tuesday: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Wednesday: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Thursday: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Friday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday: 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Sunday: Closed

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