Please note that both FCL locations will be closed Saturday, May 28, through Monday, May 30, in observation of the Memorial Day Holiday.

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  • About the Seed Library
  • Flowers: Growing Instructions
  • Vegetables: Growing Instructions

What is a Seed Library?

As with books at traditional libraries, seed libraries contain seeds that circulate among community members. The Farmington Community Seed Library provides free access to gardening resources and seeds that can be successfully grown in the local community.

The Farmington Community Seed Library collection is currently housed at our Farmington Hills location in one of the original Library card catalogs. Seed varieties will vary depending on availability from our donors.

How to use the Seed Library

  • Choose seeds from the Library's collection based on what you enjoy and the space and sunlight you have available. Please limit to 5 seed packets per family.
  • Each seed packet contains enough seeds for at least 5 plants. Smaller seeds are roughly measured to give enough for a good crop.
  • Plant your seeds in the ground after there is no chance of frost (late May - early June).
  • Enjoy fresh vegetables and flowers during the growing season!
  • Save your seeds for the next growing season, and if you are able, donate some back to the Farmington Community Seed Library for your neighbors!

Why Save Seeds?

Returning seeds to the Library helps to grow your community’s seed stock of non GMO organic seeds. Seed saving is the practice of collecting and storing mature seeds for planting in subsequent growing seasons. Once the original seed is planted and matured, the new seeds from the plant are harvested and returned to the Library to restart the cycle.

When returning your seeds, make sure the seeds are dry and placed in the provided envelope with the label filled out.

Farmington Community Seed Library Sponsors:

 

Evening Colors Sunflower

Each plant has a variation of a yellow background, pink ring and chocolate brown center. Main stalk with many 18” stems with single heads. Planting Tips: Sunflowers are tender annuals that do well in a variety of soils and do not need much care. Attract pollinators. Bloom time is late summer into fall. Direct seed as soon as chance of frost has passed. Transplants can be started 3-4 weeks before plating date. Harvest for cut flowers when flowers are just beginning to open.

Giant Coral Zinnia

Large, fully double red-coral blooms ideal for cut flowers or bright border. Lovely salmon-pink to coral flowers on long, sturdy stems. Huge 4” blooms. Disease and heat tolerant and holds up well in the vase. Planting Tips: Annuals that do best in full sun and rich soil. Bloom time is mid-summer to fall. Direct seed after danger of frost has passed and soil has warmed. Transplanting is recommended, start 3-4 weeks before planting date. Do not allow plants to become root bound. Harvest before flowers completely open.

Pacific Beauty Calendula

An early blooming medley of bright orange and yellow flower. A mix of double and single blooms. Petals are edible! Planting Tips: Calendula is a self-seeding annual preferring full sun and rich, well drained soils. Use as a cut flower, bedding plant, edible flower, or medicinal herb. Direct sow in late spring or start seedlings in-doors 6-8 weeks before planting date. Harvest for cut flowers when half open.

Red Scarlet Zinnia

A great cutting type with many high-quality, deep red blooms and attractive foliage. Dramatics in mass plantings. Planting Tips: Annuals that do best in full sun and rich soil. Bloom time is mid-summer to fall. Direct seed after danger of frost has passed and soil has warmed. Transplanting is recommended, start 3-4 weeks before planting date. Do not allow plants to become root bound. Harvest before flowers completely open.

Sensation Blend Cosmos

A mix of white, pink, magenta and lavender blooms. Single flowers are 3-4” wide and plants are 3-6’ tall and work well in the back of beds and in bouquets. Planting Tips: Cosmos are hardy annuals that prefer full sun. Use a tall bedding plant or a cut flower. Bloom time is from mid-summer into fall. Direct seed as soon of chance of frost has passed and soil has warmed. Start transplants 2-4 weeks before planting date. Dead-heading is required for constant blooms.

Yellow Zinnia

Fully-double gold blooms make a dazzling display in the garden. Well-branched stems provide a continuous supply of easy-to-grow 3-4’ blooms that hold up well in a vase. Excellent heat and cold tolerance keep this variety productive until frost. Planting tips: Annuals that do best in full sun and rich soil. Bloom time is mid-summer to fall. Direct seed after danger of frost has passed and soil has warmed. Transplanting is recommended, start 3-4 weeks before planting date. Do not allow plants to become root bound. Harvest before flowers completely open.

 

Amish Paste Tomato

Thick, meaty, deep red flesh with very few seeds. Oxheart fruits are 8-12 oz. Notably sweeter taste than many other paste tomatoes. Eat as a sliver or use for cooking. Indeterminate. Planting Tips: Warm season tender annual that prefers full sun and soils with moderate fertility. Start seeds 6-8 weeks before planting date. Optimal soil temp for germination is 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Set Transplants out after danger of frost has passed, one row in center of bed, with support/trellis. Harvest tomatoes fully ripe for best flavor.

Astro Arugula

A spicy, cold-hardy salad green producing many leaves for “cut and come again” harvest. Long, dark green leaves with deeply cut lobes are very nutritious. Planting Tips: Hardy annual. Direct seed as soon as soil can be worked. Baby leaf: seed 60 seeds/ft in 2-4” bands; ¾” between bands. Full-size: see planting chart for instructions. Best grown in early spring and late summer/fall. Will bolt in hot weather. Sow every 3 weeks for a continuous harvest.

Brandywine Tomato

Sets the standard for superb tomato flavor. Large juicy, beefsteak fruits commonly weigh over 1 lb. each with a reddish pink color. Pick just before fully ripe to avoid cracking. Indeterminate. Planting Tips: Warm season tender annuals that prefer full sun and soils with moderate fertility. Start seeds 6-8 weeks before planting date. Optimal soil temp for germination is 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Set transplants out after danger of frost has passed, one row in center of bed, with support/trellis. Harvest tomatoes fully ripe for best flavor.

Butterflay Spinach

A productive, semi-savoyed variety with large glossy, dark green leaves and rich flavor. Vigorous, fast-growing, and cold hardy. Good germination, ideal winter crop. Direct seed as sib as soon as soil can be worked in spring; seed again in the late summer through early fall. Provide ample fertility and moisture. Baby leaf: sow 40 seeds/ft in 2-4” bands with ¾” between bands. Full-size: see planting chart for instructions. Sow every 7 days for a continual harvest.

California Wonder Sweet Pepper

One of the best tasting snow peas around. Doubly born pods measure 4-5” long and tend to curl if not harvested regularly. Multiple disease resistances. Planting Tips: Peas are cool season annuals. Direct seed as soon as soil can be worked in the spring. Use of inoculants can increase yield. Optimal soil temperature for germination is 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit but will germinate in soils as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Provide support for tall varieties. Pick regularly for increased yields.

Gourmet Blend Lettuce

A High Mowing creation you wont find anywhere else, includes favorite such as Black Seeded Simpson, Parris Island, Rouge d’Hiver, Red and Green Salad Bowl, and Lolla Rossa. Planting Tips: Grows best in cooler temperatures. Baby leaf: seed 60 seeds/ft in 2” bands with ¾” between bands. A great cut-and-come again crop when harvested above the growing tip. Sow every three weeks from spring through late summer for a continuous supply.

Greensleeves Dill

A compact, high yielding dill for leaf production. Dark green leaves are aromatic and pleasingly sweet eaten fresh or dried. Planting Tips: Dill is a hardy annual that prefers full sun and well-drained soils that are low in fertility. Dill can be transplanted but prefers direct sowing. Sow as soon as soil warms and throughout summer, every 4-6 weeks for continuous supply. Harvest for dill weed, flowering heads and seeds.

Little Finger Eggplant

Harvest petite eggplants when young and tender. Best quality is at 6-8”, when long and slender with glossy black skin. Use quickly for best flavor. Planting Tips: Tender Annual. Direct sowing is not recommended. Days to maturity is from outdoor planting date of transplants. Transplants are started 8-12 weeks before planting date. Optimal soil temperature for germination is 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Seeds can be sown thick in one cell and then planted into individual cells after true leaves appear. Plant outdoors when all danger of frost has passed. Harvest eggplant while skin is glossy.

Mizuna Asian Greens

This Japanese mild mustard has dark-green, beautifully fringed leaves. Very vigorous and high yielding. Tender white stalks. Adds shape and taste variety to your salads. Asian greens can be grown for baby leaf or full size crops, from early spring through late summer. Baby leaf: approximately 60 seeds/ft in 2-4” bands; row spacing 2/3” between bands. A great cut-and-come again crop when harvested above the growing tip.

Moon & Stars Watermelon

Rediscovered heirloom variety weighing 6-15 lbs. With very sweet, red flesh. Fruit and leaves are dark green with yellow splashes, ranging from tiny stars to larger moons. Planting Tips: Watermelons are warm season annuals that grow best in fertile, well-drained soil. Start transplants 4 weeks before planting date. Direct seed or transplant 1-2 weeks after danger of frost has passed, one row in center of bed. Can also be planted in hills of 3-5 plants in rows 3-5’ apart.

Oregon Sugar Pod II Snow Pea

One of the best tasting snow peas around. Doubly born pods measure 4-5” long and tend to curl if not harvested regularly. Multiple disease resistances. Planting Tips: Peas are cool season annuals. Direct seed as soon as soil can be worked in the spring. Use of inoculants can increase yield. Optimal soil temperature for germination is 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit but will germinate in soils as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Provide support for tall varieties. Pick regularly for increased yields.

Red Russian Kale

Sweet flavor! Distinct, bright purple stems with slat-green, deeply lobed foliage. Leaves are tender and smooth. Grow as baby leaf or full-size plants. Planting Tips: Kale is a hardy biennial that will over-winter in milder climates and can be grown for baby leaf or full-size crops. Sow from early spring through late summer. Baby leaf: seed approximately 60 seeds/ft in 2-4” bands; ¾” between bands. Full-size: see planting chart for instructions.

Renegade Spinach

Smooth, round leaves are perfectly cupped for bulky baby greens. Long stems make for easy harvest. Resistant to Downy Mildew (races 1-7) and CMV. Planting tips: Direct seed as soon as soil can be worked in spring; seed again in the late summer through early fall. Provide ample fertility and moisture. Baby leaf: sow 40 seeds/ft in 2-4’ bands with ¾’ between bands. Full-size: see planting chart for instructions. Sow every 7 days for a continual harvest.

Shishito Pepper

Small, mild Japanese pepper with thin walls that blister and char easily when pan-fried, roasted or grilled, taking on rich flavor that is delicious with coarse salt and lemon juice. Typically harvested green, but eventually turns orange and red with sweeter flavor. Planting tips: peppers are long season, heat-loving annuals which require transplanting to reach full maturity in most areas. Start transplants 6-8 weeks before planting date, after the danger of frost. Optimal soil temperature for germination is 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Schwarzer Runder Radish

Unusual jet-black skin makes a gorgeous contrast with the bright white flesh. Also known as Black Winter radish, with rich spicy flavor excellent for salads. Coarse outer skin allows for exceptionally long storage in the ground or the root cellar. Planting Tips: Radishes are cool season, hardy annuals. Direct seed as soon as soil can be worked. Thin to promote evenly sized roots. Plant every 10 days for a continual supply. Harvest radishes promptly for best quality. Topped radishes store well for 3-4 weeks in refrigerator.

Waltham 29 Broccoli

Dark-green, long-stemmed spears. Waltham produces one medium-sized heads and then many side shoots for an extended harvest. Best for fall crops. Planting Tips: Generally grown as a transplant, however, broccoli can be directly sown in the summer for fall crops. Start transplants 4-6 weeks before planting date and plant outside after threat of frost has passed. After center dome has been cut, smaller side-shoots can be harvested for extended production.

Winter Density Romaine Lettuce

Dark green leaves resemble a small romaine head, but not as tightly closed. Outer leaves are crisp and inner heart is tender. Great flavor and texture for salads. Planting Tips: Grows best in cool temperatures and can bolt during hot weather. Days to maturity are from direct seeding. Baby leaf: seed 60 seeds/ft in 2” bands with ¾” between bands. Full-size: see planting chart for instructions. Sow every three weeks from spring through late summer for a continuous supply.

Yellow Crookneck Summer Squash

A standard summer squash variety with bright lemon-yellow to golden skin and famous crook in the neck. Pick when 5-8” for best quality. Planting Tips: Summer squashes are warm-season annuals that grow best in fertile, well-drained soil. Start transplants 3-4 weeks before planting date. Direct seed or transplant one week after danger of frost has passed, one row in center of bed. Harvest every other day for best quality and to maintain productivity.

Yellowstone Carrot

Bright yellow carrot will wow the kids and add a gourmet flare to your plate. Carrots are long and slender and tapered to a point. Mild flavor is best when cooked. Carrots are hardy biennials that can tolerate light frosts. Best quality arises from raised beds with loosened soils. Direct seed as soon as soil can be worked in the spring through mid-summer. Optimal soil temperature for germination is 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut tops for improved storage in refrigerator.

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