SFS Grows


SFS Grows! Family Gardening Workshop


Saturday, April 22

10 - 11 a.m.

Want to enjoy fresh tomatoes but don't know where to start? Bring the children to this family workshop to help you grow great veggies for pizza or pasta sauce. A UC Master Gardener will be on hand to answer all of your questions and children can pot their own basil or tomato plant (only one plant per child).

Planting Your Seeds at Home

1.       Find a place to plant your seeds. Most vegetables require 6-8 hours of full sun.

2.       Remove all weeds, rocks, and debris. Break up large dirt clods in the top 6-10 inches of soil.

3.       Layer 2-4 inches of compost on top of the soil and mix it into the top foot of the soil.

4.       Fertilizer can be added as the seedbed is prepared. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer package.

5.       Plant seeds at their correct depth and distance apart.

6.       Keep soil damp until at least 2 weeks after seeds sprout. Add water when the top 1-2 inches of soil has dried out.

7.       Water regularly.


How to Borrow Seeds

1.       Come to the Library and select the seeds you want.

2.       Most of the seed packets contain enough seeds to grow 2-3 plants.

3.    The seeds that are available have come to you through donation, because of this, supplies are limited. We are asking that you limit your check-out of seeds to 6 seed packets at any time.


How to Donate/Return Seeds

1.       Take a Seed Library stamped envelope and include the following information about your seeds: Common name, Variety, Year your seeds were collected.

2.       Fill out a Seed Library Envelope for each packet of seeds you return.


Harvesting Seeds

Some plants are annuals and will produce seeds in only one growing season (spinach, beans, squash). Others are biennial (two year life cycle) and you will need to keep some plants in your garden for two years before you will be able to collect their seeds (beets, parsley, mustard greens).

Dry Seeds (beans, peppers, carrots, flowers): gather dry seed pods from plants. Separate seeds from husks.

Wet Seeds (pumpkins, melons, eggplant): Let fruit fully mature on the plant so the seeds will also be mature. Scoop seeds and pulp into a bowl of water. Live seeds will sink. Pour off the pulp and the dead seeds. Add water and repeat until seeds are clean. Dry the seeds on a hard surface for several days. Some wet seeds are fermented before cleaning to improve germination (tomatoes).


Pollination and Your Seeds

The quality of the seeds your garden will produce depends on the care you take in choosing plants for your garden. Some plants self-pollinate (tomatoes, beans, lettuce), meaning that these plants do not need another plant to produce fruit (or vegetables). Seeds from these plants will produce plants similar to the parent plant. These are the easiest seeds to collect successfully.

Many plants cross-pollinate – pollen is transferred from one plant to another by wind or insects. Depending on the specific plant and the proximity of related plants, cross pollination can make it difficult to collect seeds that breed true. For instance, if you plan to collect cucumber seeds, make sure only one variety of cucumber blooms in your garden at one time. Because many other vegetables will also cross-pollinate, obtain plant-specific information while planning your garden. Purchased hybrid seeds will produce a uniform crop, but seeds collected from that crop will not.

Please do not give seeds collected from hybrid plants to the seed library!

It is very important to the success of the Seed Library that everyone knows what seeds are in a packet. We need everyone’s cooperation to make sure that seeds are what they are labeled to be.