A plant or seed library is exactly how it sounds: It's simply a place for gardeners to trade seeds and plants!
Identify the rules that you feel will be helpful for your library
It's good to establish some rules that will be posted next to your stand. Specify if there are any plants or seeds that are not accepted. Make it simple and straight-forward so people will read it.
Are cuttings, seeds, and plants allowed? Are both native and non-native plants allowed? Is there a limit to how many plants/seeds one can take? Different libraries have different rules so make sure to establish those are make them well known.
Get others involved
It's nice to have multiple people involved so you can share the work with other passionate gardeners. You an present it to a garden club, community garden, library, community center or other local community group to get more people involved.
Another great place to look is on Facebook. There are many local gardening and plant groups where you can spread the word!
Create a sign
This is the fun part where you can stretch your creative muscles!
You can paint it by hand or get a waterproof banner printed online (especially if it's going to be outside).
This would also make a wonderful scout project or school project! Contact Save Our Monarchs Foundation if you are looking for FREE seeds for your educational project.
Choose a place for a shelf or stand
Arrange for a convenient space, which could even be your front yard! If you live near a bike path, park, or community garden there can be a lot of foot traffic and people will see your library. Often, actual libraries are willing to dedicate a space for a seed library!
If you do choose to have your stand outside, make sure you can offer a little shade and protection from wind for the plants and an easy way to water them. You will also want to build/buy a stand for all of the plants to sit on!
Put out plants/cuttings/seeds and ask the community to participate.
Once you have established a place to put your library, created a sign, and found a few people to help, you're ready to start putting out plants and seeds!
Add your location to Google Maps
his is a great way for people to be able to find it!
Create your own website/FB page for the library so you can provide the community with updates.
A Facebook group or website is a great way for people to stay in the loop. Doing this, may also inspire others in the community to create their own seed/plant library!
Share your plant/seed library story with Save Our Monarchs Foundation by emailing your story to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We would love to hear from you! Happy Gardening!
Special Thanks to Kimberly Christian of Tally Plant Library for sharing her story and giving tips to help write this blog!
Save Our Monarch's School Program
Seed Lending Library: How to Start a Seed Lending Library
Tally Plant Library