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Dane County Seed Library

Borrowing seeds from Madison Public Library is free and easy!

  1. Visit Lakeview Library or Goodman South Madison Library to pick up seeds. You can also call us (608-266-6300) to let us know what seeds you would like and we'll get them ready for pick-up at your library location.
  2. Grow your plants and enjoy the harvest.
  3. Collect and return some seeds if you are able. There is no penalty for not returning seeds.

By participating in the seed library you are helping to create a culture of sharing and community. Saving seeds leads to a sustainable future for your community and your garden.

Participating Libraries

*Availability may be affected by COVID-19. Contact non-Madison libraries directly for more information.

    How do I get seeds?

    Visit Lakeview Library or Goodman South Madison Library to pick up seeds. Patrons can also request seeds by calling 608-266-6300 or emailing Goodman South Library or Lakeview Library. Staff at the library you plan to pick up seeds from will contact you within a couple days and schedule a time for you to pick them up.

    There's no limit to the number of seed packets you can request and each packet contains about 10 seeds. Please note, just like with our books, there are a limited number of seeds in the collection.

    We've created some helpful book lists to use alongside your seeds, as a way to learn more about a variety of topics related to different kinds of gardening.​ You can download and print the booklists or peruse them digitally and place holds using LINKcat.

    Download Gardening Book List for Adults
    Download Gardening Book List for Kids

    Seeds Available at participating Madison Libraries

    newly sprouted plants

    • Bush Green Beans
    • Beets

    • Collards

    • Cucumbers

    • Flowers: Cosmos, Marigolds, Nasturtiums, Pansies, Sunflowers, Zinnias

    • Herbs: Basil, Chives, Cilantro, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage

    • Kale (lacinato)

    • Lettuce

    • Melon: Cantaloupe, Watermelon

    • Pie Pumpkin

    • Radishes

    • Spinach

    • Squash: Butternut, Zucchini

    • Sugarsnap Peas

    • Peppers: Sweet bell type, Hot

    • Tomatoes: Cherry type, Slicer type  

    Contact your library for a full list of available seeds, as availability differs at participating libraries. Available while supplies last!


    The Dane County Seed Library was started in 2014 with a $5,000 grant provided by the John A. Johnson Fund and an anonymous donor through the Madison Community Foundation.


    Seed Library at Oregon Public Library

    Seed Library display at Oregon Public Library