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Madison Public Library: Seed Library

Grab free seeds from 8 library locations at Madison Public Library - no library card required!

Borrowing seeds from Madison Public Library is free and easy!

  1. Visit participating libraries to pick up seeds.
  2. Grow your plants and enjoy the harvest.
  3. After harvest, collect and share seeds with neighbors if you'd like!

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 LibrariesSeed Libary Book Display at Meadowridge Library for Madison Public Library

How do I get seeds?

Madison Public Library Seed Library gives away free seeds twice a yearVisit participating libraries to pick up seeds. No library card is needed and there's no limit to the number of seed packets you can request. 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

Spring Seed Library

Gardening Classes at Madison Public LibraryThe seed library offers a variety of vegetable, herb, fruit, and flower seeds from March through September, while supplies last. Thanks to the help of many volunteers, we packaged more than 20,000 packets of seeds to give away this Spring. Each packet contains 10-15 seeds apiece and can be put to use in your garden at home or in a community garden plot around town
As part of the Seed Library, we've also planned a great lineup of gardening programs that will take place throughout March and April. Get supportive instruction or learn different techniques to utilize the new seeds you pick up at the library. 
Seed Varieties:
Vegetables Herbs Flowers Fruit & Miscellaneous
Bean (shell & dry) Basil Cosmos Canteloupe
Beet Chamomile Marigold Cat Grass
Corn Chives Nasturtium Catnip
Cucumber Garlic Chives Pansy Gourd
Kale Dill Sunflower Luffa
Lettuce Cilantro Zinnia Watermelon
Pea Oregano    
Peppers (bell & hot) Parsley    
Pumpkin Rosemary    
Radish (red & daikon) Sage    
Tomato (cherry, paste & slicer)      

And more! A local farm, Wonka's Harvest, generously donated a lot​ of seeds to us this spring that have aged out of commercial use but are still viable for home gardeners. We received many species in varying volumes, so each location received a different distribution of donated seeds. These varieties are not included in the list above, but additional species that folks might find at their library location include: broccoli, cabbage, carrot, scallions, parsnip, nigella, asian greens, turnip, centaurea, leeks, onions, micro greens, radicchio, arugula, cauliflower, sorrel, and endive.

Note: Not all of these seeds will be available at all seed libraries.


Madison Public Library's Seed Library began as a larger project called the Dane County Seed Library, which 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. The Seed Library is currently funded by multiple sources, including the Friends of Madison Public Library and Madison Public Library Foundation.

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Because of your interest in this page, we though you might be interested in our Sustainable Living newsletter, a monthly lists of selected new or newer sustainability titles and events in the library's collection.

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