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Madison Public Library: Seed Library

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 Libraries

How do I get seeds?newly sprouted plants

Visit participating libraries to pick up seeds. 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 in Spring, Summer and Autumn

The seed library offers a variety of vegetable, herb, fruit, and flower seeds from March through September. Varieties are subject to availability, and may include:
  • Seed Library at Goodman South Madison LibraryBean
  • Beet
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrot
  • Celeriac
  • Celery
  • Collards
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Kale
  • Leek
  • Lettuce
  • Okra
  • Onion
  • Parsnip
  • Pea
  • Pepper (bell, hot)
  • Pumpkin
  • Radish
  • Rutabaga
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Swiss Chard
  • Tomato (slicer, cherry)
  • Turnip
  • Zucchini
HerbsMadison Public Library gives away free seeds to the community through their Seed Library program
  • Basil
  • Chives
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Garlic chives
  • Mustard
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
Free seeds available from Madison Public Library's Seed LibraryFruits
  • Melon
  • Watermelon
  • Cosmos
  • Marigold
  • Nasturtium 
  • Pansy
  • Sunflower
  • Zinnia

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

Upcoming Events

See all of our upcoming gardening programs at

Starting Seeds class at Lakeview Library

Volunteers needed! We're working with the Dane County Land & Water Resources Department to provide a collection of native Wisconsin plant seeds to library visitors again this winter. The seeds are collected by Dane County Parks volunteers and then are assembled by hand at libraries so we can distribute them. Native Wisconsin seeds do best when they are sown in the fall and left to overwinter.

This year, we're asking for help to package the seeds for distribution in our libraries. We have volunteer events planned at Lakeview, Pinney and Sequoya Libraries over the next couple of weeks, and the wonderful folks who are leading the seed libraries could use the extra hands. 

If you would like to donate your time and effort, you can register for one event or multiple by clicking the links below: 



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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