Seed Library

Let’s grow together!

The Seed Library is a collection of open-pollinated and heirloom seeds (vegetables, herbs and flowers) that any resident of Hamilton County with a library card can borrow to plant at home. The Seed Library is a partnership between the Master Gardeners of Hamilton County and the Hamilton East Public Library.

Seeds are available to check out from March 6 – October 4. Library cardholders can check out 5 packets per visit and up to 15 per season. We don’t expect you to return the seeds, but if you have extra seeds or collect the seeds from the plants you grow, we will gladly take them back into the Seed Library.

Have questions about the Seed Library? Please contact the Public Service desk at your preferred location: 317-579-0307 (Fishers) or 317-770-3215 (Noblesville). You can also find more information about planting through the Master Gardeners Website. 

Seed Library

Flowers

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Herbs

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Vegetables

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Centaurea: Florist Blue Boy (Cornflowers)

About: Cornflowers are annual flowers that bloom deep blue. The flowers are edible and have mildly floral flavor. Plant height is 30-38”.

Starting your seeds:

    1. Start the seeds directly outdoors in a sunny spot as soon as the soil can be worked (ok to plant before last frost date).
    2. Sow the seeds thinly in rows with 6 seeds per foot, and ¼” deep.
    3. Keep soil evenly moist until seedlings emerge.
    4. Seeds will germinate in 7-14 days.
    5. Thin seedlings when first true leaves appear to 6-9” apart.
    6. Flowers will bloom 65-75 days after planting.

Cosmos: Sensation Mix (Annual)

About: Cosmos are annual flowers that bloom magenta, pink, and white. Plant height is 48-54”

Starting your seeds:

  1. Start the seeds directly outdoors in a sunny spot after last frost date when the soil temperature is above 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees Celsius).
  2. Sow the seeds thinly in rows, barely covering them with soil.
  3. Seeds will germinate in 7-10 days.
  4. Thin seedlings when first true leaves appear.
  5. Flowers will bloom 75-90 days after planting.

Corn Poppy (Annual)

About: Corn poppies have large 3-4” scarlet blooms. Plant height is 12-24”

Starting your seeds:

  1. Start the seeds directly outdoors in a sunny spot as soon as the soil can be worked (ok to plant before last frost date).
  2. Sow the seeds ¼” deep since they need darkness to germinate.
  3. Seeds will germinate in 14-21 days.
  4. Thin seedlings when first true leaves appear to 6-9” apart.
  5. Flowers will bloom 55-65 days after planting.

Asclepias: Pleurisy Root (Butterfly Weed - Perennial)

About: Butterfly weed has showy orange flowers that attract butterflies and bees. Plant height is 12-24”

Starting your seeds:

  1. Start Indoors/transplant: Sow 10-12 weeks before last frost date ¼” deep in a seed starting mix.
  2. Transplant into 3-4” pots 3-5 weeks after sowing.
  3. Begin hardening off plants before transplanting outdoors by setting outside for gradually increasing amounts of time near last frost date.
  4. Transplant plants outdoors after the last frost date.

Alternate direct seed method: Start the seeds directly outdoors in a sunny spot after the last frost date in spring or in fall (for germination/blooming the following year). Sow the seeds ¼” deep. Seeds will germinate in 14-21 days.

Marigold: Brocade Mix (Annual)

About: The Brocade Mix marigolds will bloom gold to mahogany and are very easy to grow.

Starting your seeds:

  1. Start the seeds directly outdoors in a sunny spot after the last frost date.
  2. Sow the seeds ½” deep, about 1” apart.

Marigold: Lemon Gem (Annual)

About: Lemon Gem marigolds have bright yellow blooms and are very easy to grow.

Starting your seeds:

  1. Start the seeds directly outdoors in a sunny spot after the last frost date.
  2. Sow the seeds ½” deep, about 1” apart.

Basil: Genovese

About: Genovese basil is the classic, tasty Italian variety. Both the leaves and flowers are edible. Plant height is 24-30”

Starting your seeds:

  1. Start the seeds directly outdoors in a sunny spot after the last frost date.
  2. Sow the seeds ¼” deep, 2-3 seeds per inch in rows 18” apart, firming the soil over the seeds.
  3. Seeds will germinate in 5-10 days.
  4. Thinning seedlings is not necessary, but take care to provide plants with enough room.

Alternate methods: You can also plant directly outdoors in pots or start seedlings indoors 6 weeks prior to hardening off and transplanting outdoors.

Plant care/harvest:

  • Keep soil evenly moist: basil is not drought-resistant.
  • Harvest the leaves any time after the plant has been established, leaving plenty on the plant for it to recover and sprout new leaves.

Cilantro: Cruiser

About: This plant produces both leaves (cilantro) and seeds (coriander) that can be used in cooking. Can be planted every 2-3 weeks for continual harvest, and will likely bolt (go to seed quickly) in midsummer heat.

Starting your seeds:

  1. Start the seeds directly outdoors in a sunny spot after the last frost date.
  2. Sow the seeds ¼-1/2” deep, in rows 12-18” apart.
  3. Seeds will germinate in 7-10 days. Thinning is not necessary.

Plant care/harvest:

  • Harvest the leaves any time after the plant has been established, but before flowering begins.
  • Leaves will be ready 50-55 days after sowing; coriander seed will be ready for harvest 120-150 days after planting.

Dill: Dukat

About: Dukat dill plant produces both leaves and seeds that can be used in cooking and pickles.

Starting your seeds:

  1. Start the seeds directly outdoors in a sunny spot after the last frost date.
  2. Sow the seeds 1/4” deep, in rows 12-18” apart.
  3. Seeds will germinate in 7-10 days.

Plant care/harvest:

  • Thin seedlings to about 12” apart.
  • Harvest the leaves any time after the plant has been established.

Parsley: Dark Green Italian Plain

About: Classic parsley variety that is great in cooking and as a garnish.

Starting your seeds:

  1. Start the seeds directly outdoors in a sunny spot (it’s ok to plant before the last frost date).
  2. Sow the seeds ¼” deep, and cover lightly with soil.
  3. Seeds will emerge in 8-10 days.

Alternate method: Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before anticipated transplant date.

Plant care/harvest:

  • Thin seedlings to 8-10”.
  • Harvest the leaves any time after the plant has been established.

Arugula

About: Arugula adds a peppery flavor to salads. The flowers are also edible. Arugula prefers cooler weather, and is suitable for both spring and fall harvests.

Starting your seeds:

  1. Begin seeds outdoors in a sunny spot as soon as the soil can be worked (even if it’s before the last frost date) or in late summer for a fall harvest.
  2. Sow 1/8” deep at 30-50 seeds per foot. Seeds germinate in 5-7 days.
  3. Plant every 2-3 weeks for continual harvest.

Plant care/harvest:

  • Clip leaves just above the soil level.
  • After plants flower, the leaves can still be eaten, but the taste will be sharper.
  • The flowers are also edible.

Carrot: Rodelika

About: These straight, bright orange, sweet-tasting carrots are suitable for both spring and fall harvests.

Starting your seeds:

  1. Sow seeds outdoors in a sunny spot as soon as the soil can be worked (even if it’s before the last frost date) or in mid-June to July for a fall harvest.
  2. In well-worked soil, sow seeds 1/4” deep at 4-5 seeds per inch.
  3. Seedlings emerge in 6-21 days.

Plant care/harvest:

  • Thin seedlings to 1-3” when the plants are 4” tall.
  • Water evenly to avoid split roots.
  • When plants have 7-10 leaves, mound 1-2” soil around crowns to prevent green shoulders.
  • Harvest when carrots are ½-3/4” in diameter, about 72 days from planting date.

Carrot: Rondo

About: These egg-shaped, sweet-tasting carrots are suitable for both spring and fall harvests.

Starting your seeds:

  1. Sow seeds outdoors in a sunny spot as soon as the soil can be worked (even if it’s before the last frost date) or in mid-June to July for a fall harvest.
  2. In well-worked soil, sow seeds 1/4” deep at 4-5 seeds per inch.
  3. Seedlings emerge in 6-21 days.

Plant care/harvest:

  • Thin seedlings to 1-3” when the plants are 4” tall.
  • Water evenly to avoid split roots.
  • When plants have 7-10 leaves, mound 1-2” soil around crowns to prevent green shoulders.
  • Harvest when carrots are ½-3/4” in diameter, about 73-78 days from planting date.

Cucumber: Bush Pickle

About: Bush Pickle cucumbers will produce dark green, straight fruits that are best when about 5” long. This variety does not vine out. Starting cucumber seeds does require a warm space indoors with adequate light (sun or grow light), soilless mix, and containers for starting seeds and transplanting seedlings.

Starting your seeds:

  1. Begin seeds indoors about 3-4 weeks before transplant date.
  2. In well-worked soil, sow seeds 1/2” deep with 4-6 seeds planted per hill.
  3. Seedlings emerge in 4-13 days.

Plant care/harvest:

  • Thin seedlings to 1 per hill.
  • Water evenly and well.
  • Transplant plants outdoors after last frost date leaving about 3-4’ between plants and rows.
  • Cucumbers will be ready for harvest about 45-60 days from transplant date.

Beans: Blue Lake Pole Bean

About: Blue Lake Pole Beans are a 7-foot tall variety that will need a trellis or support as they grow. They can be planted every few weeks for continuous harvest.

Starting your seeds:

  1. Begin seeds outdoors in a sunny spot as soon after last frost date.
  2. Sow seeds 1” deep with 2-4” space between seeds.
  3. Plant in rows 18-36” apart.
  4. Seedlings emerge in 8-16 days. Plant every 2-3 weeks for continual harvest.

Plant care/harvest:

  • Thin seedlings to 2-4”.
  • Water evenly and well.
  • Beans will be ready for harvest about 75 days from planting date, and harvest every 3-5 days.

Beans: Jade II

About: Jade II Green Beans are an upright bush variety that will produce 5-7” straight pods. They can be planted every few weeks for continuous harvest.

Starting your seeds:

  1. Begin seeds outdoors in a sunny spot as soon after last frost date.
  2. In well-worked soil, sow seeds 1” deep with 2-4” space between seeds. Plant in rows 18-36” apart.
  3. Seedlings emerge in 8-16 days. Plant every 2-3 weeks for continual harvest.

Plant care/harvest:

  • Thin seedlings to 2-4”.
  • Water evenly and well.
  • Beans will be ready for harvest about 60 days from planting date, and harvest every 3-5 days.

Beans: Provider

About: Provider beans are an upright bush variety that produce green pods with purple seeds. They can be planted every few weeks for continuous harvest.

Starting your seeds:

  1. Begin seeds outdoors in a sunny spot after last frost date.
  2. Sow seeds 1” deep with 2” space between seeds.
  3. Plant every 2-3 weeks for continual harvest.

Plant care/harvest:

  • Water evenly and well.
  • Beans will be ready for harvest about 50 days from planting date, and harvest every 3-5 days.

Peas: Oregon Sugar Pod II

About: Oregon Sugar Pod Peas are vines that will grow up to 30 inches tall. They are best for spring or fall harvest and can be planted every few weeks for continuous harvest.

Starting your seeds:

  1. Begin seeds outdoors in a sunny spot as soon as the soil can be worked (even if it’s before the last frost date) in spring or in July for a fall harvest.
  2. In well-worked soil, sow seeds 1-1.5” deep with 1” space between seeds.
  3. Seedlings emerge in 8-25 days.
  4. Plant every 2-3 weeks for continual harvest.

Plant care/harvest:

  • Seedlings do not need to be thinned.
  • Pea vines will need to have a trellis or support to grow properly.
  • Harvest when pods swell, and harvest frequently to keep up production.
  • Pods will be ready about 70 days from planting date.

Pepper: California Wonder

About: California peppers are large sweet bell peppers that can be used when green, but are fully ripe when they turn red. This pepper generally has zero units on Scoville scale, which indicates which indicates the concentration of capsaicinoids (heat or spiciness). Starting pepper seeds does require a warm indoor space with adequate light (sun or grow light), soilless mix, and containers for starting seeds and transplanting seedlings.

Starting your seeds:

  1. Begin seeds indoors 8 weeks before plants will be transplanted outdoors.
  2. Using a soilless mix, plant ¼” deep; temperature should be 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit (27-32 degrees Celsius).
  3. When true leaves develop, transplant into plug trays or 4” pots, and grow seedlings at 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) during the day and 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees Celsius) at night.

Plant care/harvest:

  • Begin hardening off plants before transplanting outdoors by setting outside for gradually increasing amounts of time near last frost date.
  • Transplant plants outdoors after the last frost date into a sunny spot, 12-18” apart in rows 24-36” apart.
  • Harvest is about 65 days from transplant date.

Pepper: Hungarian Hot Wax

About: Hungarian Hot Wax peppers have smooth yellow fruits, ripening to orange to red. This pepper varies between 1,000-15,000 units on the Scoville scale, which indicates the concentration of capsaicinoids (heat or spiciness). Starting pepper seeds does require a warm indoor space with adequate light (sun or grow light), soilless mix, and containers for starting seeds and transplanting seedlings.

Starting your seeds:

  1. Begin seeds indoors 8 weeks before plants will be transplanted outdoors.
  2. Using a soilless mix, plant ¼” deep; temperature should be 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit (27-32 degrees Celsius).
  3. When true leaves develop, transplant into plug trays or 4” pots, and grow seedlings at 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) during the day and 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees Celsius) at night.

Plant care/harvest:

  • Begin hardening off plants before transplanting outdoors by setting outside for gradually increasing amounts of time near last frost date.
  • Transplant plants outdoors after the last frost date into a sunny spot, 12-18” apart in rows 24-36” apart.
  • Harvest is about 58 days from transplant date for pale yellow fruits, and 83 days from transplant day for red fruits.

Pepper: Early Jalapeno

About: Early Jalapeno peppers are at their hottest and are fully ripe when they turn red. This pepper varies between 2,500-8,000 units on the Scoville scale, which indicates the concentration of capsaicinoids (heat or spiciness). Starting pepper seeds does require a warm indoor space with adequate light (sun or grow light), soilless mix, and containers for starting seeds and transplanting seedlings.

Starting your seeds:

  1. Begin seeds indoors 8 weeks before plants will be transplanted outdoors.
  2. Using a soilless mix, plant ¼” deep; temperature should be 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit (27-32 degrees Celsius).
  3. When true leaves develop, transplant into plug trays or 4” pots, and grow seedlings at 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) during the day and 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees Celsius) at night.

Plant care/harvest:

  • Begin hardening off plants before transplanting outdoors by setting outside for gradually increasing amounts of time near last frost date.
  • Transplant plants outdoors after the last frost date into a sunny spot, 12-18” apart in rows 24-36” apart.
  • Harvest is about 66 days from transplant date.

Pumpkin: New England Pie

About: New England Pie Pumpkins are dark orange and typically weigh 4-6lb each when ripe. Pumpkins need a large area to grow.

Starting your seeds:

  1. Plant seeds outdoors in a sunny spot after the last frost date.
  2. Sow 2 seeds together at a depth of 1/2″-1” and space plants 4-5’ apart.

Plant care/harvest:

  • Thin to 1 plant per spacing interval after seedlings are established.
  • When fruit color is fully developed, clip handles close to vine and avoid picking up fruits by their handles.

Radish: French Breakfast

About: French Breakfast radishes are 3-4” long, cylindrical, and are very easy to grow. They are suitable for both spring and fall harvests, but do not do well in the summer heat.

Starting your seeds:

  1. Begin seeds outdoors in a sunny spot as soon as the soil can be worked (even if it’s before the last frost date) in spring or in late summer to early fall for a late harvest.
  2. In well-worked soil, sow seeds 1/2” deep with ½” space between seeds.
  3. Seedlings emerge in 4-11 days.
  4. Plant every 2-3 weeks for continual harvest.

Plant care/harvest:

  • Thin seedlings to 1-2” when the plants have 2 true leaves.
  • Harvest when radishes are young, about 25-30 days from planting date.

Spinach: Bloomsdale Savoy

About: Bloomsdale Savoy Spinach has dark green savoyed (crinkled) leaves and is easy to plant and harvest, suitable for both spring and fall plantings and harvesting in cool weather.

Starting your seeds:

  1. Begin seeds outdoors in a sunny spot as soon as the soil can be worked (even if it’s before the last frost date) or in late summer for a fall harvest. Germination is best at cooler temperatures.
  2. For baby spinach, sow in a 2-4” wide band, ¾” apart. For full size spinach: sow 10 seeds per foot, ½” deep, in rows 12-18” apart.
  3. Seeds germinate in 5-9 days.
  4. Plant every 2-3 weeks for continual harvest.

Plant care/harvest:

  • Baby spinach: clip small leaves in 3-5 weeks.
  • Full size spinach: harvest before plant goes to seed, cutting just below root attachment or higher.

Swiss Chard: Bright Lights

About: Bright Lights Swiss chard has green or bronze leaves with fold, pink, orange, purple, red, or pastel stems. Cool weather is preferred, but Swiss chard has some heat tolerance and may make a good summer green.

Starting your seeds:

  1. Begin seeds outdoors in a sunny spot in mid-spring (even if it’s before the last frost date) or in midsummer for a fall harvest.
  2. Sow in a 2-4” wide band, 1” apart, 40 seeds/foot.

Plant care/harvest:

  • Clip leaves in about 5 weeks, and multiple harvests are possible.

Tomato: Amish Paste

About: Amish Paste tomatoes are an heirloom variety producing 8-12 oz fruits. They are an oval fruit that are great both to eat and for sauces. Starting tomato seeds does require a warm indoor space with adequate light (sun or grow light), soilless mix, and containers for starting seeds and transplanting seedlings.

Starting your seeds:

  1. Begin seeds indoors 5-6 weeks before plants will be transplanted outdoors.
  2. Using a soilless mix, plant ¼” deep; temperature should be 75-90 degrees Fahrenheit (24-32 degrees Celsius).
  3. When true leaves develop, transplant into plug trays or 3-4” pots, and grow seedlings at 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit (16-21 degrees Celsius).
  4. Keep evenly moist.

Plant care/harvest:

  • Begin hardening off plants before transplanting outdoors by setting outside for gradually increasing amounts of time near last frost date.
  • Transplant plants outdoors after the last frost date into a sunny spot, 24-36” apart and 3-8” deep, covering root ball up to the first leaves.
  • Fertilize and keep evenly (not over-abundantly) watered.
  • Should be staked or caged for best results.
  • Harvest is about 85 days from transplant date.

Tomato: Celebrity

About: Celebrity tomatoes producing 7-8 oz bright red globe-shaped fruits. Starting tomato seeds does require a warm indoor space with adequate light (sun or grow light), soilless mix, and containers for starting seeds and transplanting seedlings.

Starting your seeds:

  1. Begin seeds indoors 5-6 weeks before plants will be transplanted outdoors.
  2. Using a soilless mix, plant ¼” deep; temperature should be 75-90 degrees Fahrenheit (24-32 degrees Celsius).
  3. When true leaves develop, transplant into plug trays or 3-4” pots, and grow seedlings at 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit (16-21 degrees Celsius).
  4. Keep evenly moist.

Plant care/harvest:

  • Begin hardening off plants before transplanting outdoors by setting outside for gradually increasing amounts of time near last frost date.
  • Transplant plants outdoors after the last frost date into a sunny spot, 24-36” apart and 3-8” deep, covering root ball up to the first leaves.
  • Fertilize and keep evenly (not over-abundantly) watered.
  • Should be staked or caged for best results.
  • Harvest is about 72 days from transplant date.

Tomato: Cherokee Purple

About: Cherokee Purple tomatoes are an heirloom variety producing 8-12 oz fruits that are dusky pink with dark shoulders. The interior ranges from purple to brown to green. Starting tomato seeds does require a warm indoor space with adequate light (sun or grow light), soilless mix, and containers for starting seeds and transplanting seedlings.

Starting your seeds:

  1. Begin seeds indoors 5-6 weeks before plants will be transplanted outdoors.
  2. Using a soilless mix, plant ¼” deep; temperature should be 75-90 degrees Fahrenheit (24-32 degrees Celsius).
  3. When true leaves develop, transplant into plug trays or 3-4” pots, and grow seedlings at 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit (16-21 degrees Celsius).
  4. Keep evenly moist.

Plant care/harvest:

  • Begin hardening off plants before transplanting outdoors by setting outside for gradually increasing amounts of time near last frost date.
  • Transplant plants outdoors after the last frost date into a sunny spot, 24-36” apart and 3-8” deep, covering root ball up to the first leaves.
  • Fertilize and keep evenly (not over-abundantly) watered.
  • Should be staked or caged for best results.
  • Harvest is about 72 days from transplant date.

Tomato: Matt’s Wild Cherry

About: Matt’s Wild Cherry tomatoes are bright red, cherry-sized tomatoes with a sweet flavor. Starting tomato seeds does require a warm indoor space with adequate light (sun or grow light), soilless mix, and containers for starting seeds and transplanting seedlings.

Starting your seeds:

  1. Begin seeds indoors 5-6 weeks before plants will be transplanted outdoors.
  2. Using a soilless mix, plant ¼” deep; temperature should be 75-90 degrees Fahrenheit (24-32 degrees Celsius).
  3. When true leaves develop, transplant into plug trays or 3-4” pots, and grow seedlings at 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit (16-21 degrees Celsius).
  4. Keep evenly moist.

Plant care/harvest:

  • Begin hardening off plants before transplanting outdoors by setting outside for gradually increasing amounts of time near last frost date.
  • Transplant plants outdoors after the last frost date into a sunny spot, 24-36” apart and 3-8” deep, covering root ball up to the first leaves.
  • Fertilize and keep evenly (not over-abundantly) watered.
  • Should be staked or caged for best results.
  • Harvest is about 60 days from transplant date.

Tomato: Yellow Pear

About: Yellow Pear tomatoes are just that: small, bright yellow, pear-shaped tomatoes with a mild flavor. Starting tomato seeds does require a warm indoor space with adequate light (sun or grow light), soilless mix, and containers for starting seeds and transplanting seedlings.

Starting your seeds:

  1. Begin seeds indoors 5-6 weeks before plants will be transplanted outdoors.
  2. Using a soilless mix, plant ¼” deep; temperature should be 75-90 degrees Fahrenheit (24-32 degrees Celsius).
  3. When true leaves develop, transplant into plug trays or 3-4” pots, and grow seedlings at 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit (16-21 degrees Celsius).
  4. Keep evenly moist.

Plant care/harvest:

  • Begin hardening off plants before transplanting outdoors by setting outside for gradually increasing amounts of time near last frost date.
  • Transplant plants outdoors after the last frost date into a sunny spot, 24-36” apart and 3-8” deep, covering root ball up to the first leaves.
  • Fertilize and keep evenly (not over-abundantly) watered.
  • Should be staked or caged for best results.
  • Harvest is about 70 days from transplant date.

Zucchini: Dunja

About: Dunja zucchini will have a high yield of dark green, straight fruit, and the blossoms will also be suitable for harvesting.

Starting your seeds:

  1. Plant seeds outdoors in a sunny spot after the last frost date.
  2. Plant at a depth of 1/2″-1” and space plants 12-24” apart.
  3. Seeds will germinate in 5-10 days.

Plant care/harvest:

  • Fruits should be harvested when 6-8” inches long or less.