John P Holt Brentwood Library Square Logo

8109 Concord Road
Brentwood, TN, 37027

 Ask Us!

(615) 371-0090

 Monday  9 AM - 8 PM
 Tuesday  9 AM - 8 PM
 Wednesday  9 AM - 8 PM
 Thursday  9 AM - 8 PM
 Friday  9 AM - 6 PM
 Saturday  10 AM - 6 PM
 Sunday  1 PM - 6 PM


Banner Image Long

Library Home    Calendar    Catalog    Children    FAQ    Rooms    Teens  

Seed Library

Help us start an Heirloom seed library! As you harvest the fruits of your labor this year, keep these guidelines* in mind and consider donating seeds to the The John P. Holt Brentwood Seed Library:

  • Save from the best. Save seeds from strong, healthy plants that exhibit the most desirable traits for the plant type, like productivity, disease resistance, height or flower color.
  • Save from multiple plants. This helps promote genetic diversity. The optimum quantity depends on the type of plant. For self-pollinating plants a minimum of 6 plants is necessary. For cross-pollinating plants you'll want to save from a much larger population.
  • Isolate cross-pollinating plants. If the plant cross-pollinates like those from the brassica family: broccoli, cauliflower, kale, brussles sprouts, cabbage; or cucurbit family: cucumbers, squash, melons, you'll want to make sure to keep it isolated so it stays "true to type." Check with a seed saving chart or book to get proper isolation distances.
  • Save easy seeds. Self-pollinating plants like lettuce, beans, peas, peppers & tomatoes are the easiest to grow because they will always be “true to type.”
  • Label seeds. When you give seed to the library, label with as much information as you can, such as  variety, location, year saved & helpful hints. We will provide seed envelopes for your use—pick them up at the circulation desk beginning in June.
  • Dry seeds. Please make sure seeds are dry.
  • Clean seeds.  Return reasonably clean seeds by removing as much of the chaff as possible.
  • Properly saved seeds. Only return seeds from plants that you know how to save properly in order to avoid cross-pollination and unintentional hybridization.
  • Share the bounty. We need all the seeds we can get, so if you have lots of seeds, consider donating lots! We are excited to set up a seed swap between neighbors!

*Adapted from the Seed Protocol from the Nashville Public Library Seed Exchange, Nashville, TN and the book Heirloom Plants by Thomas Etty & Lorraine Harrison. Chicago: Ball Publishing, 2015.

Borrow · Plant · Share

Watch our Brentwood gardens grow!