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Michigan State University

Thomas Volkening Seed Library at MSU Libraries

The MSU Library Seed Library is a publicly accessible place to pick-up some seeds for vegetable, herb and flower growing.


Arugula Seeds, DimeArugula leavesArugula - Rocket (Eruca sativa
Musky greens that will add spice your salad.
Hint: For a longer shelf life, harvest in the evening, not in the morning.
Seeds and growing:

Growing days: 47
Sun: Full
Sow directly outside as early in spring as possible at 1/8" deep, 30 seeds per foot. You can also plant succession crops every two weeks through to early fall.


Stringless bean seeds Green Pod Bush Bean

Stringless Green Pod Bush Bean (Heirloom) (Phaseolus vulgaris)

Seeds and growing:
Meaty, juicy, and round 6” green beans that stay totally stringless and tender even when big. Great for canning, freezing, and fresh eating. Light brown seed.

Sow 1" deep
Germination: 4-10 days
Growing days: 51
Sun: Full

Grow in light, well-drained soil; provide adequate, even moisture, especially at flowering time as dry soil can result in low yields and fibrous pods. Do not over-fertilize with nitrogen which results in a surplus of foliage and low, delayed pod growth. Harvest before the seeds bulge and beans snap easily. Pick continually every 2-3 days to prolong production.

Beets - Detroit Dark Red

Detroit Dark Red Beet seeds, dimeCluster of beets with topsDetroit Dark Red Short Top Beet (Beta vulgaris)
Sweet and delicious vibrantly golden beets with delicious greens.  Exceptional 3" diameter dark red globes that are suited for boiling, pickling, canning, baking, and freezing.
Seeds and growing:
Growing days: 60
Sun: Full
Sow outside, 1/2" deep almost as soon as ground can be worked. Thin to (or plant) seedlings 3" apart.


Dragon Carrot seeds, dimeImage of orange and yellow carrots and slicesCulinary Blend of Carrots (Daucus carota)
This mix of yellow, orange and white carrots can be enjoyed in many ways. Great fresh, in stir-frys, grilling and steaming. Carrots average about 4"-8” long.
Seeds and growing:
To help carrot seeds germinate, place a damp sheet or burlap over the soil after planting and water regularly.
Growing days: 60-70 (the longer, the bigger)
Sun: Full
Plant seeds 1/4" deep, 6" apart. Sow outside in early spring.


Multiple cucumbersNational Pickling Cucumber (Cucumis sativus)
Introduced in 1929, the result of a between the our own Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station and the National Pickle Packers Association [See MSC AES Circular 191 Vegetable Varieties for Commercial Production in Michigan By Keith Barrons (1944)].  It is suitable for both small and dill pickles.  .
Growing days: 52
Sun: Full  
Begin seeds indoors and transplant outside after last frost. Can also direct seed 2-3 seeds 1" deep, 3" apart in late spring.