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Michigan State University

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

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.

Beans

Royal Burgundy Bush Beans Seeds, DimeBean pods and seedsRoyal Burgundy Bush Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris)
Seeds and growing:
Straight 5" meaty purple pods turn bright green after two minutes of blanching. Good for canning and freezing. Light brown seed.
Growing days: 51
Sun: Full
For faster germination, soak seeds 1-4 hours in warm water before planting. If you soak the seeds too long, they will split or rot and will not germinate! Sow directly outside in late spring (frost sensitive), 1-1.5" deep and 10" apart. Roots are shallow so don't disturb once sown or transplanted.

Red Noodle Yard Long Pole Bean (Vigna unguiculata sesquipedalis)

This pole bean variety grows on a trellis, producing pencil-thin 14–18" cascading burgundy pods. Pods are sweeter, delicious and full of nutrition, and they even keep most of their color when cooked.

Seeds and growing:

Growing days: 90
Sun: Full
Germination 4-14 days. For faster germination soak seeds 12-24 hours before planting.
Direct sow seeds 1" deep, spaced 3" apart in rows.

Pick continually every 2-3 days to prolong production. Note that too much nitrogen will promote foliage growth had slow bean pod growth and maturity. 

Beans, Garbanzo

Garbanzo Beans Garbanzo PlantGarbanzo Beans (Cicer arietinum)

A wonderfully versatile plant, garbanzo beans, a.k.a. chickpeas, can be eaten a bean sprouts, mashed to make hummus, or tossed as-is into salads and soups. A bushy legume, this plant will get about 18" tall and produce enlarged, fuzzy pods about an inch long, with 1-2 seeds in each.

Seeds and growing:

Growing days: 85-100
Sun: Full
Because of the long growing season necessary, begin seeds indoors and transplant outside after last frost when 3"-4" tall.. Plant 3" - 6" apart. Can be directly sown a week-10 days before the last frost, planted 1.5" deep, 6" apart. Plants can be closer together and lean on each other for support.

Beans, Soybean

Midori Giant Soybean (Glycine max)

Also known as edamame, this soybean variety is tasty to eat fresh alone, in a salad, and to toss in a stir-fry.

Seeds and growing:
Growing days: 55
Sun: Full
Sow outside, 1/2" deep almost as soon as ground can be worked. Thin to (or plant) seedlings 3" apart.

Beets

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.

 

 

 

Golden Detroit Beet seeds, dimeBeets with topsGolden Detroit Beet (Beta vulgaris)
Sweet and delicious vibrantly golden beets with delicious greens.
Seeds and growing:
Growing days: 55
Sun: Full
Sow outside, 1/2" deep almost as soon as ground can be worked. Thin to (or plant) seedlings 3" apart.

Carrots

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.

 

Cucumbers

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.

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