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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.

Basil

Basil seeds. dimeGenovese Basil leavesGenovese basil (Ocimum basilicum)

This sweet basil is great for pestos and other dishes.

Seeds and growing:

Growing days: 60
Sun: Full sun
Start seeds indoors between mid-April and the fist of May. Sow seeds 1/4” deep, 8” apart. Transplant after overnight temperatures are above 50°. Plant them ~10" apart.

Chives

Chives seeds, dimeChives in bloom in the fieldNelly Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)
Cut leaves to chop over foods for an onion flavor. Lilac-colored flowers can be eaten or enjoyed in arrangements fresh or dried.
Seeds and growing: 

Growing days: 80
Sun: Full sun / Partial shade
Growth habit: 1-2' tall slender leaves.
Start seeds indoors in early March, or seed directly in spring 1" apart, 1/4 inch deep.
Transplant after overnight temperatures are above 50°. Plant them ~10" apart.

Cilantro

Sprigs of cilantroCaribe Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum)
Fun fact - The seeds of cilantro flowers are the spice coriander.

This variety is wonderful for fresh eating and for relishes and salsas. It handles warmer weather better than other varieties.

Seeds and growing:

Growing days: 55
Sun: Full sun
Start seeds indoors between mid-April and the fist of May, sowing seeds 1" apart, 1/4 inch deep. Once frost hs passed, can be sown every 2-3 weeks for a continuous supply of tender leaves. Transplant after overnight temperatures are above 50°. Plant them ~10" apart. 
Harvest individual leaves or cut entire plant with scissors 1-2" above soil level so you don’t damage the growing crown. Dried, it can retain potency for up to a year.

Dill

Dill seeds, dimeDill plants in the fieldDill Bouquet (Anethum graveolens)
Green or dried seed clusters are used primarily in making dill pickles. Fresh young leaves are used for flavoring salads, soups, meat, and fish.

Seeds and growing:

Growing days: 70
Sun: Full sun
Start seeds indoors between mid-April and the fist of May. Or, sow directly in the garden, sowing 1/4” deep, 1” apart, and then thin to 3 inches apart.  Transplant after overnight chance of frost has passed. Plant them 3 inches apart.

Oregano

Oregano seeds, dimeOregano leavesGreek Oregano (Origanum heracleoticum)
Seeds and growing:

Growing days: 85-90
Sun: Full sun
Start seeds indoors in early March. Lay seed on soil, tamp down - don't cover with soil. Thin or transplant plants to 12" apart when 2" tall. Pick leaves as needed.

Parsely

Parsley seeds, dime

Krausa Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)
Sweet with delightful crunch stems, this slightly-curley leafed parsley is enjoyable as a garnish and an ingredient in soups and salads.

Seeds and growing:

Growing days: 75
Sun: Full sun
Start seeds indoors, 1/2" deep and 3" apart, in early March. Seeds are very slow to germinate (up to 30 days). Soaking seed 8–12 hours will shorten germination time. Don't let the seeds dry out.
Transplant after overnight temperatures are above 50°. Plant them ~10" apart.

Harvest by cutting 2-3 stems at a time, as needed.

Michigan State University