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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.

Spinach

Pinetree Spinach Mix (Spinacia oleracea)

This a sampling of varieties that provide a multiple textures, flavors, and maturity rates..

Seeds and growing:

Growing days: 45 to full bolt, but can be harvested earlier.
Sun: Full sun, tolerates some shade
Start seeds outside in March and/or September Can be started inside 3-4 weeks before transplanting outside
Sow seeds 1/2” deep at 6”-12” spacing

Squash - Pumpkin

New England Pie Culinary Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo)

A great little deep golden-orange pie pumpkin, about 4-6 lbs at maturity. A plant can support 3-6 pumpkins per plant. 

Seeds and growing:

Growing days: 105
Sun: Full sun
Start seeds indoors about 3 weeks before transplanting outside, about mid-late April, placing 2 seeds together. Keep warm and slightly moist.
Days to Germination: 7 to 14 days 
Can directly sow seeds outside after last frost (late May) as they need warmer soil to thrive. Plant 1-2 seeds, 1" deep and 3 feet apart for multiple plants.
Plants like a warm soil, so a dark mulch can improve growth.

Squash - Summer

Saffron yellow summer squash seeds, dimeSaffron Yellow Summer SquashesSaffron Yellow Summer Squash (Cucurbita pepo)

Sweet, tender, and the vine produces many squash on a smaller, single-stemmed bush.

Seeds and growing:

Growing days: 42
Sun: Full sun
Start seeds indoors then transplant when overnight temperatures are above 60.
Or, sow in or hills 4' apart, 2 seeds/hill.

Squash - Winter - Butternut

Waltham Butternut squash seeds, dimeWaltham Butternut Winter Squash (Cucurbita moschata)

Seeds and growing:

Growing days: 105
Sun: Full sun
Directly sow seeds outside after last frost (late May). Plant 1-2 seeds, 1" deep and 3 feet apart for multiple plants.
 

Squash - Zucchini

Zucchini squash seeds, DimeCocozelle ZucchiniCocozelle Zucchini

A rich and flavorful squash.

Seeds and growing:

Growing days: 53
Sun: Full sun
Sow outside in hills 4' apart, 1-2 seeds per hill.

Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard, Bright Lights seeds, dimeSwiss Chard varieties in the fieldSwiss Chard, Bright Lights (Beta vulgaris, cicla group)
Seeds and growing:

Growing days: 56
Sun: Full
Sow seeds ½" deep, 2 seeds every 2" in late spring. Plants will grow quite large, height 20 inches. Space according to use, can be direct-seeded 2" apart for baby-leaf harvest; thin to 12–16" apart for large leaves.

Tomatillo

Purple Blush Tomatillo (Physalis philadelphica (syn. P. ixocarpa))

Tomatillos are small, round fruits resembling little tomatoes bearing a papery outer covering. They are members of the nightshade family, along with tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers. They are the base of salsa verde in Mexican dishes.

Seeds and growing:

Growing days: 68 days, can be harvested every few days.
Sun: Full sun
Start seeds about 6-8 weeks before transplanting - they don't like cold so outdoor temperatures should go below 55°F. If seedlings do get leggy, transplant them deep so the stems can root. Plant 2 plants near each other as they need two to cross pollinate to produce fruit.
Tomatillos may benefit from the use of plastic or dark wood mulch to warm the soil and to control weeds.  They can be supported but are fine spreading out. Tomatillos are often ripe when the husk splits, the husk turns tan or dry, and the fruit is still purple-green. 

Tomato

Kellogg's Breakfast tomato seeds, dimePicture of seven Kellogg’s Breakfast TomatosKellogg’s Breakfast Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum)
Heirloom variety. Large, orange-yellow tomato that's great for slicing or eating fresh with a sweet and tangy flavor.

Seeds and growing:

Indeterminate variety
Growing days: 80
Sun: Full
Start indoors in April, sow seeds 1/4" deep, and transplant after frost (May-June) at 3 feet spacing.

 

Speckled Roman tomato seeds, dimeSpeckled Roman Paste TomatosSpeckled Roman Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum)

Elongated, cylindrical roma-style tomato with beautiful gold and red striped skin and full tomato flavor. Good for sauces, canning, and snacking straight off the vine.

Seeds and growing:

Indeterminate variety
Growing days: 85
Sun: Full
Start indoors in April, sow seeds 1/4" deep, and transplant after frost (May-June) at 3 feet spacing.

Indeterminate plants continually grow and produce tomatoes all along the stems throughout the growing season. They can grow very tall and will need a cage or trellis.

Determinate plants reach a certain plant height and then stop growing. The will produce the tomatoes within a month each other or all at once. most will need a cage for added support especially as the tomatoes grow heavier.

Tomatoes - Cherry & Pear

Peacevine cherry tomato seeds, dimePeacevine Cherry Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum)

Very productive! One inch spherical fruits that are sweet, firm, juicy and a joy to eat  - just like candy!
Seeds and growing:

Indeterminate variety
Growing days: 78
Sun: Full
Start indoors in April, sow seeds 1/4" deep, and transplant after frost (May-June) at 3 feet spacing.

 

Indeterminate plants continually grow and produce tomatoes all along the stems throughout the growing season. They can grow very tall and will need a cage or trellis.

Determinate plants reach a certain plant height and then stop growing. The will produce the tomatoes within a month each other or all at once. most will need a cage for added support especially as the tomatoes grow heavier.

Watermelon

Early Moonbeam Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus)
Great for smaller growing spaces, Early Moonbeam is a very sweet,  yellow-flesh, 5-8 lb sized round melon. Vines are shorter and melons ripen earlier in the season.
Growing days: 75
Sun: Full
Begin seeds indoors, 1/2" deep, and transplant outside after last frost. Can also direct seed 12-18" apart.

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