Seed Library

Growing Gardeners at VBPL
Seed Library with Master Gardeners.jpgVirginia Beach Public Library, Virginia Beach Master Gardeners and the Virginia Beach Department of Agriculture have partnered to provide a Seed Library for our community at the Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library. You'll find a variety of seeds that you can take home and plant in your own garden. Enjoy harvesting your own herbs and vegetables or admiring flowers grown in your own backyard.   

Hours/Days of Operation

The Seed Library is available when the Central Library is open.
 
Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library
4100 Virginia Beach Blvd.
Virginia Beach, VA 23452 

Learning Opportunities

Free educational programs are available at your library to help you plant seeds, grow healthy plants and harvest your garden. Visit the library event calendar for details. On the first Monday and third Saturday of each month, Master Gardeners will be on site to answer your questions. Visit the Virginia Beach Master Gardeners website to find additional workshops and events.

Need More Help?

Contact the Virginia Beach Master Gardeners’ Help Desk
(757) 385-8156
 
Virginia Beach Master Gardeners will be at Central Library to answer your questions:
  • First Monday of the month, 1-7 p.m.
  • Third Saturday of the month, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

 Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Seed Library?

A seed library is a curated collection of seeds made freely available to the public for home gardens. Virginia Beach Public Library and Virginia Beach Master Gardeners have partnered to create the Seed Library available to you at Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library. Enjoy harvesting your own herbs and vegetables or admiring flowers grown in your own backyard—while helping ensure a diversity of plants growing in our community.

When is the Seed Library open?

The Seed Library is available when the Central Library is open.

What kind of seeds are available?

Each month the Master Gardeners will stock the Seed Library with new herb, vegetable, and flower seeds. See the Seed Library calendar in this binder for upcoming varieties. The seeds have been purchased by a Friends of the Library grant or donated by Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co., Sow True Seed, and Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. All seeds are organic, non-GMO, and open pollinated.

How many seed packets can I take? Can I get seeds from previous months?

Please take no more than 5 packets per visit. Any remaining packets from prior months can be found in the "MORE SEEDS" drawer. The Master Gardeners replenish the packets daily, so if the Seed Library is currently empty, please check back tomorrow!

Where can I learn how to best care for these plants?

Each packet provides a short description of the plant and how to care for it, with further information provided in the binder on top of the Seed Library cart. Additionally, the Master Gardeners are on site bi-weekly on the first Monday from 1pm-7pm and third Saturday from 10am-5pm, and are happy to answer your questions. For more general gardening tips, see VBMG.org for Master Gardener workshops and events, and check the calendar at VBgov.com/library-events for gardening programs at the library.

How can I get more information about upcoming seeds or about future Master Gardener and VBPL gardening events?

Please fill out a contact info card to get a reminder whenever new seeds are added and to be notified about upcoming gardening events in your community.

Still have questions?

The Master Gardeners' Help Desk (757-385-8156 or VBMGhelp@vbgov.com) is available for all your gardening queries.

Thank you and have fun growing!

 Grower's Glossary

​All information courtesy of Sow True Seed.

Heirloom
Varieties of seeds that have been passed down through generations due to their outstanding qualities such as unique flavor, disease resistance, or storability. These varieties have been in circulation since before World War II, prior to the commercial introduction of F-1 hybrids and the changes that resulted in the domination of “Big Agriculture.”

Hybrid
A hybrid seed is created when the pollen from two different plant varieties are crossed. The resulting cross produces the traits desired by the breeder, for example, this is how seedless watermelons are created. Subsequent generations of seed, however, if saved, will not grow “true-to-type” when replanted the following season. In some instances, the hybridization of plant varieties has helped to create new varieties that are helpful to farmers, including: disease resistance, higher sugar content, and more tolerance to extreme temperature fluctuations. Most of the fruit and vegetable varieties you see in the grocery store are hybrids.

Organic
Seeds that are never treated with fungicides or pesticides of any kind and are certified by the USDA as organic.

Open Pollinated
Non-hybrid, non-GMO varieties of seeds that will grow true to type when saved properly and replanted. Open-pollinated varieties are more genetically diverse and are able to adapt faster to their growing region and specific climate variances. Each open-pollinated variety remains protected in the public domain as the common property of everyone.

Seed Viability
While seed packets are printed with a “sell by” date, many experienced gardeners know this is merely a suggestion. When stored under the right conditions (cool, dark, and dry) many seed varieties can remain viable for years.

Contact Information