Seed Library

Growing Gardeners at VBPL
Seed library cart with open drawer full of seed packetsVirginia 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, Kempsville, and Princess Anne libraries. 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.   

Locations/Hours of Operation

The Seed Library is located at the Central, Kempsville, and Princess Anne libraries and is available during normal operating hours.
 
Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library
4100 Virginia Beach Blvd.
Virginia Beach, VA 23452

Kempsville Area Library 
832 Kempsville Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23464

Princess Anne Area Library
1444 Nimmo Parkway
Virginia Beach, VA 23456

Learning Opportunities

Visit the Virginia Beach Master Gardeners website to find additional workshops and check our program calendar for free educational programs offered at VBPL. 

 Frequently Asked Questions

Currently seeds are available for pickup from the Seed Library cart at Central Library, the seed cabinet at Kempsville Library, and from the help desk at Princess Anne Library.

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, Kempsville, and Princess Anne libraries. 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, Kempsville, and Princess Anne libraries are open.

What kind of seeds are available?

Each month the Master Gardeners will stock the Seed Library with new herb, vegetable and flower seeds. The seeds have been donated by several sponsors in our community (see Sponsors tab). Each packet provides a short description of the plant and how to care for it. Please take no more than five packets per visit. Any remaining packets from prior months can be found in the "More Seeds" drawer.

Still have questions?

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

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.

 Sponsors

​Thank you to the following suppliers for donating seeds to the Seed Library:
  • Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
  • Botanical Interests Seeds
  • Burpee Seeds
  • Fedco Seeds
  • High Mowing Seeds
  • John Scheepers Seeds
  • Johnny's Selected Seeds
  • Lake Valley Seeds
  • Prairie Moon Nursery Seeds
  • Rare Seeds
  • Seed Savers Exchange
  • Select Seeds
  • Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
  • Sow True Seed
  • Sustainable Seed Company
  • Sweet Yards Seed Company
  • Territorial Seed Company
  • True Leaf Market Seeds
Thanks!

​Thanks to the Friends of the Virginia Beach Public Libraryfor their ongoing support of the Seed Library!

Contact Information