Seed Lending Library

The Yorba Linda Public Library is proud to offer Yorba Linda Grows: A Seed Lending Library. The mission of the Seed Library is to nurture a community of gardeners and seed savers.

How It Works:

The Seed Lending Library is open to the public and lent to you at no financial cost. A commitment to growing plants from seeds is a gift you give to yourself. The seeds you save and return are a gift to your community! We hope you learn much, experience the joy of gardening, and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

At harvest time, please take some extra steps to save seeds for the YLPL Seed Lending Library. Save a portion of the seeds from your best plants in order to help us make the Seed Library self-sustaining. The more seeds in the library, the more community members can experience the joys of gardening! Seed Library users will not be penalized if they are unable to return seeds back to the Seed Library at the end of the season; we understand that seed saving is new to many of our community members. Please only save seeds if you are familiar with the seed saving process.

The Seed Library is simple to use. Just borrow seeds, grow plants, and experience the joy of gardening!


How to Borrow Seeds

How to Borrow Seeds

Seeds can be acquired by visiting the library during normal business hours. To borrow seeds:

  1. Select your seeds from the seed drawers.
  2. Determine how many seeds to take, based on what you intend to plant this season, but please remember this is a share system, please be considerate and take only what you need.
  3. Write seed growing instructions on your seed packet to assist you with planting seeds. Planting and growing information helps you know what the optimal growth conditions are for the seeds. In addition, if you return seeds from this plant to the library at the end of the season, the next gardener will be grateful for your notes!
  4. Place your selected seeds in the envelopes provided and return the original seed packet to its proper place in the seed drawer.
  5. Document the Borrowing Date, Plant Name, Variety, and Estimated number of seeds taken in the Seed Share Check Out Folder. This helps the library to keep track of the seeds distributed to seed library users.


 Southern California Planting Guide

Below is a list of some of the more popular seeds to grow in your home garden. This list does not reflect all the seeds available through the Yorba Linda Public Library’s Seed Lending Library.

Basil, Beans, Carrots, Cucumber, Chives, Cilantro, Eggplant, Lettuce, Onion, Peas, Peppers, Radish, Tomatoes, Thyme, Zucchini

Beans, Chives, Cucumber, Eggplant, Hot Peppers, Radish, Sweet Peppers, Tomatoes, Thyme, Zucchini

FALL (in warm regions)
Carrots, Chives, Cilantro, Kale, Lettuce, Onion, Peas, Radish, Thyme

WINTER (in warm regions)
Carrots, Chives, Cilantro, Kale, Lettuce, Onion, Peas, Radish

Seed Saving Guide

Seed Saving Guide

The library offers a variety of seed saving instructional books for check-out. Please check out these titles to learn about the process of seed saving:

Seed Sowing and Saving by Carole B. Turner
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Seed Saving and Starting by Sheri Ann Richerson

What types of seeds should I save?
Seed saving requires special skills and levels of experience. If you are new to seed saving, we suggest starting with seeds that are ‘easy’ to save for beginners. We ask that if you are saving seeds that you grow them organically for your benefit and the benefit of others.

Easy (Beginner Seed Saver): Beans, Eggplant, Lettuce, Peas, Peppers, Tomatoes

Medium (Experienced Seed Saver): Carrot, Onion, Radish

Difficult (Advanced Seed Saver): Cucumber, Kale, Zucchini

Returning Seeds to the Seed Lending Library Seed Protocol
We welcome donated seeds into the Seed Lending Library. However, we want to ensure those who are receiving seeds get what is on the label and prevent the passing on of plant disease. We require you to follow this protocol when donating seeds:

  1. Save from healthy plants. Even if a disease does not get passed on through the seed, we do like to have some selection for disease resistance by only saving from healthy, strong plants.
  2. Save from a number of plants so that the seed has some genetic diversity in it. The quantity that is optimum depends on the type of plant, for self pollinating plants a minimum of 6 plants is necessary, for cross pollinating you want to save from much a larger population- see seed saving information sheets.
  3. If the plant cross pollinates you want to make sure you keep it isolated so it stays “true to type.” Check with a seed saving chart or book to get isolation distances.
  4. When you bring seed to share at the Seed Lending Library please label with as much information as you can.

*The Seed Protocol is from the West County Community Seed Exchange, Sonoma Co., California.

Guidelines for Returning Seeds

  • Dry: Make sure seeds are dry.
  • Clean: Have seeds reasonably cleaned by removing as much of the chaff as possible.
  • Properly saved: Only return seeds from plants that you know how to save properly. “Easy” seeds can be fairly reliably saved without cross-pollination (and unintentional hybridization). “Easy” seeds include tomatoes, beans, peas and lettuce. Do not return seeds from the brassica (ex. broccoli, cauliflower, kale, brussel sprouts, cabbage) or
    cucurbit (ex. cucumbers, squash, melons) families unless you have taken appropriate steps to prevent cross-pollination, such as hand-pollinating.
  • Label! Label! Label! Write as much information on the packet as possible. Remember that people only have what you have written on the package to decide if it is a plant that they would like to grow. More info is better.
  • Share the abundance: If you have lots of seeds, considering making multiple packets of the same seeds.

* Guidelines for Returning Seeds from the Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library, Richmond, CA.

Books and DVDs

“If you have a garden & a library, you have everything you need.”

Basic Gardening

Vegetable Gardening: Your Ultimate Guide, by Robert J. Dolezal

Explains how to prepare, harvest and preserve vegetables; Uses a highly visual, easy-to-read, user-friendly format; Includes information on pest control, focusing on less toxic alternatives. Location # 635 DOLE


Vegetable Gardening: From Planting to Picking, by Jane Courtier and Fern Marshall Bradley

An illustrated guide to vegetable gardening explains how to plant and cultivate more than 80 vegetable varieties, covering everything from selecting plants and preparing the soil to pest control and harvesting. Location # 635 COUR


The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible, by Edward C. Smith

The invaluable resource for home food gardeners! Ed Smith’s W-O-R-D system has helped countless gardeners grow an abundance of vegetables and herbs. The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible is essential reading for locavores in every corner of North America! Location # 635 SMIT


Starter Vegetable Gardens, by Barbara Pleasant

This book takes the guesswork out of growing food, explaining in simple, straightforward language how to start, maintain, and expand a bountiful vegetable garden in small, manageable spaces. Location # 635 PLEA


Complete Guide to Vegetables, Fruits & Herbs, by editor Denny Schrock

Enjoy the fruits—and veggies and herbs—of your own labor! This comprehensive guide teaches you how to grow bigger and better-quality produce and manage pest problems either conventionally or by organic methods Location # 635 COMP


Ortho’s Complete Guide to Vegetables, by Jacqueline Heriteau

More than 200 photographs and illustrations fill the pages of this comprehensive guide to the planting, growing and harvesting of all common vegetables. Organized by type of vegetable with specific chapters on garden pests, preparation and construction. Location # 635.0484 HERI


The Ultimate Guide to Growing Your Own Food , by Monte Burch.

A full-color year-round guide to growing fruits, vegetables, herbs, and even grains includes such specialized topics as fall and winter food growing, nutritional benefits, and gardening with limited space. Location # 635 BURC


The Beginner’s Guide to Growing Heirloom Vegetables , by Marie Iannotti

Presents information on growing one hundred heirloom vegetables, providing advice on germination, exposure, spacing, soil, and harvesting. Location # 635 IANN


Herbs in the Garden , by Rob Proctor

Offering a bounty of ideas for using herbs in the garden, this guide suggest planting them almost everywhere, from splendid borders to humble foot-paths, from background walls to terrace and patio displays. Filled with beautiful photographs, the book provides a wealth of new ideas for gardeners and herb lovers alike. Location # 635.7 PROC


Gardening with Heirloom Seeds , by Lynn Coulter

This book serves as a resource for gardeners, cooks, and plant lovers of all levels of expertise who want to know more about finding, sharing, and propagating the seeds of heirloom flowers, fruits, and vegetables. Location # 635 COUL


What’s Wrong with My Vegetable Garden? by David Deardorff

Provides information about the most common home-grown vegetables, describing techniques for growing healthy plants and for treating diseases and pests with effective organic solutions. Location # 635 DEAR


Heirloom Fruits and Vegetables, by Toby Musgrave

Presented by season, this overview first tells the story of the cultivation of fruits and vegetables through the ages, and then each type is discussed: where it originated, indigenous uses and folklore, how it got its name, legends and beliefs that have become attached to it, and the odd uses to which it has been put. Location # 635 MUSG


Week-by-Week Vegetable Gardener’s Handbook, by Ron Kujawski

Suitable for all gardening zones, a handy guide offers easy instructions for setting up a personalized week-by-week vegetable-gardening schedule based on one’s last frost date. Location # 635 KUJA


The Speedy Vegetable Gardener, by Mark Diacono

This book highlights more than 50 quick crops, with complete information on how to sow, grow, and harvest each plant, and sumptuous photography that provides inspiration and a visual guide for when to harvest. In addition to instructions for growing, it also provides recipes that highlight each crop’s unique flavor, like Chickpea sprout hummus, stuffed tempura zucchini flowers, and a paella featuring calendula. Location # 635 DIAC


The Vegetable Gardener’s Guide to Permaculture , by Christopher Shein

This book teaches gardeners of every skill, with any size space, how to live in harmony with both nature and neighbors to produce and share an abundant food supply with minimal effort. Permaculture teacher Christopher Shein highlights everything you need to know to start living off the land lightly, including how to create rich, healthy, and low-cost soil, blend a functional food garden and decorative landscape, share the bounty with others, and much more. Location # 631.58 SHEI


Small Space Gardening

Fruit and Vegetables in Pots, by Jo Whittingham

Learn simple steps to growing and nurturing your own fruits and vegetables in containers. Location # 635.986 WHIT


The Mini-Farming Guide to Vegetable Gardening, by Brett Markham.

Describes a holistic approach to small-area farming that shows how to produce a large amount of food on a quarter acre of land, providing tips on soil types, weed control, canning and preserving, and cooking for self-sufficiency. Location # 635.048 MARK


Vertical Gardening: Grow Up, Not Out, for More Vegetables and Flowers in Much Less Space, by Derek Fell

Shares methods of growing vegetables, flowers, and fruits vertically with tips on choosing a site, composting, and controlling weeds, pests, and disease. Location # 684.18 FELL


Stand Up and Garden, by Mary Moss-Sprague

Focusing on containers, trellises, and raised beds, this book show how everyone can garden, including those with physical limitations like arthritis or location limitations like apartment-dwellers without backyards. Location # 635 MOSS


Container Gardening for Dummies, by Bill Marken

The easy way to get a green thumb in container gardening! Location # 635.986 MARK


All New Square Foot Gardening, by Mel Bartholomew

Provides the latest information about setting up a square foot garden, a growing method which produces large yields with less space and less work. Location # 635 BART


Seed Saving

Seed Sowing and Saving, by Carole B. Turner

In this book you’ll find everything you need to know to successfully harvest seeds from more than 100 common vegetables, annuals, perennials, herbs, and wildflowers, then dry and store them for maximum viability. You’ll also learn how to start seeds indoors to get a jump start on the season, and to prepare your soil beds for planting. Location # 635.0421 TURN


Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener, by Joseph Tychonievich

Presents easy to follow instructions for breeding ornamental plants and vegetables to fit the aesthetics and conditions of particular gardens, and includes tips on choosing parent plants, cross-pollination, and storing seeds. Location # 635 TYCH


The Complete Guide to Saving Seeds: 322 Vegetables, Herbs, Fruits, Flowers, Trees and Shrubs, by Robert Gough

Learn how to collect, save, and cultivate the seeds from more than 300 vegetables, herbs, fruits, flowers, trees, and shrubs. It’s easy, and it’s fun! Location # 631.521 GOUG


The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Seed Saving and Starting, by Sheri Ann Richerson

Covers all of the essential techniques- harvesting, drying, disease and pest control, testing and germinating, and sowing. Location # 631.521 RICH


Garden Cookbooks

Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch, by Nigel Slater

A comprehensive, deeply personal, and visually stunning guide to growing and cooking vegetables from Britain’s foremost food writer, with more than 400 recipes and extensive gardening notes. Location # 641.65 SLAT


Sunset Edible Garden Cookbook, by Sunset Magazine

Here to help gardeners enjoy a healthier lifestyle is Sunset Edible Garden Cookbook with detailed gardening advice and over 150 recipes using luscious homegrown fruits and vegetables. Location # 641.65 SUNS



Square Foot Gardening with Patti Moreno, the Garden Girl

Learn everything you need to know about using the Square Foot Gardening method at home to grow your own abundant crops in a limited space. Pattie shows you how to start vegetables in raised beds from scratch and maintain them throughout the growing season. Location: DVD 635


Year ‘round Vegetable Gardening

Jerry Baker shows how to grow the tastiest vegetables, step by step. Location: DVD 635.048


Perennial Vegetable Gardening

Plant specialist Eric Toensmeier introduces gardeners to more than 100 species of little-known, underappreciated plants. Ranging beyond the usual suspects-asparagus, rhubarb, and artichoke- to include such delights as ground cherry, ramps, air potatoes, the fragrant spring tree, and much sought-after, wolfberry. Location: DVD 635.9

Upcoming Workshops

Upcoming Grow It Now: Gardening Workshops

Check back in Fall 2018 for additional gardening events!

Thank you to the donors to our Seed Lending Library. Without you, this project would not be possible!

Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company, Beauty Beyond Belief (BBB) Seed Company, Adaptive Seeds,
California State Library, Del Norte Garden Club, The Living Seed Company, Pinetree Garden Seeds, Seed Matters, The Friends of the Yorba Linda Public Library, Seed Savers, Native Seed Search (NSS), Sustainable Seed Company, Bountiful Gardens