NE Seattle Branch to Take Virtual Orders

The Northeast Seattle branch of the seed library will now begin taking orders to be filled virtually. Recipients will pick up orders in the Ravenna neighborhood.

Visit the Seed Library page on the NE Seattle Tool Library’s website to learn more about this branch.

Here’s how it will work:

  • Browse the current NE Seattle branch seed inventory list
  • Take note of the crop and common name of each seed you would like.
  • Please limit your order to 10 items.
  • Send an email with your list and name to susanjoel@earthlink.net. Please write “Seed Order” in the email subject line.
  • We will package and label your seeds (small quantities only, regardless of our “KCSLL Supply” designation).
  • If we run out of an item, we might substitute another variety of the same crop.
  • We will respond with an email telling you where you can pick up your seeds.

Seed orders will be taken to our pickup location twice a week. Each order will be packaged with the recipient’s name on the bag. We suggest you take the same precautions when handling the package as you would at a grocery store. To be extra-safe, use gloves when taking the seed order home, then let it sit for 72 hours before opening it. We also ask that recipients practice proper social distancing if another recipient is at the pickup location.

Unfortunately, we are unable to take seed donations at this time. Please (safely) share with your neighbors and friends! Hopefully, we will be able to reopen our physical branches and resume regular activity later this spring.

Filling Orders Virtually

We are delighted that we’ve found a way to share seeds during this difficult time. In our first week, we have served several dozen gardeners, from a third-grader to a neighbor group. Our seed supply is getting short on some items, but we are happy to get the seeds into peoples’ gardens while it is still relatively fresh and viable. Thank you for your patience as our intrepid volunteers fit this task into their full lives. Shout out to Polly for all her help!

Here are a few images of the process at the NW Seattle branch, starting from cataloging the seeds to filling and packaging up the orders.

Cataloging seeds
Filling seed orders
Seed orders bagged and labeled

Support our Bioregional Seed Companies

With the current craze to start or revive an edible garden, seed companies have been hit hard. They need to keep their workers safe while filling mountains of orders. Some have stopped taking orders temporarily, or are only shipping to commercial farmers. Many report turnaround times of two weeks to ship an order.

Still, these small businesses deserve our support. Seeds are alive and need to be planted while fresh. So we plead with our supporters to please patronize our bioregional seed companies. Check multiple companies to see who is shipping now. Be patient. Thank them for their work.

Here is a list of seed companies. Those with an asterisk * are outside of the Washington-Oregon region. (Please let us know if we’ve missed any that you think we should include.)

Adaptive Seeds www.adaptiveseeds.com  

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds https://www.rareseeds.com/

Deep Harvest Seeds www.deepharvestfarm.com

Fedco Seeds https://www.fedcoseeds.com/ *

Filaree Garlic Farm www.filareefarm.com  

Horizon Herbs www.horizonherbs.com  

Irish Eyes Garden Seeds www.irisheyesgardenseeds.com  

Johnny’s Selected Seeds https://www.johnnyseeds.com/ *

Kitazawa Seed Company (CA) www.kitazawaseed.com *

New Dimension Seed www.newdimensionseed.com  

Nichols Garden Nursery www.nicholsgardennursery.com  

Osborne Seed Company www.osborneseed.com

Peace Seeds www.peaceseedslive.blogspot.com

Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply (CA) www.groworganic.com *

Renee’s Garden Seeds https://www.reneesgarden.com/ *

Resilient Seeds https://www.resilientseeds.com/

Seed Savers Exchange (IA) www.seedsavers.org *

Seeds Trust/High Altitude Seeds (CO) www.seedstrust.com *

Seattle Seed Company www.seattleseed.com  

Siskiyou Seeds www.siskiyouseeds.com

Snake River Seed Cooperative (ID) www.snakeriverseeds.com *

Sustainable Seed Company www.sustainableseedco.com

Territorial Seed Company www.territorialseed.com  

Uprising Seeds www.uprisingorganics.com

Victory Seed Company www.victoryseeds.com  

Wild Garden Seed www.wildgardenseed.com  

*beyond Washington or Oregon  

Seeds Available Through NW Library Branch

With a booming interest in gardening and the temporary shutdown of our seed lending library locations, we have devised a pilot program to get our seed supply to neighbors who can use them.

Starting today, we will be accepting emailed seed orders for our Northwest Seattle branch. We will fulfill the orders twice a week and leave them at a secure, outdoor, weatherproof location for recipients to pick up. The pickup location will be in Northwest Seattle.

Here’s how it will work:

  • Browse the current seed inventory list. Navigate through the list by using the category tabs at the bottom of the screen.
  • Take note of the crop and common name of each seed you would like.
  • Please limit your order to 10 items.
  • Send an email with your list and name to kingcoseedinfo@gmail.com.
  • We will package and label your seeds (small quantities only, regardless of our “KCSLL Supply” designation).
  • If we run out of an item, we might substitute another variety of the same crop.
  • We will respond with an email telling you where you can pick up your seeds.

Seed orders will be taken to our pickup location twice a week. Each order will be packaged with the recipient’s name on the bag. We suggest you take the same precautions when handling the package as you would at a grocery store. To be extra-safe, use gloves when taking the seed order home, then let it sit for 72 hours before opening it. We also ask that recipients practice proper social distancing if another recipient is at the pickup location.

This program will initially cover Northwest Seattle only. If successful, we will try to enact it at other branches.

Unfortunately, we are unable to take seed donations at this time. Please (safely) share with your neighbors and friends! Hopefully, we will be able to reopen our physical branches and resume regular activity later this spring.

Happy planting!

Start Seeds Indoors

Stuck at home? Now is a great time to start your edible garden. Many people buy small plants at the nursery, but if that isn’t possible right now, try seeds. Seeds can be started indoors and transplanted out or transferred to larger pots as they grow.

Here are tips on starting seeds.

  • Many seeds can be started in pots indoors and then transplanted out. Try salad greens, peas, broccoli and other brassicas, tomatoes, peppers and squash. Don’t try root crops like beets and carrots—they need to be “direct sown” into the soil.
  • It’s best to use a light seed-starting medium rather than plain garden soil. You can buy it, or make your own with a mixture of compost, peat moss, coco coir, sand and soil—whatever you have available that will be lighter weight than soil. The goal is to make it easier for the seeds to push out of the soil.
  • Plant in very small pots, like “six-packs” of nursery cells, one inch wide by two inches deep. Or use small yogurt containers or take-out food clamshells. Try to have at least two inches of depth.
  • Sow small seed just under the surface of the soil. Bigger seed like peas can be planted deeper.
  • Keep the seed bed consistently moist but not soggy.
  • Keep the seed tray in a warm place while seeds are germinating. A seedling heat mat is a great tool for the avid gardener.
  • Place the seed tray in a sunny indoor spot once the seedlings appear.
  • Be careful when watering. Use a bike water bottle or small watering can to gently water at the soil level.
  • Cool-season crops like salad greens and peas can be planted in the garden when they have two or three sets of “true leaves.” (The first leaves to appear are called the “seed leaves.”)
  • Warm-season crops like tomatoes and peppers should be “potted up” to larger pots and kept indoors until the weather is warmer, with nights consistently at or above 50 degrees F.
  • Before transferring any seedlings to the garden, they need to be “hardened off.” This is done by setting the seed tray outside for an hour one day, two hours the next, etc., for 5 to 7 days. This gets them used to the weather so they will survive better in the open garden. If planting in a warm raised bed or under cover, this step is less important.
  • Water consistently once the seeds are in the garden to help them set their roots and get off to the best start. The surface of the soil should just start to get a bit dry before watering again.

Order your seeds from one of our wonderful bioregional seed companies. Be patient as they are probably experiencing a high volume of orders.

Here are some seed companies to try: