Merrimack Seed Library: Getting Started

https://lions-run.com/oj2wdxhhb We’re excited that you took home some seeds from Merrimack College’s Seed Library! This volunteer-run Seed Library works in concert with the Merrimack Garden (located at 27 Rock Ridge Rd.). Feel free to pop by the garden any time. We have a host of annual vegetables and perennial plantings.

A chalk board sign welcomes people to the Merrimack Garden. We have lettuce, strawberries, blueberries, apples, asparagus, corn, beets, carrots, potatoes, chives, kale, broccoli, rosemary, thyme, lavender, onions.
The Merrimack Garden welcome sign highlights the 2021 offerings
A hand holds a ripe strawberry.
One perfect Merrimack Garden strawberry

https://philcoffeeboard.com/b9j3cdui0 Our Seed Library will be open from early March through the end of November in the McQuade Library lobby (just to the left once you walk in the doors). We will have a rotating offering of seeds that suit the particular time of year.

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https://www.oxigeme.com/5h5rqkfy8d If kept cool and dry, the seeds you take home should last for at least a year. Once you get growing, please tag @Merrimack_Garden on Instagram or email Lisa Perks (perksl@merrimack.edu) if you have any photos to share! 

This image is of a book shelf with garden-related books on the bottom and a seed library on the top in a card catalog-type box.
The Merrimack Seed Library on its birthday

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This first post gives some general advice for starting and maintaining a garden. Click the links below for your type of seed to learn more specific growing advice. If you have more questions, feel free to do what some of the best gardeners do: Google it. 

Seed Starting

https://charliehanavich.com/o8i58vtdm Many seeds can be planted directly in the ground. Others may need to be started indoors (under grow lights or on a sunny windowsill) during the colder New England months to get a jump on the growing season. https://freethevaccine.org/2022/12/07/vmn3c714bs3 Check out the seed-specific blog posts linked below:

Getting to Know Your Merrimack Library Seeds (more links to follow)

Site Selection

https://cherokeeiowa.com/5hj98r72szy Plants can be grown in many ways: raised beds, straight in the ground, in pots or containers. 

https://realbrianshow.com/2c3yojl4rum The first main step is to find a site that gets a good amount of sun. Six to eight hours a day is ideal. Be creative: this may mean you grow plants on a deck, rooftop, front yard, driveway, etc. 

https://www.secretdeparis.com/ia3qp9r0 Part-shade can support greens (kale, lettuce, etc.), herbs, and shade-loving flowers. You could also consider growing mushrooms if you have shade! 

Types of Gardens

https://livingwithlady.com/2022/12/ommmb81ev.html Consider whether you want to build raised beds or an in-ground garden. To build a raised bed (which means you raise up the soil level), you can use lumber, logs, bricks, rocks, a kit, or something else. Just avoid using treated wood that could leach chemicals into the garden. Alternately, do an in-ground garden (with no border holding up the soil) and simply mound up the soil.

The Merrimack Garden includes a growing army of wooden raised beds.

https://aheadwithhorsesla.org/2022/12/ei8pxp2i Many towns offer free compost (usually from yard waste or leaf pick up). Or purchase compost, loam mix, or topsoil (in bags or a large delivery) to build up a bed. 

Buy Xanax Legally Container gardening can be done in pots, five gallon buckets, grow bags, reusable grocery bags–even a repurposed kiddie pool! Just make sure whatever container you have has good drainage. 

One additional thing to remember is that the container garden growing medium should be light and fluffy. Regular soil is too heavy for containers and doesn’t drain well. Find a bagged container potting mix or make your own with one part compost, one part vermiculite or perlite, and one part coco coir (a more sustainable alternative to peat moss).

Watering

https://livingwithlady.com/2022/12/k6xvqqqia.html If starting seeds indoors or in tiny pots before putting them in the garden, water the young seedlings daily. Container gardens also dry out quickly. Giving container gardens a soaking (at the base of the plant, not at the foliage) once every day or two is generally wise. 

If you’ve recently put baby plants outside into the garden (or you’ve planted seeds directly in there), give them a good daily watering about every day or two for about two weeks. Once they’re established (maybe 2ish weeks in their new spot) they can go longer between waterings–a soak every 3 days or so in the absence of rain. 

Trouble with Garden Pests? Check out this post.

Looking for Houseplant Advice? Check out this post (forthcoming).

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