This week, the Ames Free Library is launching a home gardening project for all its patrons. We are giving away vegetable and flower seeds obtained through the University of Rhode Island and encouraging patrons to share their results with the library.
The library’s seed collection contains many different vegetables, herbs, and flowers including pumpkins, lettuce, sweet peas, basil, and zinnias. During April, our display will emphasize early-season crops like peas, and vegetables that are best started indoors like tomatoes.
These seeds lay dormant during Covid. Most of them will grow well; some won’t. We’re really curious to see how they’ll fare.
To participate in “The Great Seed Experiment,” simply stop by the library to choose your seeds and receive instructions on how to report your results. It’s simple:
1) Count the number of seeds in the packet and plant them.
2) Enter your name, the seed variety, and the percentage of sprouts on this form.
3) Nurture your plants during the growing season. Report how many plants reached maturity by producing vegetables or flowers by using this form.
4) Send us photos to share with your neighbors!
When you visit the library, you will find some helpful gardening factsheets from the UMass Extension Service and a selection of gardening books to expand your interest. Children will especially enjoy our attractive seed journals where they can record their plant observations.
Results of the growing season will be posted at the library, on our website and social media, and as part of this blog. I will explore the topic of seeds in the coming months; for now, let’s plant some and begin the adventure!