by Connie Oswald Stofko
It’s only August, so there is still a lot of gardening you can do in Western New York.
- Plant a crop of cool weather vegetables.
- Save seeds now to plant next year.
- Share seeds and get some seeds.
Succession planting is when you plant and harvest a second crop in one year.
There is still time to squeeze in another crop of cool weather vegetables! If you missed planting them in early spring, take advantage of this second chance.
In our previous article, Patti Jablonski-Dopkin, general manager at Urban Roots Cooperative Garden Market explains what to plant and when to plant. It’s all spelled out so you know what vegetables you can plant in your area now.
Urban Roots has seeds now and will get more next week.
Save seeds now
You can save your own seeds from year to year for vegetables or flowers. Cornell Cooperative Extension in Allegany County has posted links that give you details on collecting and storing seeds. See more here.
In addition, Cristian Acosta, Agriculture Educator Cornell Cooperative Extension, will give an online talk about growing herbs at home from 11 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Aug. 15. See details here.
In addition to buying seeds at garden centers such as Urban Roots, there are places where you can find free seeds and share seeds you have collected.
Organizations usually request seeds from heirloom or open pollinated plants. Seeds from hybrids may produce seedlings that are different from the original plant; you may not get the characteristics in the flower or fruit you that had expected.
University Heights Arts Association
The University Heights Arts Association makes ARTseeds available at the Capen Garden Walk‘s plant and seed exchanges in autumn and spring. The next plant and seed exchange will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23 at University Presbyterian Church, 3330 Main St., corner of Niagara Falls Boulevard, Buffalo. Take your perennials and seeds to share and get some new plants and seeds for your garden.
If you can’t make it to the plant and seed exchange, you can also get seeds by contacting the University Heights Arts Association at email@example.com.
Seed libraries connected to public libraries
Many public libraries have an area where you can borrow seeds and leave seeds to share with others. You don’t need a library card to borrow seeds. (They use the term “borrow” because they hope that gardeners will sow the seeds, nurture the plants, save seeds from the new plants and return some of the seeds for the next growing season.)
Here are a few library locations with seed libraries that I know about; please leave a comment if you know of more.
Central Library (Downtown Buffalo)
Central Library, 1 Lafayette Square, Buffalo
The seed library is located in the Launch Pad by Lafayette Park. The seeds are stored in a card catalog. (A card catalog was how people used to look up books before we had computers.)
Hamburg Public Library, 102 Buffalo St., Hamburg
You may have seen the free libraries in people’s front yards that house books to borrow. You’ll see a similar stand at the Hamburg Public Library, but it houses seeds. The Seed Share is located outside so people can access the seeds even when the library is closed. An extra inventory of seeds is kept inside to refill the outside stand as needed.
Orchard Park Library
The Orchard Park Library, S-4570 South Buffalo St., Orchard Park
When you enter the library, immediately to your right, in the book nook where the Friends of the Library hold their sale, you’ll see a stand with apothecary drawers. That’s where you’ll find the seeds.
Warsaw Seed Library at the Warsaw Public Library
Master Gardeners of Wyoming County are looking for donations to the Warsaw Seed Library at the Warsaw Public Library, 130 N. Main St., Warsaw.
WNY Seed Library at Audubon in Amherst
The WNY Seed Library is housed in a card catalog inside the Audubon Library, 350 John James Audubon Pkwy., Amherst. (A card catalog was how people used to look up books before we had computers.) You can see all the varieties of seeds available at the WNY Seed Library here.
Arcade Free Library
365 W Main St., Arcade
5466 Broadway, Lancaster
If you know of a library or other organization that shares seeds, please let us know by adding a comment below.