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Spring is here! How to put those CLP Seed Swap goodies to use

So you made it to our annual Seed Swap, and now you’re practicing self-isolation and social distancing at home? What an amazing opportunity to put those seeds to use!

Spring is officially upon us and now is the perfect time to get those early, cool season crops sown in your veggie bed. Peas, spinach, lettuces and beets love this time of year. So take a look at those seeds you have on hand and start your own Quarantine (a la Victory) Garden. While we’re not at war  as at the time Victory Gardens were being established throughout the country during WWII, these days many of us are planning, preparing and looking for diversion during these uncertain times. 

Working out in the yard, preparing your vegetable garden, cleaning out flower beds or preparing for your container gardens are all great ways to spend your time at home. This is also a great time to get those later season crops started indoors. Looking for something to do with your kids? If you have seedling trays and some potting mix on hand, that can easily become some productive indoor family time, while also getting those science home-school credits. Don’t have trays – no worries! My guess is you have lots of used toilet paper rolls after this past week! Here’s a link to a site that can help you recycle those rolls in a environmentally friendly way! 

Even if you didn’t make it to our Seed Swap, the good news is that you may be able to find that your local grocery stores which remain open carry a supply of seeds for your garden. I wasn’t able to get to the swap, but I was able to grab a bunch of packets on a recent trip to a local “essential” neighborhood store.  If that’s not an option for you, there are several reputable online seed companies who would be happy to ship the materials you need to get your Quarantine Garden started. Not to favor one site or another, but one of my favorites is Hudson Valley Seed Company, which was founded by a librarian who started the first seed library program in the country. And another fun note of local interest, one of their seed packet designs was created by a local Pittsburgh artist. You can also look around to find a “free”or “Buy Nothing” group for your neighborhood online on Facebook or NextDoor, where many gardeners are happy to swap or share seeds.

However you plan to work on your Quarantine Garden – whether it’s just an excuse to get out of doors or to prepare for a garden harvest down the road, know that you have resources for these and all sorts of social distancing activities from the folks at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. We offer a variety of always-available gardening titles through Hoopla – check one out and tell us what you think!

Our doors may be temporarily shuttered, but our online services are available with support from CLP staff. Happy planting and planning!

Browse more gardening resources on Hoopla

Stay in and grow things!

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