How many seeds per packet? #s eeds #s


EBo
 

I would follow along the lines of other professional native seed growers. When I purchased heirloom turnips I think I got 25 in a packet, and others had as few as 10. You will want to know that you are getting good germination though.

On Feb 17 2021 7:02 PM, Jenny "Rocky" wrote:
Hi -

Our library system is doing a seed drive for our various seed
libraries. Donations are coming in. Though I'm not a gardener, I am
passionate about empowering folks when it comes to gardening and food
security ... and so I am coordinating the seed drive. My question: is
there a general rule of thumb for a suitable number of seeds to have
in one packet? I could google each variety we receive and find out,
but that would take more time that I can afford (see photo to see what
I mean). I'm hoping to divvy up each packet so that each library gets
a packet with enough seeds in it for a patron to be able to work with.
I'm thinking, maybe 10 or 15 seeds would do the trick? Any advice is
appreciated! Thanks



Ken
 

It all depends! If you don't know the germ rate, and they are old commercial seeds, you may want to put in more than a typical up-to-date commercial seed pack to account for lower germination. At the same time, many commercial seed packs have way more seeds than most gardeners plant. When I was running the seed library we found that many gardeners were happy to have fewer seeds and spread the seeds out between more people. At seed swaps we usually let people take what they need and pack their own envelope- but that works better in person.

k



On Wed, Feb 17, 2021 at 10:00 PM EBo <ebo@...> wrote:
I would follow along the lines of other professional native seed
growers.  When I purchased heirloom turnips I think I got 25 in a
packet, and others had as few as 10.  You will want to know that you are
getting good germination though.

On Feb 17 2021 7:02 PM, Jenny "Rocky" wrote:
> Hi -
>
> Our library system is doing a seed drive for our various seed
> libraries. Donations are coming in. Though I'm not a gardener, I am
> passionate about empowering folks when it comes to gardening and food
> security ... and so I am coordinating the seed drive. My question: is
> there a general rule of thumb for a suitable number of seeds to have
> in one packet? I could google each variety we receive and find out,
> but that would take more time that I can afford (see photo to see
> what
> I mean). I'm hoping to divvy up each packet so that each library gets
> a packet with enough seeds in it for a patron to be able to work
> with.
> I'm thinking, maybe 10 or 15 seeds would do the trick? Any advice is
> appreciated! Thanks
>
>
>








--
K Greene
Founder, Director Seedshed


EBo
 

Agreed. It might also be helpful to simply ask how many people are going to try to plan this year and give them that many plus a couple. Without knowing the germination rate it makes it harder, but most folks I know are happy for any seed that makes it their way. The biggest problem I have had is to get lots of seed in commercial packs, and save them for years as we plant them (until they go bad or we just get some more). Getting only a few seeds (like 10) seems like that is to few, but then again I might only plant that many in a year. The more interesting point is if I am growing to keep the seed and trying to plant seeds that came from different plants. Hard to manage that if you are only getting a few seeds.

On Feb 18 2021 6:47 AM, Ken wrote:
It all depends! If you don't know the germ rate, and they are old
commercial seeds, you may want to put in more than a typical up-to-date
commercial seed pack to account for lower germination. At the same time,
many commercial seed packs have way more seeds than most gardeners plant.
When I was running the seed library we found that many gardeners were happy
to have fewer seeds and spread the seeds out between more people. At seed
swaps we usually let people take what they need and pack their own
envelope- but that works better in person.

k



On Wed, Feb 17, 2021 at 10:00 PM EBo <ebo@sandien.com> wrote:

I would follow along the lines of other professional native seed
growers. When I purchased heirloom turnips I think I got 25 in a
packet, and others had as few as 10. You will want to know that you are
getting good germination though.

On Feb 17 2021 7:02 PM, Jenny "Rocky" wrote:
Hi -

Our library system is doing a seed drive for our various seed
libraries. Donations are coming in. Though I'm not a gardener, I
am
passionate about empowering folks when it comes to gardening and
food
security ... and so I am coordinating the seed drive. My question:
is
there a general rule of thumb for a suitable number of seeds to
have
in one packet? I could google each variety we receive and find
out,
but that would take more time that I can afford (see photo to see
what
I mean). I'm hoping to divvy up each packet so that each library
gets
a packet with enough seeds in it for a patron to be able to work
with.
I'm thinking, maybe 10 or 15 seeds would do the trick? Any advice
is
appreciated! Thanks







--
*K Greene*
Founder, Director *Seedshed*
seedshed.org



Jenny "Rocky"
 

I love the "pack your own" strategy. I think we'll try that. Thanks so much!


Jenny "Rocky"
 

Good info, thank you! And yes, germination rate might be less reliable since some of the seeds we get are expired. So including extra might be a good thing to do.


Susie Jenkins
 

We have tried several methods over the years.  When we started our program we filled our own envelopes with the number of seeds that we figured the average home gardener would use.  (see "opening day" photo)  It was quite labor intensive.

At this point we are letting our patrons fill their own packets (see "new seed cabinet" photo).   We have small envelopes for them to use.   They choose their seeds from our cabinet and label and fill their own envelopes.  We organize our donated seeds in plastic zipper bags and use the trust system to assume they will take only what they need.  So far it has worked out well.


--

Susie Jenkins
Adult Programming
Sandy Public Library
38980 Proctor Blvd., Sandy OR 97055
503-668-5537

This e-mail is a public record of the City of Sandy and is subject to the State of Oregon Retention Schedule and may be subject to public disclosure under the Oregon Public Records Law. This e-mail, including any attachments, is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure, or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please send a reply e-mail to let the sender know of the error and destroy all copies of the original message.


EBo
 

Very nice, thank you for the information. Also thank you for making this available to the public.

On Feb 18 2021 12:10 PM, Susie Jenkins via groups.io wrote:
We have tried several methods over the years. When we started our program
we filled our own envelopes with the number of seeds that we figured the
average home gardener would use. (see "opening day" photo) It was quite
labor intensive.

At this point we are letting our patrons fill their own packets (see "new
seed cabinet" photo). We have small envelopes for them to use. They
choose their seeds from our cabinet and label and fill their own
envelopes. We organize our donated seeds in plastic zipper bags and use
the trust system to assume they will take only what they need. So far it
has worked out well.


--

*Susie Jenkins*
Adult Programming
Sandy Public Library
38980 Proctor Blvd., Sandy OR 97055
503-668-5537
www.ci.sandy.or.us/library/

--
This e-mail is a public record of the City of Sandy and is subject to the
State of Oregon Retention Schedule and may be subject to public disclosure 
under the Oregon Public Records Law. This e-mail, including any
attachments, is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may
contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review,
use, disclosure, or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended
recipient, please send a reply e-mail to let the sender know of the error
and destroy all copies of the original message.



Jenny "Rocky"
 

Thank you!


Jenny "Rocky"
 

I so appreciate your most helpful response and love the pictures. I hear you about labor intensity of divvying. It's a judgement call, for sure, because it's also really labor intensive soliciting donations because people are taking so many. Apparently, one of our 5 sites have had the experience of people not following directions with signage or verbal instructions. Good to know you found your balance! We'll get there, too, through trial and error, I'm sure.


email@...
 

Hello everyone,

At Glasgow Seed Library in Scotland, we consulted some expert seed-savers to glean the appropriate number of plants that would need to be grown to ensure the necessary genetic diversity in the seeds. I couldn't find this data in any one book! It obviously varies depending on the type of vegetable, and we're going for community seed resilience rather than the diversity that a seedbank might require. We then added a small 20% to account for crop or germination failure. 

We then label our seed packets to ask borrowers to grow all the seeds in the packet if they intend to return seeds. I will paste below our table of label information from last year, which hopefully might be of use to some of you! (The first column is the number, hope it parses okay).

Number / weight per packet Type Variety Grown in Saved by Year saved Sow Seed In Save Seed In Pollination Type (wind / insect / self)

10 Squash Squash England Seed Coop 2019 march-april October insect

15 Courgette Courgette England Seed Coop 2019 march-april October insects

15 Courgette Courgette England Seed Coop 2019 march-april October insects

35 Spring Onion Spring Onion England Seed Coop 2019 feb-april summer insects mainly

35 Parsley Parsley England Seed Coop 2019 feb-may spring-summer insects, mainly flies

35 Parsley Parsley England Seed Coop 2019 feb-may spring-summer insects, mainly flies

35 Beetroot Beetroot England Seed Coop 2019 march-may autumn wind

35 Beetroot Beetroot England Seed Coop 2019 march-may autumn wind

35 Carrot Carrot England Seed Coop 2019 march-june summer-autumn insects, mainly flies

15 Tomato Tomato England Seed Coop 2019 feb-march autumn-winter insects mainly

15 Lettuce Lettuce Ireland Irish Seedsavers 2019 feb-july late summmer-autumn self

15 Pea Pea Ireland Irish Seedsavers 2019 march-june autumn self

40 Brussel Sprout Brussel Sprout Ireland Irish Seedsavers 2019 march-april summer-autumn insects

40 Cabbage Cabbage Ireland Irish Seedsavers 2019 march-april summer-autumn insects

15 Lettuce Lettuce Ireland Irish Seedsavers 2019 feb-july late summer-autumn self

40 Parsnip Parsnip Ireland Irish Seedsavers 2019 march-may autumm insects, mainly flies

35 Sunflower Sunflower Wales Real Seeds 2019 march-april late autumn insects mainly bees

15 Tomato  Tomato  Wales Real Seeds 2019 feb-march autumn-winter insects

35 Chard Chard Wales Real Seeds 2019 feb-may/june autumn wind

35 Chard Chard Wales Real Seeds 2019 feb-may/june autumn wind

25 Broccoli Broccoli Wales Real Seeds 2019 feb-april summer-autumn Insects mostly, some self pollination

30 Calabrese Or Broccoli Calabrese Or Broccoli Wales Real Seeds 2019 march-may summer-autumn Insects mostly, some self pollination

15 Cucumber Cucumber Wales Real Seeds 2019 feb-april late autumn-winter insect

15 French Bean French Bean Wales Real Seeds 2019 april-may autumn-winter insect, mainly bees

30 Carrot Carrot Wales Real Seeds 2019 march-june autumn insects, mainly flies

30 Dill Dill Wales Real Seeds 2019 march-may autumn insects, mainly flies

15 Borage Borage Wales Real Seeds 2019 march-may late summer-autumn insect, mainly bees

15 Quinoa Quinoa Wales Real Seeds 2019 april-may late summer-autumn

30 Coriander Coriander Wales Real Seeds 2019 march-may summer-autumn insects, mainly flies

25 Kale Kale Perthshire Margaret 2019

Like Susie, we are trialling things here, so it may change in the future. I'm aware that having to grow 40 cabbages for example, is simply not possible for most city backgarden or shared plot growers. We've been in severe lockdown restrictions for most of the last year, so we haven't been able to have any kind of open access site. This means delivering and posting seed packets to folk rather than letting them fill their own packets at the moment.

Lovely to keep getting these seedy updates from everyone!

Rowan :)


EBo
 

Thank you Rowan. This is most useful and informative. It would be interesting if the experts could write something up for a guidance document.

I wish I had seen this information weeks before -- there was a recent IUCN call for what they call a "think piece", for future projects. Having a guidance document on maintaining genetic diversity in native and heirloom seed production I could imagine would be well received.

EBo --

On Feb 20 2021 8:30 AM, email@rowanlear.org wrote:
Hello everyone,

At Glasgow Seed Library in Scotland, we consulted some expert
seed-savers to glean the appropriate number of plants that would need
to be grown to ensure the necessary genetic diversity in the seeds. I
couldn't find this data in any one book! It obviously varies depending
on the type of vegetable, and we're going for community seed
resilience rather than the diversity that a seedbank might require. We
then added a small 20% to account for crop or germination failure.

We then label our seed packets to ask borrowers to grow all the seeds
in the packet if they intend to return seeds. I will paste below our
table of label information from last year, which hopefully might be of
use to some of you! (The first column is the number, hope it parses
okay).

Number / weight per packet Type Variety Grown in Saved by Year saved
Sow Seed In Save Seed In Pollination Type (wind / insect / self)

10 Squash Squash England Seed Coop 2019 march-april October insect

15 Courgette Courgette England Seed Coop 2019 march-april October insects

15 Courgette Courgette England Seed Coop 2019 march-april October insects

35 Spring Onion Spring Onion England Seed Coop 2019 feb-april summer
insects mainly

35 Parsley Parsley England Seed Coop 2019 feb-may spring-summer
insects, mainly flies

35 Parsley Parsley England Seed Coop 2019 feb-may spring-summer
insects, mainly flies

35 Beetroot Beetroot England Seed Coop 2019 march-may autumn wind

35 Beetroot Beetroot England Seed Coop 2019 march-may autumn wind

35 Carrot Carrot England Seed Coop 2019 march-june summer-autumn
insects, mainly flies

15 Tomato Tomato England Seed Coop 2019 feb-march autumn-winter insects mainly

15 Lettuce Lettuce Ireland Irish Seedsavers 2019 feb-july late
summmer-autumn self

15 Pea Pea Ireland Irish Seedsavers 2019 march-june autumn self

40 Brussel Sprout Brussel Sprout Ireland Irish Seedsavers 2019
march-april summer-autumn insects

40 Cabbage Cabbage Ireland Irish Seedsavers 2019 march-april
summer-autumn insects

15 Lettuce Lettuce Ireland Irish Seedsavers 2019 feb-july late
summer-autumn self

40 Parsnip Parsnip Ireland Irish Seedsavers 2019 march-may autumm
insects, mainly flies

35 Sunflower Sunflower Wales Real Seeds 2019 march-april late autumn
insects mainly bees

15 Tomato Tomato Wales Real Seeds 2019 feb-march autumn-winter insects

35 Chard Chard Wales Real Seeds 2019 feb-may/june autumn wind

35 Chard Chard Wales Real Seeds 2019 feb-may/june autumn wind

25 Broccoli Broccoli Wales Real Seeds 2019 feb-april summer-autumn
Insects mostly, some self pollination

30 Calabrese Or Broccoli Calabrese Or Broccoli Wales Real Seeds 2019
march-may summer-autumn Insects mostly, some self pollination

15 Cucumber Cucumber Wales Real Seeds 2019 feb-april late autumn-winter insect

15 French Bean French Bean Wales Real Seeds 2019 april-may
autumn-winter insect, mainly bees

30 Carrot Carrot Wales Real Seeds 2019 march-june autumn insects, mainly flies

30 Dill Dill Wales Real Seeds 2019 march-may autumn insects, mainly flies

15 Borage Borage Wales Real Seeds 2019 march-may late summer-autumn
insect, mainly bees

15 Quinoa Quinoa Wales Real Seeds 2019 april-may late summer-autumn

30 Coriander Coriander Wales Real Seeds 2019 march-may summer-autumn
insects, mainly flies

25 Kale Kale Perthshire Margaret 2019

Like Susie, we are trialling things here, so it may change in the
future. I'm aware that having to grow 40 cabbages for example, is
simply not possible for most city backgarden or shared plot growers.
We've been in severe lockdown restrictions for most of the last year,
so we haven't been able to have any kind of open access site. This
means delivering and posting seed packets to folk rather than letting
them fill their own packets at the moment.

Lovely to keep getting these seedy updates from everyone!

Rowan :)



Jenny "Rocky"
 

This is golden!
Thank you thank you thank you.


SeedLibraries.net
 

A question that you may want to ask yourself goes to what Ken and Rowan both shared. If you are trying to get the maximum amount of people growing food then you give them what you think they might plant in a season. If you are giving seeds to people who are planning on saving those seeds, then go by the numbers Rowan gave. You can also do both. Put a direct call out to members of your community who will commit to growing things out to seed and give them the numbers that Rowan suggested, and the rest of the folks would get fewer seeds per packet and in appropriate amounts to grow that season. We have some resources on a Grow Out Program on SeedLibraries.net, but I see I have lots more resources that I need to add. If you do a direct ask for folks to save seedes, I strongly recommend creating a Google Form or similar document to have everything in one location in an easy-to-use document. On our document, we also gave the time commitment folks were looking at. It's one thing to grow a plant for food and another to grow it all the way to seed, well at least for most species.

Best wishes,
Rebecca


Ken
 

Great discussion. And so many good ways to go about this. There's no one "right" way and it's all about knowing your goals and community.

Just to note there our other ways of going about ensuring genetic diversity (for libraries asking for seed returns) when you are working with the community that can't always grow the minimum population for genetic health. In many cases people can grow less than the recommended minimum population as long as they are mixing seeds with other members of the seed library and then the next season people are getting a mixed assortment from each of the respective populations. There's still a "minimum minimum" for this method- usually 50% of the text book recommended population. But this method can work for cucurbits, brassicas, and other species on the outcrossing spectrum. 

On Sat, Feb 20, 2021, 3:54 PM SeedLibraries.net <seedlibraries@...> wrote:

A question that you may want to ask yourself goes to what Ken and Rowan both shared. If you are trying to get the maximum amount of people growing food then you give them what you think they might plant in a season. If you are giving seeds to people who are planning on saving those seeds, then go by the numbers Rowan gave. You can also do both. Put a direct call out to members of your community who will commit to growing things out to seed and give them the numbers that Rowan suggested, and the rest of the folks would get fewer seeds per packet and in appropriate amounts to grow that season. We have some resources on a Grow Out Program on SeedLibraries.net, but I see I have lots more resources that I need to add. If you do a direct ask for folks to save seedes, I strongly recommend creating a Google Form or similar document to have everything in one location in an easy-to-use document. On our document, we also gave the time commitment folks were looking at. It's one thing to grow a plant for food and another to grow it all the way to seed, well at least for most species.

Best wishes,
Rebecca


Sara McCamant
 

There are some good resources out there that do have these numbers for seed saving.  
Seed Savers Exchange has this chart

For people growing for good we just imagine what a person might need.  2 summer squash seed.  15 lettuce.   

Warmly 
Sara
Community Seed exchange
Sebastopol CA


Jenny "Rocky"
 

Thank you Sara for the chart. We are going to do a seed saving program in the late summer and we'll definitely refer folks to this chart. 

For the growing for food "imagine what a person might need." I think that's the issue I'm struggling with. For gardeners, it's common sense. But for people like me and some regular public library staff who don't have much experience gardening, (and may be facilitating the service): packaging the seeds is not intuitive in terms of how much is needed according to the plant. For example, I have no idea why you would only need 2 for squash, but need 15 for lettuce. I do plan on learning more about gardening ... but what I'm wanting to do is design an algorithm that any layperson could use at any of our sites to divvy donations into amounts that represent that sweet spot of: not too much, but definitely enough. 

I've been asking around multiple platforms and it seems like that if I put 20 seeds for any variety, the patron will have something reasonable to work with. But I haven't codified that yet, as advice keeps trickling in. Thanks so much for your feedback. (I used to live in Sebastopol for a little while). 

Jenny


Jolene Reid
 

Hi,

 

We use the minimum population suggestions for “community” seeds, in most cases, from the chart in this book https://www.seeds.ca/d/?t=338295a200003056. We try to always throw in few extra from the minimum because life happens in the garden: a dud seed or two, pests, weather….

 

For example, commercial minimum population recommendations may be:

  • Bush beans : 40 plants
  • Cucumber : 20 plants
  • Lettuce : 20 plants
  • Pepper (sweet) : 20 plants
  • Tomato : 20 plants

But for community seed programs, the minimum populations are:

  • Bush beans : 20 plants
  • Cucumber : 6 plants
  • Lettuce : 6 plants
  • Pepper (sweet) : 6 plants
  • Tomato : 6 plants

 

Be well!

Jo

 

 

Jolene Reid (she/her)

Seed Library Coordinator

MacRae Library

Dalhousie University

Agricultural Campus

135 College Road, PO Box 550

Truro NS  B2N 5E3 CANADA

jolene.reid@...

Tel: (902) 893-4578

Fax: (902) 895-0934

http://libraries.dal.ca/

 

Dalhousie University sits on the traditional and unceded territory of the Mi'kmaq. We are all Treaty people.

 

 

 

From: main@seedlibraries.groups.io <main@seedlibraries.groups.io> On Behalf Of Jenny "Rocky" via groups.io
Sent: February 22, 2021 1:58 PM
To: main@seedlibraries.groups.io
Subject: Re: [seedlibraries] How many seeds per packet? #s eeds

 

CAUTION: The Sender of this email is not from within Dalhousie.

Thank you Sara for the chart. We are going to do a seed saving program in the late summer and we'll definitely refer folks to this chart. 

For the growing for food "imagine what a person might need." I think that's the issue I'm struggling with. For gardeners, it's common sense. But for people like me and some regular public library staff who don't have much experience gardening, (and may be facilitating the service): packaging the seeds is not intuitive in terms of how much is needed according to the plant. For example, I have no idea why you would only need 2 for squash, but need 15 for lettuce. I do plan on learning more about gardening ... but what I'm wanting to do is design an algorithm that any layperson could use at any of our sites to divvy donations into amounts that represent that sweet spot of: not too much, but definitely enough. 

I've been asking around multiple platforms and it seems like that if I put 20 seeds for any variety, the patron will have something reasonable to work with. But I haven't codified that yet, as advice keeps trickling in. Thanks so much for your feedback. (I used to live in Sebastopol for a little while). 

Jenny