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The IndyPL Seed Library

Pick up free seeds to start your vegetable, herb, or flower garden free! The IndyPL Seed Library is available at all our locations during regular branch hours from late March through September.  One packet of each type of seed per household. In addition to free seeds, check out resources and attend workshops about growing and using plants from your seeds. We provide materials and programs to make gardening in Indianapolis a doable goal for beginners.

Tune in online for a a Gardening Storytime – a great way to read up on beginning gardening projects for kids. For kids, gardening offers a way to get messy and watch the payoff for their hard work, in the form of growing veggies and beautiful flowers. You can say, “Hey! I grew the thing! Look at the thing that I grew! Isn’t it pretty?” Imagine the Instagram fun!

Programs

Gloved hands planting a garden.
  • Event: West Perry Gardening Group
  • Date & Time: Friday, April 19, 10:15am
  • Location: West Perry Branch
  • Description: Gardens are essentially a place of sharing and gardeners know that we learn a lot from each other–whether you’re just starting or experienced. Sessions will feature seasonal discussions with a local Master Gardener, resources–like our Seed Library–and connections with other gardeners.
  • No Registration Required.
  • Event: Vermicomposting
  • Date & Time: Thursday, May 09, 12:00pm
  • Location: Garfield Park Branch
  • Description: Join Purdue Extension staff to learn about composting with worms! This is a great way to take your table scraps and turn them into food for your plants quickly!
  • Register Here
  • Event: Get Growing!
  • Date & Time: Saturday, May 11, 1:00pm
  • Location: Glendale Branch
  • Description: The last frost is done and it’s time to put those seeds in your garden! If you don’t have a plan yet, let’s make one! Soil preparation, light requirements and plant spacing will all be covered. What can you start from seed and what transplants should you get? We’ve got you covered.
  • Register Here
  • Event: West Perry Gardening Group
  • Date & Time: Friday, May 17, 10:15am
  • Location: West Perry Branch
  • Description: Gardens are essentially a place of sharing and gardeners know that we learn a lot from each other–whether you’re just starting or experienced. Sessions will feature seasonal discussions with a local Master Gardener, resources–like our Seed Library–and connections with other gardeners.
  • No Registration Required.

View on Demand

Learn on Demand Video: Seed Saving
Join Anika Williams from the Pike Branch of The Indianapolis Public Library as she harvests milkweed seeds on site and discusses the Seed Library available there.

Reading Recommendations from our Staff

Browse these featured staff book lists to help improve your gardening in Indianapolis skills. See all our gardening book lists here.

Gardening in Indianapolis Resources

Follow Purdue Extension, one of the best ways to learn about gardening in Indiana. Browse their recommended online resources:

Gardening for Kids

Subscribe to NextReads to receive Home, Garden & DIY reading recommendation in your inbox monthly. Book suggestions are linked to our catalog for easy requesting. It’s FREE! See a sample issue. Subscribe to NextReads!

Gardening is a great opportunity to practice some planning and organization. Tune in online for a a Gardening Storytime – a great way to read up on beginning gardening projects for kids. When the weather is right, you will be glad you did! For kids, gardening offers a way to get messy and watch the payoff for their hard work, in the form of growing veggies and beautiful flowers. You can say, “Hey! I grew the thing! Look at the thing that I grew! Isn’t it pretty?” Imagine the Instagram fun! And maybe enjoy a little reading too!

Making a connection between gardening and food is an important skill for small children. Where does food come from BEFORE it is in the grocery store? We can help you get started learning about where food comes from. Gardening can supplement any family learning from home opportunities. Get started with Plant the Tiny Seed, by Christie Matheson.

Talk!

After listening to the gardening storytime, talk about some of the things that happened in the story.

  • Have you ever planted any seeds? Did the seed you planted grow? If they did, what did the seeds grow into?
  • Can you name any seeds that we eat?
  • Can you name the main parts of a plant?
  • How do bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds help plants?

Read!

Use your indyPL Library Card to check out books about gardens at any of our locations, or check out gardening e-books and audiobooks from OverDrive Kids right to your device! If you have never used OverDrive before, you can learn how to use it for both e-books and audiobooks.

Click on the book covers below to listen to more video read aloud stories about gardening right now! It’s garden storytime online! Did you like these? You can find more stories at Free Video Read Alouds and enjoy even more themed reading and activity fun at IndyPL’s DIY Online Storytimes at Home.

title - Blank Entrytitle - Miss Maple's Seedstitle - Miss Rumphiustitle - Blank Entrytitle - La señorita Runfio

Gardening Books for Kids to Check Out with your IndyPL Library Card

List Cover Images - How Does Your Garden GrowThis list contains stories and information books all about growing your own garden and then using what you grow…to eat!

Sing!

Watch how cooperation makes garden grow and sing along, “Together we can make a pretty garden grow!”

Write!

Find some crayons or makers to color a picture, practice writing the letters, or see if you can follow your way through a maze without getting stuck.

Play!

Take a walk and read a story, it’s gardening storytime on the go! We invite you to visit StoryWalk® in Ruckle Street Park at 3025 Ruckle Street. Stroll through the park and read a book displayed in mounted frames. Or Skip. Or gallop!

Join Us for In-Person Storytime!

  • Event: Storytime at Spades Park
  • Date & Time: Thursday, April 18, 10:30am
  • Location: Spades Park Branch
  • Description: Babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and an adult are invited to join us for stories and more every Thursday in the Community Room followed by socialization time for children and caregivers.
  • No Registration Required.

Need Help?

Ask a Library staff member at any of our locations or call, text, or email Ask-a-Librarian. The Tinker Station helpline at (317) 275-4500 is also available. It is staffed by device experts who can answer questions about how to read, watch and listen on a PC, tablet or phone.

The water on the earth is in constant motion. Water falls to the earth as rain and then evaporates back up into the air forming clouds. Evaporation is the process that changes liquid (like water) to gas (water vapor in the air). Water vapor in the air forms tiny droplets. When there are a bunch of these droplets clouds form. When a bunch of the droplets stick together raindrops form and fall back to earth again. After the rain falls, some of it soaks into the earth, and some of it evaporates into the air again. This cycle is call the hydrologic or water cycle. You can build construct a DIY terrarium and observe the water cycle in it.

Make a DIY Terrarium

To see how the hydrologic cycle works you can make your own miniature model of the earth in a terrarium. A terrarium is a little garden inside a clear, sealed plastic or glass container. A canning jar is a common glass container with a lid that might be easy to find at home. You can probably find the other things you need for your terrarium in your own backyard: small stones go in the bottom of the container, dirt, and a small plant or two. Look in shady areas for moss, it grows really well in a terrarium! You can also plant seeds and watch them grow.

Here are two videos that will help you. One explains how the water cycle works and the other will take you through step-by-step directions for building your own DIY terrarium.

What You Need

  • a Clear Plastic or Glass Container With a Lid
  • Stones
  • Soil
  • Plants
  • Water
  • Little Toys for Decoration (optional)

Instructions

After planting, add enough water just to moisten the soil. You don’t want to flood your garden. You don’t want standing water in the bottom of the container. When you poor water into your terrarium you are starting the water cycle. Eventually, it will “rain” in the little glass world you have made! When you set your terrarium in the sun the water inside the terrarium will heat up and turn into water vapor in the air. This is called evaporation. When the water cools back down, it turns back into a liquid. You will see condensation – water droplets – sticking to the lid of your terrarium. If the drops get large enough, they will roll down the sides of the container or fall from the lid – rain!

The close-up on the left shows the condensation that began to form on the inside of the jar after only 1 hour sitting in the sun. If there is too much water just open the lid and let some of the water evaporate into the air outside the container. If your plants look wilted or dry, try adding a little more water. It might take some trial and error to get the amount of water needed just right.

Science Experiment Idea

Make three identical terrariums. You have to use the same kind of container, the same amount of soil & the same plants. Make your variable (the thing you are going to test) the amount of water you put into the terrariums. Measure a different amount of water into each terrarium. Close the lids and watch the terrariums over several days to see which amount of water made the best environment for your plants. A terrarium with too little water will have dry plants. A terrarium with too much water will have plants with yellow leaves and maybe even mold growing on the soil!

Websites, Activities & Printables

You can also ask a math and science expert for homework help by calling the Ask Rose Homework Hotline. They provide FREE math and science homework help to Indiana students in grades 6-12.

e-Books & Audiobooks

Use your indyPL Library Card to check out books about plants at any of our locations, or check out plant e-books and audiobooks from OverDrive Kids right to your device! If you have never used OverDrive before, you can learn how to use it for both e-books and audiobooks.

Need more help? Ask a Library staff member at any of our locations or call, text or email Ask-a-Librarian. Additionally, the Tinker Station helpline at (317) 275-4500 is also available. It is staffed by device experts who can answer questions about how to read, watch and listen on a PC, tablet or phone.

Little Indoor Gardens for Kids – Terrariums & the Hydrologic Cycle

To see how the hydrologic (water) cycle works you can make a miniature model of the earth in a terrarium. A terrarium is a little garden inside a clear, sealed plastic or glass container. After making one, you can watch how water evaporates, condenses and rains. Here are some books to help you learn about the hydrologic cycle and put together a terrarium of your own.

Title - A Family Guide to Terrariums for KidsTitle - DropTitle - Water CyclesTitle - The Water LadyTitle - WaterTitle - WaterTitle - How Long Is the Water Cycle?Title - The Water CycleTitle - From Raindrop to TapTitle - Fairy Garden DesignTitle - The Water CycleTitle - The Nitty-gritty Gardening Book