Ready to get gardening? The Omaha Public Library can help you out | Lifestyles

Each month, this space will be dedicated to a library resource or service available free with your Omaha Public Library card.

The Common Soil Seed Library continues to grow in popularity. With nearly 36,000 seed packet check outs in 2021 (36% growth from 2019, and more than 62% over 2020), it was the biggest year in OPL seed library history.

Patrons may visit Benson, Bess Johnson Elkhorn, Millard and South Omaha Library branches to browse full seed collections. All other branches have some popular seeds available for check out. Patrons may also search for seeds in OPL’s online catalog and request to have them sent to their preferred OPL branch.

Visit to peruse varieties of flowers, fruits, herbs and produce. Patrons may also suggest that OPL purchase any seed varieties that aren’t stocked, either in person at any OPL location or through OPL’s website.

OPL cardholders may check out up to 15 seed packets each month. Germination information and planting instructions are available for each seed type.

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Gardeners are advised to read the growing instructions carefully, as some plants must be started earlier in the year to reach their full maturity by growing season.

OPL’s Urban Gardening Librarian Jacob Lee says that gardening and horticulture offer an enormous benefit to not only the environment, but also to one’s own health and well-being. “Gardening is mentally and physically active and can be done in nearly any living condition. It provides support for biodiversity and pollination in your environment, and more nutritional value in your seasonal diet.”

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Check out some of these gardening books at OPL:

“Gardening Hacks: 300+ Time & Money Saving Hacks” by Jon VanZile

“Fearless Gardening: Be Bold, Break the Rules, & Grow What You Love” by Loree Bohl

“My First Indoor Garden: Everything You Need to Know to Grow Little Houseplants” by Philippe Asseray

“Garden Allies: The Insects, Birds & Other Animals That Keep Your Garden Beautiful and Thriving” by Frédérique Lavoipierre.

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