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Seed Library at the Milwaukee Area Technical College: Seed Ordering/Receiving

Seed Inventory

The MATC Seed Library is now closed until September. We thank you for your enthusiastic support.

Over 400 Milwaukee area households obtained seeds! Have a growing summer!

 

Last Pick Up for previously placed orders is Friday, May 20. Mequon Library Hours/Location

Note: This webpage is most easily navigated via a laptop or PC, rather than your phone.

-A collaboration between the MATC Landscape Horticulture Program and the MATC Mequon Campus Library.-

Beans & Peas

BE-40 Arikara Yellow Bean
 
Item Details: Seeds were originally obtained from the Arikara tribe of North Dakota and introduced in Oscar Will’s Pioneer Indian Collection of seeds (1914). Yellow-tan seeds with red-brown eye rings. Excellent for use as a baking bean. Prolific plants, good drought tolerance. Bush habit, dry,
 
Instructions: Direct seed/sow seeds outdoors after danger of frost has passed and soil and air temperatures have warmed. Harvest dry beans when the pods are completely mature and dry.
 

Sun Preference: Full sun
Planting Depth: 1”
Spacing between Plants: 36"
Days to Maturity: 80-90
Support: Can cage, stake

Cole Crops

https://www.seedsavers.org/site/img/seo-images/0352C-copenhagen-market-cabbage.jpg

COL-03 Copenhagen Market Cabbage
 
Item Details: This Danish historic variety was introduced by H. Hartmann & Company in 1909. Its solid heads rarely burst. Medium-sized plants are ideal for small gardens. 
 
Instructions: Sow seed indoors ¼" deep 4-6 weeks before the last frost. Plant out just before the last frost. Make sure cabbage has a regular supply of water.
 

Sun Preference: Full sun
Days to Germination: 7-12
Start Indoors: 4-6 weeks before last frost
Planting Depth: 1/4"
Spacing between plants: 24-36"
Days to Maturity: 63-100 from transplant
Width at Maturity: 6-8" diameter
Weight at Maturity: 3-4 lbs

COL-12 Red Kalibos Cabbage

 

Item Details: This beautiful Eastern European variety bears elongated, red cabbages framed by greenish-red outer foliage. The leaves of these dense 2-3 pound heads have a sweetness that makes them perfect for slaws and salads, or for use in pickling. A good keeper that adds an ornamental quality to the vegetable garden.

 

Instructions: Sow seed indoors ¼" deep 4-6 weeks before the last frost. Plant out just before the last frost. Take care not to disrupt the shallow root system while transplanting and weeding. Make sure cabbage has a regular supply of water. Mulching cabbage will reduce weeds and keep moderate temperatures and even moisture in the soil. Cabbage is a heavy feeder and consequently needs an even supply of nutrients.

 

Start Indoors: 4-6 weeks before last frost

Planting Depth: ¼”

Germination: 7-12 Days

Transplant Spacing: 24-36" apart

Sun Preference: Full Sun

Days to Maturity: 80 from transplant

COL-15 Rat-Tailed Radish

 

Item Details: Grows above ground for the edible seed pods, not for the roots. Crisp, pungent seed pods. Immature pods have best flavor. Eaten raw, pickled, or chopped in salads.

 

Instructions: Sow seeds outdoors as soon as soil can be worked in spring. Successive plantings can be made every 3-4 weeks throughout summer and fall to provide a continual harvest. Keep the ground around your rat-tail radish cool by watering frequently. Mulch around the base of your plant to retain moisture. Provide an inch of water a week. Unlike other radishes, the rat-tail radish will keep right on producing through the heat of summer.

 

Sun Preference: Full sun
Days to Germination: 3-4
Planting Depth: 1/2”
Spacing in Row: 1" Thin to 2-3” and toss the tiny seedlings into a garden fresh salad for a slightly spicy flavor.
Spacing Between Rows: 12"
Days to Maturity: 50
Plant Height at Maturity: 3-4’ Requires caging/staking
Radish Size at Maturity: 4-6”. Pencil thick

Edible Flowers & Seeds

EDI-32 Mammoth Russian Sunflower
 
Item Details: Attracts pollinators. Huge heads supported by massive trunks. One of the oldest and most popular sunflower varieties available. Towering plants with huge heads supported by massive trunks. Use to attract pollinators, turn heads in the neighborhood, roast for eating, or feed wildlife throughout winter. Grey striped seed. 
 
Instructions: Sow seeds outdoors after last frost. Sunflowers prefer well-drained rich soil.
 

Sun Preference: Full sun to light shade
Days to Germination: 10-14
Planting Depth: 1/2”
Spacing in Row: 10-12". When seedlings have two sets of leaves, thin to 16”
Spacing Between Rows: 24-36"
Days to Maturity: 90
Height at Maturity: 12’
Flower Heads Width at Maturity: 12"
Support! Cage, stake, or trellis

Lettuce & Greens

GRE-38 Rainbow Blend Chard
 
Item Details:  A swiss chard type. Striking improved blend of red, pink, white, yellow and gold stems. Upright habit makes for clean production and easy harvesting. Color intensity is not as well defined early on; mostly pink, red and white at baby stage. Grow to full size for a dazzling display. Narrow to broad stems. Its ruby and golden stems and bold green leaves arch exuberantly toward the sun (when the sun is really bright it seems to penetrate these stems, making them glow). Consider planting in a spot where its ornamental value can be appreciated. It's easy to grow and tends to perform quite well even when slightly neglected.
 
One of the tastiest ways to prepare chard is to heat some oil over low heat in a tall pan, toss in some sesame seeds until toasted, and then toss in a mess of washed chard until it wilts. Add soy sauce and a little sweetener: so good!
 
Instructions: Direct sow beginning 2-3 weeks before last frost, or start indoors 3 weeks earlier and transplant. In-row spacing should be 8-10" apart (thinnings make great braised greens!). Harvest outer leaves for continual production. Transplants can be started indoors or in a cold frame 4-6 weeks before planting and transplanted outdoors after danger of frost has passed. Transplants result in earlier harvests. Optimal germination temperature is 55-75°F. Babyleaf varieties grow well in summer months when it is too hot for lettuce. Sow every week for a continual summer harvest until 4 weeks before frost date. Chard appreciates fertile soil. Ready to harvest after five weeks, when leaves are ~3”, growth rate is weather dependent. Harvest full size leaves at any stage. Continuous harvests will encourage new growth. Use floating row covers to extend the season. Cool with water immediately after harvest; stores best in plastic bags in the refrigerator.
 

Sun Preference: Full to little sun
Days to Germination: 7-14
Planting Depth: 1/2”
Spacing in Row: 8-10"
Spacing Between Rows: 18-24"
Days to Maturity: 60 full size. 30 baby. Subtract 14-21 days if transplanting
Height at Maturity: 12-16”
Width at Maturity: 8"

GRE-68 Ruby Red Chard
 
Item Details: Rich crimson red stems and bright green savoyed leaves. Narrow stems. Our improved strain of this standard red has been selected for highly savoyed leaves, color contrast and minimal chocolate leaves late in the season. Good early coloring of stems, perfect for microgreens or baby leaf.
 
Instructions:  Chard can be direct seeded mid-spring through mid-summer and into fall in warmer regions. Transplants can be started indoors or in a cold frame 4-6 weeks before planting and transplanted outdoors after danger of frost has passed. Transplants result in earlier harvests. Baby leaf varieties grow well in summer months when it is too hot for lettuce. Sow every week for a continual summer harvest until 4 weeks before frost date. Ready to harvest after five weeks, when leaves are ~3”, growth rate is weather dependent.
 
Harvest full size leaves at any stage. Continuous harvests will encourage new growth. Use floating row covers to extend the season. Cool with water immediately after harvest; stores best in plastic bags in the refrigerator.
 

Optimal Germination Temp: 55-75 degrees
Planting Depth: 1/2”
Spacing in Row: Baby leaf ~40 seeds/ft. Full size leaves thin plants to 4-8" depending on desired leaf size.
Spacing Between Rows: Baby leaf 2-4” between bands. Full size 18-24".
Days to Maturity: From direct seeding Baby 30. Full size 60. If transplanting, subtract 14-21 days. 
Leaf Length at Maturity: 3”

GRE-62 High Mowing Mild Mustard Blend
 
Item Details: Our favorite mild brassicas, mustards and Asian greens. One of our most popular mixes, with a variety of mild mustards and other greens. Includes some of our favorite kales, mild-flavored mustards and Asian greens for a tasty, diverse assortment. An attractive mix with contrasting leaf shapes, colors and textures. Can be marketed and used as a braising mix if grown to full size.
 
Commonly grown as baby leaf for salad mixes in the US, and also traditionally grown for full size leaves in ethnic cuisine or stir-fry and pickled. Light cooking dispels mustard heat to reveal a very sweet and full flavor.
 
Instructions: Harvest as desired when leaves are ~3” tall by cutting 1” from ground or pick individual leaves for cut and come again. 
 

Direct seed as soon as soil can be worked. Sow every 3 weeks into fall for a continuous harvest. Use floating row cover when planting to protect from flea beetles. 
 
Planting Depth: 1/4”
Spacing in Row: Baby leaf ~60 seeds/ft. Full size ~12 seeds/ft. Thin to 6”
Spacing Between Rows: Baby: 2-3”. Full size: 18”
Days to Maturity: 21

GRE-66 Curly Roja Kale
 
Item Details: Edible and ornamental. The first organically available curly red kale! Densely frilled leaf edges, stunning purple-sage color, deep purple stems and cold-hardiness are all elements of an exquisite kale bunch that holds well after harvest. Does especially well under fertile conditions.
 
Instructions: Kale and collards are hardy biennials that will overwinter in milder climates, and improve in flavor with the onset of cold weather. Kale and Collards thrive in well drained fertile soil high in organic matter. Plant baby leaf every 4-5 weeks for a continual harvest. Sow fall plantings two months before first expected frost for full size and up until frost for baby leaf. Harvest full size leaves when desired. Kale flavor sweetens after light frosts. Kale and collards are both very cold hardy, overwintering in most climates to some degree. Cool leaves in cold water at harvest and store in plastic in fridge. In late fall, cut the heart of the plant and store just above freezing in a plastic bag for a few weeks.
 

Sun Preference: Full sun
Days to Germination: 7-10
Planting Depth: 1/4”
Spacing in Row: 4-5". Harvest young plants to 8-10” spacing, for full size plant
Spacing between Rows: 18”
Days to Maturity: 55
Height at Maturity: 18"

GRE-21 Lacinato Dinosaur Kale          
 
Item Details: (aka Nero di Toscana, Tuscan) Improved vigor, yield and hardiness. Italian kale which reportedly dates back to the 18th century. Very dark, blue-green strap-like, blade shaped, heavily savoyed textured leaves, which sweeten with each frost. Best eaten when leaves are small and tender. Ideal for raw kale salads and soups.
 
Instructions: Plant out just before the last frost. Kale is most tender and delicious after a frost. Harvest can continue even after snow. Days to maturity are from direct seeding, subtract 2 weeks if transplanting. Direct sow as soon as soil can be worked or start transplants 4 weeks before planting date. Plant baby leaf every 4-5 weeks for a continual harvest. Sow fall plantings two months before first expected frost for full size and up until frost for baby leaf.
 
Harvest full size leaves when desired. Cool leaves in cold water at harvest and store in plastic in fridge. In late fall, cut the heart of the plant and store just above freezing in a plastic bag for a few weeks.
 

Sun Preference: Full sun
Days to Germination: 3-10
Planting Depth: 1/4"
Spacing in Row: 2-4” for baby. 24" apart in all directions for full size
Days to Maturity: From transplant - 30 for baby. 60 full size
Height at Maturity: 24-36" tall
Leaf Size at Maturity: 3” wide by 10-18” long

GRE-20 Red Russian/Ragged Jack Kale

 

Item Details: One of the hardiest and most tender-leaved of all kales, this variety is originally from Siberia and was brought to Canada by Russian traders around 1885. Its beautiful, frilly, purple-veined, blue-green leaves are tinged with red-purple and resemble oak leaves.It's as at-home in a decorative border as it is in a productive row. Because its leaves are flat and thin, it wilts very quickly; if cooking with thicker, curlier kale varieties, toss it in later to keep it from overcooking.  

 

Flat, ragged leaves are perfect in sautes and soups. Don’t let his unkempt outfit fool you: Jack is robust, tasteful, and adds an elegant frill wherever he goes. Just like a traveling Russian peasant, Ragged Jack has many colorful stories to tell: stories of wilted kale salads, deep green sautées, and potato-kale soups. He will overwinter with just a little protection and thank you with a delicious flourish of spring greens and flower buds.

 

Instructions: If desired, sow indoors, beginning 8 weeks before last frost. Sow in succession until 8 weeks before first fall frost to ensure an autumn crop, which is tastiest. Prefers fertile soil, but will generally succeed even in less-than-ideal conditions. Harvest outer leaves, which allows the plant to continue to produce new growth. Stays delicious well into winter. Hardy to -10°F. 
 

Sun Preference: Full Sun
Days to Germination: 3-10
Days to Maturity: 60
Planting Depth: 1/2"
Spacing in Row: 18"
Spacing Between Rows: 18"
Height at Maturity: 18-36"
Width at Maturity: 18"

GRE-64 White Russian Kale
 
Item Details: Sweet, tender leaves with excellent frost tolerance. Voted the best-tasting in our taste tests, with white ribs and blue green leaves that get sweeter in cold weather. Broad leaves size up well while remaining tender, offering the classic shape of a Red Russian kale with a slightly more refined appearance. Leaves are moderately serrated and beautiful when cut at baby leaf size or left to mature for full bunches. Great for pairing with Red Russian for an attractive color blend. A portion of the sales of this variety is paid to the breeder. This variety is protected by the Open Source Seed Initiative.
 
Kale and collards are hardy biennials that improve in flavor with the onset of cold weather. 
Scotch - Deeply curled and wrinkled leaves. Very hardy.
Siberian or Russian – Flat leaves with lobed edges. Most tender.
Lacinato – Dark green savoyed blade shaped leaves.
Collards – More heat tolerant. Giant round leaves.
 
Instructions: Days to maturity are from direct seeding, subtract 2 weeks if transplanting. Direct sow as soon as soil can be worked or start transplants 4 weeks before planting date. Plant baby leaf every 4-5 weeks for a continual harvest. Sow fall plantings two months before first expected frost for full size and up until frost for baby leaf. Harvest full size leaves when desired. Kale flavor sweetens after light frosts. Kale and collards are both very cold hardy, overwintering in most climates to some degree. Cool leaves in cold water at harvest and store in plastic in fridge. In late fall, cut the heart of the plant and store just above freezing in a plastic bag for a few weeks. Kale and collards do not usually suffer too much from pest damage, but they are subject to the same insect pests as cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli. In general, kale and collards do not suffer much from disease. 
 

Sun Preference: Full sun
Tolerates Frost, and Wet Soil: Well
Planting Depth: 1/4-1/2”
Plant Spacing: 18-30" for full size
Days to Maturity: 21 for baby leaves. 50 for full size
Height at Maturity: 24-30”

GRE-67 Dark Lolla Rossa Lettuce
 
Item Details: Italian looseleaf loved for its deep red, tightly curled leaves surrounding a bright green heart. An ideal baby leaf variety providing mild flavor and excellent loft, heft and color to salad mixes. Open heads are compact, slower growing and slower to bolt than other lettuces. Displayed field resistance to mildew in our trials.
 
Instructions: Grows best in cool temperatures and can bolt during hot weather. Days to maturity are from direct seeding. Sow every three weeks from spring through late summer for a continuous supply.
 

Sun Preference: Full sun
Days to Germination: 7-10
Planting Depth: 1/8”
Seed Spacing: 1" for baby. 8” for full size
Spacing Between Rows: 12"
Days to Maturity: 30 for baby. 55 for full size
Height at Maturity: 12”

GRE-71 Renegade F1 Spinach
 
Item Details: All-season variety. Ultimate bolt tolerance with smooth, dark green oval leaves. Grows a bit slowly but excels in quality of leaf when handled; never prone to brittleness or cracking. Good disease and virus resistance; ideal for winter high tunnels. From Bejo Seeds. Precision sized. Hybrid
 
Instructions: Direct seed as soon as soil can be worked in the spring, and again in the late summer-early fall. Greenhouse spinach is sown in early fall to give just enough time to germinate and produce a modest amount of leaf, but not grow so fast as to require a lot of upkeep. Seed germinates best when soil temperatures are 32-60°F and achieves the best quality when air temperatures are 55-60°F. Sow every 7 days for a continual harvest. Harvest individual leaves or cut baby leaves 1” above the ground. Harvest the entire plant for bunched spinach by cutting the whole plant right below its crown. Store washed spinach at low temperatures and high humidity for 10-14 days.
 

Sun Preference: Full to little
Days to Germination: 7-14
Planting Depth: 1/8-1/4”
Spacing: For babyleaf 1-2” apart, for bunching 12-18”
Days to Maturity: 43

Onions & Leeks

ONI-02 Giant Musselburgh Leek
 
Item Details: (aka Scotch Flag) Scottish variety introduced in the early 1800s. Enormous leeks. Tender white stalks, dark blue-green fan-shaped leaves. Mild flavor and will take on sweeter tones as temperatures drop. Very cold tolerant.
 
Instructions: Sow seeds indoors ¼" deep and space 1" in all directions. Transplant outdoors 6” apart, as soon as soil can be worked in spring. Hill or mound soil around stems several times to blanch as leeks grow.
 

Start Indoors: 4-6 weeks before last frost
Sun Preference: Full sun
Days to Germination: 5-7
Planting Depth: 1/4”
Spacing: 6”
Days to Maturity: 80-150 days from transplant
Size at Maturity: 9-15" long. 2-3" diameter

Tomatoes

TOM-52 Dr. Wyche's Yellow Tomato
 
Item Details: Given to SSE by the late Dr. John Wyche, one of SSE’s earliest members. Dr. Wyche’s friend used to own Carson & Barnes Circus which overwintered in Hugo, OK. He fertilized his terraced mountaintop gardens with the elephant manure and scattered lion and tiger waste to keep out deer and rabbits. Heavy yields of one pound golden-yellow tomatoes. Meaty flesh and rich, good flavor. Indeterminate.
 
Instructions: Tomatoes are sensitive to freezing temperatures, so wait to transplant outdoors until the soil is warm.
 

Sun Preference: Full sun
Start Indoors: 6 weeks before last frost
Days to Germination: 7-14
Planting Depth: 1/4”
Spacing between plants: 24-36"
Days to Maturity: 75-85 from transplant
Fruit Size at Maturity: Up to 1 lb
Support: Cage, stake, or trellis

Carrots & Beets

CAR-25 Halblange Parsnip
 
Item Details: Bright white, highly uniform roots with strong yield potential. A standout in our trials for the striking white of the roots and the high degree of uniformity. More wedge-shaped with a very consistent length. Sweet, earthy taste; sugars and flavor are enhanced if plants experience a slight frost before harvest. This seed is from our collaborators at Bingenheimer Saatgut, a biodynamic seed production company in Germany. Open-pollinated.
 
Instructions: Parsnips like deep, loose soil. Do not allow soil to dry out before emergence. Flavor is sweetest when harvested just before the ground freezes or at least after two hard frosts. Can also be harvested in the spring before tops have begun to regrow. Harvest using gloves to avoid skin irritations. Unwashed roots can store for several weeks at 32°F at a high relative humidity as close to 95% as possible. With good air circulation, topped roots can be stored for four to five months.
 

Sun Preference: Full sun
Days to Germination: 21
Planting Depth: 1/2”
Spacing in Row: 2-3"
Spacing Between Rows: 18-24"
Days to Maturity: 120
Height at Maturity: 18”
Length at Maturity: 10-12"

CAR-24 Lancer Parsnip
 
Item Details: Uniform long season root with creamy white flesh and sweet, nutty flavor for roasting, sautés and mashing. Gets sweeter when exposed to cold temperatures. Shows resistance to canker, a fungal pathogen which causes black lesions on the root. Open-pollinated.
 
Instructions: Parsnips like deep, loose soil. Do not allow soil to dry out before emergence. Flavor is sweetest when harvested just before the ground freezes or at least after two hard frosts. Can also be harvested in the spring before tops have begun to regrow. Harvest using gloves to avoid skin irritations. Unwashed roots can store for several weeks at 32°F at a high relative humidity as close to 95% as possible. With good air circulation, topped roots can be stored for four to five months.
 

Sun Preference: Full sun
Days to Germination: 21
Planting Depth: 1/2”
Spacing in Row: 2-3"
Spacing Between Rows: 18-24"
Days to Maturity: 120
Height at Maturity: 18”
Length at Maturity: 10-12"

https://www.seedsavers.org/site/img/seo-images/1554-mammoth-sandwich-island-salsify.jpg

CAR-11  Mammoth Sandwich Island Salsify
 
Item Details: (aka Sandwich Island) Originally native to the Mediterranean, this variety dates to at least the 1880s. Known as “Vegetable Oyster” due to its uncanny oyster-like flavor. Long tapered roots. Creamy white skin and white flesh. Upright grass-like leaves.
 
Instructions: Sow seeds outdoors in early spring as soon as soil can be worked. Seeds will germinate in 3 weeks. Salsify prefers a deep friable soil and is most delicious after a frost. Dig roots in late fall.
 

Planting Depth: 1/2"
Spacing in Row: 1"; thin to 2" to 3"
Spacing Between Rows: 18"-24"
Length at Maturity: 8-10"
Diameter at Maturity: 1”
Days to Maturity: 120

Cucumbers & Squash

CU-53 New England Pie Pumpkin
 
Item Details: Heirloom. Classic New England for pies or mini jack-o-lanterns. Dry, stringless flesh and superior thick consistency in pies. Attractive fruits have dark orange skin with light ribbing and well attached handles. Delicious flesh is not quite as sweet as Baby Pam but has even better texture. Stores well.
 
Instructions: Days to maturity are from direct seeding, subtract 2 weeks if transplanting. Seeds can be direct seeded after the danger of frost has passed and soil temperature has reached 70°F. Tighter spacing will result in yields of smaller, but more numerous fruit. Start transplants indoors 3-4 weeks before the last risk of frost. Optimal soil temperature for germination is 85-95°F. Black plastic mulch and floating row cover can also be used to increase soil and air temperature, as well as ward off cucumber beetles which eat young seedlings and spread disease. Remove row cover when flowers open to allow for insect pollination. 
 
Pumpkins grow best in fertile, well-drained soil, with pH between 5.8-6.8. Sidedressing is recommended one week after blossoming and again 3 weeks later, especially if there are signs of deficiency. Nitrogen deficiencies cause yellowing, and bronze leaves are a sign of potassium deficiency.
 
Harvest by cutting stems near the vine or at least 2-3” from fruit. Too many days of sun on fruits after maturity will bleach handles and cause sunscald on the fruit. A short or broken stem can lead to rot. Cure after harvest by keeping in a warm, dry location for a few days then store at 50-55°F with 55-75% relative humidity and good air circulation. 
 

Sun Preference: Full sun
Days to Germination: 7-10
Planting Depth: 1/2-1”
Spacing: Hills 6’ apart in all directions
Plant: 2-4 seeds per hill. 18-36” apart
Days to Maturity: 105
Fruit Weight at Maturity: 5-7 lb
Plant Height: 24”

CU-26 Patisson Panache Jaune et Verte Squash
 
Item Details: (aka Variegated Scallop, Yellow and Green) Described in Vilmorin's Description de Plantes Potageres (1856). Sent to SSE by French member Bruno Defay. Summer squash. Creamy white scallop squash with green stripes, borne on bush plants with high yields. Good eating qualities when young, rock-hard ornamental when fully mature. Organic.
 
Instructions: Sow seeds outdoors in 12" diameter hills after the danger of frost has passed. Hills should be spaced 6' apart in all directions. Can also be started indoors 3 weeks before transplanting out.
 

Sun Preference: Full sun
Planting Depth: 1” in 12” diameter hills
Spacing: 6’ apart in all directions
Plant: 2 seeds per hill
Days to Maturity: 50-70

CU-27 Tennessee Sweet Potato Squash  
 
Item Details: This is the tofu of squashes, as it absorbs the flavors of the food with which it is cooked. It has a very mild taste, certainly not sweet as the name might suggest. A white-and-green, pear shaped winter squash that can grow up to 12 pounds, the variety stores well and has a greenish-white flesh color. Some would recommend that its best use is for decoration only. This squash grows productively in cooler weather. First listed in 1847 by New York seedsman James Thorburn as Green Striped Bell and most likely renamed by Burpee in 1883. 
 
Instructions:  Sow seeds outdoors in 12" diameter hills after danger of frost has passed. Hills should be spaced 6' apart in all directions. Can also be started indoors 3 weeks before transplanting out.
 

Sun Preference: Full sun
Planting Depth: Sow in 12” diameter hills
Spacing: 6’ apart in all directions
Plant/Thin: 2 per hill
Days to Maturity: 95-100
Weight at Maturity: Up to 12 lbs

Herbs

HE-31 Lemon Basil
 
Item Details: Narrow leaf basil from Southeast Asia with delightfully strong aroma and lemony flavor. Delicious with fish and in salad dressings. Flowering stalks can be added to bouquets to lend a wonderful lemony fragrance. A smaller-leaf variety. A tender annual that prefers warm weather and rich soil. It is a popular culinary herb, cut flower, and can be used as a medicinal herb to calm the stomach.
 
Instructions: Needs well drained but moist soil that is highly fertile. It is not drought tolerant, so even moisture levels are important for healthy growth. Transplanting is recommended. Start transplants indoors 6 weeks prior to planting out, or direct seed mid-spring through late summer. Basil is very sensitive to cold; use row cover to extend the season. Pinch buds to encourage branching and leaf production.
 
Harvest can begin once plants have become established, by pinching or cutting branches but leaving the plant to continue to produce leaves. A harvest of the full plant should be completed just before the plant starts to flower (flavor is significantly impacted once flowering occurs). Cut the entire plant 4-6" above the ground to promote a second growth. Store unwashed at room temperature to avoid browning. Do not store below 50°F.
 
Handling Potential Problems

Bugs: Aphids can be controlled by physical removal (spraying plants with water, but only in areas where gray mold and downy mildew are not an issue), insecticidal soap, or horticultural oil. WATCH OUT for Japanese Beetles. They eat holes in the leaves, leaving the plants skeletonized. The best control methods include picking the beetles off plants and drowning them in a soapy water solution.  
 
Too much Moisture: Ensure healthy plants by allowing space and good airflow between plants, to keep them dry. Damping Off/Root Rot happens in the seedling stage when plants collapse after germinating. This can be avoided by using a clean potting soil source and sterilized pots. Avoid over-watering seedlings to reduce risk of damping off.
 

Sun Preference: 8-12 hours
Planting Depth: 1/4” Transplanting is recommended
Spacing in Row: 4-8"
Spacing Between Rows: 18"
Days to Maturity: 60
Height at Maturity: 15”

HE-39 Hyssop
 
Item Details: Perennial. Pollinator. Used as early as the 7th century to improve the smell of kitchens and hospitals. Hyssop leaves are used to flavor salads, soups, liqueurs, and stews. Essential oil used in perfumes. Attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Drought resistant.
 
Instructions: Sow seeds indoors just beneath the surface of soil. Success is greatly improved if seeds are placed with soil into a plastic bag and refrigerated for 4-6 weeks. Once removed from the cool, place in an area that is between 55-65°F. Plant out after danger of frost has passed in late spring. Prefers average well-drained soil.
 

Start Indoors: 4-6 weeks before last frost
Sun Preference: Sun/partial shade
Days to Germination: 7-10
Planting Depth: Just beneath surface of soil
Spacing between Plants: 6-12"
Height at Maturity: 18-24”

HE-02 Common Sage
 
Item Details: Extremely easy to grow. The name "sage" comes from the Latin verb salveo, meaning "to heal". This is because the plant is said to be able to heal almost everything. But the word sage also refers to wisdom, and quite often the wisdom of age. Sir John Harington explored this connection in 1607. "But who can write thy worth, O sovereign sage," he wrote. "Some ask how Man can die where thou dost grow" In Latin Salvia takes the name of safety; in English Sage is rather wise than crafty. Sith [since], then, the name betokens wise and saving, we count it nature's friend and worth the having. If you would like to grow wiser with age, grow with sage by your side in the garden. It will return every year: older, wiser, and more generous.
 
Instructions: Start indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost. Sow 1-2 seeds per pot. Keep soil moist but not wet until seeds have germinated. Overwatering can result in damping off; allow the soil to dry a bit between waterings. When seedlings have 1-2 sets of leaves, thin to 1 per pot. Transplant outdoors when plants are 4" high. Can also be grown in containers. Sage prefers full sun and well drained soil. Sage is a short lived perennial that lasts 3-5 years.
 

Days to Germination: 5-10 days
Days to Maturity: 85 days
Planting Depth: 1/4"
Spacing in Row: 12"
Spacing Between Rows: 18"
Height at Maturity: 12"
Width at Maturity: 12"

HE-38 Thyme
 
Item Details: Perennial. Attracts bees. Tiny aromatic leaves cover slender woody stalks ending in sweet pinkish, lavender, white flowers. Makes a beautiful low-growing border along herb and flower beds. A versatile culinary staple to flavor meat or vegetable dishes.
 
Instructions: Our strain is a hardy perennial to Zone 4 (which includes us!). Start transplants 8-10 weeks before planting date. Seeds require light for germination. Optimal soil temperatures for germination are 55-60 F. Seedlings are best planted in clumps.
 

Sun Preference: Full sun
Days to Germination: 14-28
Planting Depth: 1/8”
Spacing in Row: 8"
Spacing Between Rows: 8"
Days to Maturity: 90
Height at Maturity: 6-10”

Natives

NAT-10 Big Bluestem

 

These seeds are packaged for you with care by Dilan. Dilan is a student in the Highlander Mighty Transitions Program at Homestead High School in Mequon. We love this community partnership between the MATC Seed Library, Homestead High School and Mequon Nature Preserve. Connection and growth!

 

Item Details: The monarch of the prairie, largely responsible for the formation of the famous prairie sod. Once covered thousands of square miles of the tallgrass prairie from the Atlantic Ocean to the Rocky Mountains. In late August purplish flower spikes emerge producing distinctive three-parted seed heads. Lush green plants change color at first frost to an attractive reddish-copper that lasts well into the winter.

 

The grass can be used as a tall border or vertical accent in a garden. Its deep, extensive root system makes it well suited as a utility plant for erosion control and windbreaks. It is also an excellent choice for roadside plantings and other tough sites.

 

Instructions: Perennial. Sow seeds indoors in a warm area (70-85°F). Transplant outdoors after the danger of frost has passed. Seeds can also be directly sown into a weed-free seedbed in late April-June. Tolerant of many soils except consistently wet sites. Withstands drought.

 

Sun Preference: Full sun

Days to Germination: 30, with regular watering

Planting Depth: 1/4-½”

Height at Maturity: 4-7’

Width at Maturity: 2-2.5’

NAT-01 Little Bluestem

 

Item Details: Perennial. A clump-forming shorter prairie grass that is good for erosion control. At one time grew in 45 states and was the most abundant grass in mid-America. Thick plants with slightly blue foliage, turn a striking copper/orange-red in the fall and are topped by fluffy silvery-white seed heads. Provides cover and food for birds. Little Blue Stem seedlings are incredibly resilient, so you’ll have plenty of newly established plantings in no time!

 

Instructions: Sow seeds indoors in warm soil in late winter or spring. Plant out after all danger of frost has passed. Seeds can also be directly sown into a weed-free seedbed in May or June. Plants grow best in well-drained sand and loam. Not recommended for clay soils. Don’t add fertilizer to your soil the first year. Especially fertilizer with nitrogen– it will encourage weeds to grow too!
 

Sun Preference: Sun/Partial Shade
Days to Germination: 14-20
Planting Depth: 1/4”
Spacing between Plants: 24-36"
Days to Maturity: 75
Height at Maturity: 2-3’
Width at Maturity: 10"

NAT-05 Purple Prairie Clover

 

Item Details: Perennial. Attracts butterflies. Herbaceous plant is unbranched. A dense cylindrical spike of flowers top the plant. Flower spike is 1-2″ long and about half as wide. Each purple flower is about ¼” across, with 5 small petals and 5 golden anthers that protrude outward. These flowers bloom together as a flowery wreath at the bottom of the spike, which gradually moves upward at the season progresses. The blooming period occurs from early to mid-summer, and lasts about 1–1½ months. The root system consists of a stout taproot that runs deep into the ground. The seeds travel only a short distance from the mother plant when the cylindrical spikes are shaken by the wind. Excellent in a variety of plantings including rock gardens, sunny perennial borders, native plant gardens or naturalized prairie areas.
 

Instructions: Sow seeds indoors just beneath surface of soil. Transplant outdoors no later than August 1 to ensure good root development. Also easy to grow when direct seeded into a weed- free seedbed in mid-spring to early summer. Very drought tolerant once established.
 

Sun Preference: Full sun
Days to Germination: 10-20
Planting Depth: Just below surface
Spacing Between Rows: 12”
Height at Maturity: 1-3’
Plant Width at Maturity: 1’
Bloom Length/Width: 2”/1”

NAT-11 Yellow/Gray-headed Coneflower

 

Item Details: Perennial. Attracts butterflies. Member of the daisy family. Summer-long bloomer with large yellow flowers that have drooping petals. Gray-head Coneflower flowers surround a brown seedhead that birds eat from if plants are left standing. It is good for erosion control, looks good in mass plantings or in prairie plantings. Naturalizes easily. Grows up right and may be a meter or more in height. The slender, grooved stems have fine, upward pointing hairs, and may branch with a flower on top of each stem. The flowers may have between 5 to 10 petals that droop down toward the stem with a distinct “cone” in the center.

 

Instructions: Seeds can be direct sown in the Fall. Otherwise best results come from a 30 day cold-moist stratification prior to planting. This is because native wildflowers, have a hard coating that helps protect the outer shell from breaking and sprouting too early. Cold Stratification: 1) Soak your seeds for 1-2 hours. 2) Use a paper towel or coffee filter to drain the water. 3) Spread seeds out in a single layer on the paper towel. 3) Wrap a dry paper towel around the damp paper towel to help keep things moist but not too wet (which could become moldy). 4) Place in a ziploc bag and seal. 5) Label the variety and date clearly on the bag. 6) Place in the refrigerator for 1 month before planting. If seedlings start to sprout in the bag in the refrigerator, remove immediately and either plant in the ground or in pots until it’s time to plant outdoors. After the seeds have been stratified, plant them into the soil by gently sprinkling them on the surface of soil and pressing them in firmly.  Then, lightly sprinkle soil on top of them so they are partially covered. It is best to water the area for one to two months after seeding. Seed may revert to dormancy if it does not receive rain or moisture within a certain number of days after planting.

 

Deadhead to prolong blooming. But be sure to leave some seed heads to ripen as Prairie Coneflower are good plants for naturalizing and re-seed themselves when happy. Leave them standing over the winter months to provide a source of seed for seed eating songbirds. Cut back to 1-2” above the ground in early to mid-spring.
 

Sun Preference: Full to partial sun
Days to Germination: 30
Planting Depth: Surface to light dusting of dirt on top
Height at Maturity: 36-60”
Plant Width at Maturity: 24-36" 
Bloom Width: 2-3”

NAT-16 Showy Goldenrod
 

Item Details: Perennial. Pollinator. Erect, usually unbranched, reddish stems occur singly or in clusters. Small, yellow flowers occur in a compact, erect, pyramidal column. A stout stem, smooth below and rough above, bearing a dense, pyramidal or club-shaped, terminal cluster of small yellow flower heads. Tends to bloom a little later than most Goldenrods. For cut flowers, choose stems with flowers that have just opened. Strip the foliage that will fall below the water level, and place in water immediately.
 
All Goldenrods are an important fall nectar source for many pollinators including the Monarch butterfly, so it is unfortunate that these fall blooming natives are mistakenly blamed for hayfever. The pollen of Goldenrods is large and sticky which sticks to the bodies of visiting insects. Because of this, goldenrod pollen cannot become airborne and can never make its way into your sinuses. The true cause of hayfever is the wind pollinated ragweeds, which broadcast copious amounts of lightweight pollen into the air.
 
Instructions:
Seeds can be direct sown in the Fall, pressing into the surface of the soil since this plant needs light to germinate.. Otherwise best results come from a 30 day cold-moist stratification prior to planting. This is because native wildflowers, have a hard coating that helps protect the outer shell from breaking and sprouting too early.
 
Cold Stratification: 1) Soak your seeds for 1-2 hours. 2) Use a paper towel or coffee filter to drain the water. 3) Spread seeds out in a single layer on the paper towel. 3) Wrap a dry paper towel around the damp paper towel to help keep things moist but not too wet (which could become moldy). 4) Place in a ziploc bag and seal. 5) Label the variety and date clearly on the bag. 6) Place in the refrigerator for 60 days before planting. If seedlings start to sprout in the bag in the refrigerator, remove immediately and either plant in the ground or in pots until it’s time to plant outdoors.
 
After the seeds have been stratified, plant them into the soil by gently sprinkling them on the surface of soil and pressing them in firmly.  Then, lightly sprinkle soil on top of them so they are partially covered. It is best to water the area for one to two months after seeding. Seed may revert to dormancy if it does not receive rain or moisture within a certain number of days after planting. After established, prefers drier soil and tolerates drought well.
 

Sun Preference: Full to partial sun
Days to Germination: 45-60
Planting Depth: Pressed into surface of dirt
Spacing Between Rows: 2-3’
Height at Maturity: 1-5’

NAT-08 Indian Grass

 

Item Details: Indian Grass is one of the first warm season grasses to form seeds and they are rich clusters of bronze colored seed. Golden stems and large seed heads provide ample color and texture to plantings and birds will enjoy the seeds come fall.  Plants are wind-pollinated. Indian Grass can be aggressive, spreading by rhizomes, so is not suited for very small landscapes. Different species of grasshoppers and caterpillars will feed on the blades of Indian Grass; in turn these insects are important food sources for upland game birds and song birds, where they will also find ideal nesting habitat in stands of tall, clumping prairie grasses such as Indian Grass. The bright yellow flowers contrast attractively with the blue-gray foliage. The grass stays low most of the year and then gets tall before blooming in early autumn. Works well on slopes to prevent erosion.

 

Instructions: For spring sowing, germination can be encouraged and will happen faster, if seeds are dry stratified. Or sow seed directly in fall. Division of older plants is difficult because of a dense, tangled root system. Don’t cut the grass back in first year of growth. If your garden is small, you may want to deadhead during the fall to prevent excess self-seeding.

 

Dry stratification is a seed pre-treatment in which the seed is subjected to cold temperatures. This simple treatment of keeping the seeds in cold, dry storage helps increase germination rates by imitating a natural winter dormant period. Store the seed in Ziploc bags in a refrigerator. Most warm season prairie grasses and wildflowers require only 30 to 60 days of dry stratification to break seed dormancy.
 

Sun Preference: Sun to partial shade
Planting Depth: 1/4”
Spacing in Row: 2-3’
After Germination Occurs: Is drought resistant
Height at Maturity: 4-6’. Maturity reached year two
Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Aug , Sep , Oct
Bloom Notes: The awns are red/rust color
High Deer Resistance
Attracts Butterflies

NAT-09 Sweet Joe Pye Weed


These seeds are sustainably sourced at Mequon Nature Preserve. We thank them for their community partnership in spreading local growing throughout our area.

 

Item Details: A butterfly magnet. A herbaceous perennial plant in the sunflower family. It is native to eastern and central North America. It is a clump-forming herb that grows to 5-8 ft tall and about 4 ft wide. Plants are found in full sun to part shade in mesic to wet soils. Stems are upright, thick, round, and purple, with whorls of leaves at each node. As the plant begins to bloom the stems often bend downward under the weight of the flowers. The leaves grow to 12 in long and have a somewhat wrinkled texture. The purplish flowers are produced in large loose, convex shaped compound corymbiform arrays. Plants bloom mid to late summer and attract much activity from insects that feed on the nectar produced by the flowers.

 

Instructions: Lightly press seeds into the surface of the soil since in fall or late spring germination is naturally slow and might take 2-3 months before first leaves are noticeable. Best planted on 24 in centers as they will eventually form large clumps.


Older plants can be divided and replanted in the early spring as new growth starts or fall. When the center dies out of Joe-pye weeds in the garden, then it’s time for division. You need to dig up the entire clump, cutting away and discarding the dead center material. You can then replant the divided clumps. Plants die back to the ground in late fall. This dead growth can be cut back or left over winter and cut in spring.

 

Sun Preference: Sun/Partial Shade
Planting Depth: Surface
Spacing between Plants: 24”
Time to Germination: 2-3 months for first leaves
Blooms: July - September
Height at Maturity: 4-7’

 

mequonnaturepreserve.org

 

NAT-07 Rattlesnake Master

 

Item Details: Scattered along the stiff, upright stem of this unusual perennial are tough, blue-green, yucca-like, parallel-veined leaves. Smooth, rigid stem bearing thistle-like flower heads made up of small greenish-white florets mingled with pointed bracts. The individual, greenish-white flowers cluster into unique, globular heads at the top of the branch ends. Can be used as an ornamental in a bog or pond area, water garden. Their spiny leaves make walking through clumps of these plants difficult, and also make them unpalatable to grazing livestock. They were once credited with a variety of curative powers. Their flower heads develop a bluish cast with maturity. And despite its muted color, bees and butterflies love it!

 

Instructions: Lightly press seeds into the surface of the soil in fall or late spring. If planting in spring, keep the seed moist until germination. Rattlesnake master can be an aggressive self-seeder. Remove seed heads to keep the plant in check.

 

Perennial
Sun Preference: Full Sun
Soil Description: Various well-drained soils.
Moisture: Dry, mesic
Plant Spacing: 12-24” apart
Height at Maturity: 3-4’
Flowers: ½ - 1” globes
Bloom Color: White, green
Bloom Time: Jul, Aug

NAT-17 Rosinweed

 

Item Details: Perennial. Pollinator. Coarse and sunflower-like. Derives its common name from the resinous gummy sap exuded by broken/cut plant stems. Usually a shorter silphiums. Likes rocky or dry open woods, prairies and glades. It grows on erect, hairy stems sparsely clad with pairs of rough, stalkless, bristly, hairless to woolly, toothed to toothless, medium green leaves. Flowers resemble small sunflowers. Appear in mid-summer. The root system consists of a taproot and short rhizomes, which enable this plant to form clumps. Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates some light shade. Also tolerates some drought once established. Will grow in a variety of soils including sandy, loamy or clay ones. Plants may be slow to establish in the garden, particularly when grown from seed. 

 

Instructions: Seeds can be direct sown in the Fall, pressing into the surface of the soil since this plant needs light to germinate.. Otherwise best results come from a 30 day cold-moist stratification prior to planting. This is because native wildflowers, have a hard coating that helps protect the outer shell from breaking and sprouting too early.

 

Cold Stratification: 1) Soak your seeds for 1-2 hours. 2) Use a paper towel or coffee filter to drain the water. 3) Spread seeds out in a single layer on the paper towel. 3) Wrap a dry paper towel around the damp paper towel to help keep things moist but not too wet (which could become moldy). 4) Place in a ziploc bag and seal. 5) Label the variety and date clearly on the bag. 6) Place in the refrigerator for 30 days before planting. If seedlings start to sprout in the bag in the refrigerator, remove immediately and either plant in the ground or in pots until it’s time to plant outdoors. After the seeds have been stratified, plant them into the soil by gently sprinkling them on the surface of soil and pressing them in firmly.  Then, lightly sprinkle soil on top of them so they are partially covered.

 

It is best to water the area for one to two months after seeding. Seed may revert to dormancy if it does not receive rain or moisture within a certain number of days after planting. After established, prefers drier soil and tolerates drought well. Downy mildew, leaf spots and rust may occur. Plants develop taproots. Once established, division is not recommended.

 

Sun Preference: Full sun
Planting Depth: Pressed into surface of dirt
Spacing Between Rows: 2-3’
Height at Maturity: 2-6’
Plant Spread: 1-3’
Attracts: Birds, Butterflies

NAT-15 Brown Fox Sedge

 

Item Details: Perennial. A remarkably adaptable wetland sedge that forms beautiful fine-leaved mounds. A spray of bright bronze seed heads creates an excellent midsummer display. Grows in a wide variety of medium-moist to wet soils, including clay. An excellent choice for rain gardens.
 
Instructions: Direct sow either in late fall or early spring. Plant the seed just below the surface of the soil, compacting the soil very firmly. For spring planting, mix the seeds with moist sand and store in the refrigerator for 30 days before planting. Keep the soil lightly moist until germination, since this seed cannot germinate in dry soil. Water seedlings regularly until they become established.
 

Sun Preference: Full/partial sun
Planting Depth: Just below soil surface
Height at Maturity: 3’
Width at Maturity: 1-2’

Peppers

PEP-17 ‚ÄčAncho Gigantea Pepper
 
Item Details: Medium hot. This distinctively rich Mexican poblano sets the standard for sauces and stuffing; it is also excellent used fresh for chile rellenos. Can be harvested when green-black heart-shaped fruits measure 4" long, or it can be allowed to ripen to red and be dried as an ancho chile.
 
Instructions: Sow seeds indoors. Peppers germinate best in warm soil, so gentle bottom heat may be helpful until seedlings emerge. Wait to transplant outdoors until the soil is warm.
 

Sun Preference: Full sun
Days to Germination: 14
Planting Depth: 1/4”
Spacing: 12-24" apart
Days to Maturity: 90 from transplant
Fruit Length at Maturity: 4"
Support: Cage, stake

PEP-11 Early Jalapeno Hot Pepper
 
Item Details: Prolific yields of flavorful blunt fruits with distinctive jalapeno flavor. Small, moderately spicy fruits with thick walls are traditionally harvested dark green but can be allowed to ripen to red. A classic eaten fresh or pickled with Mexican dishes! 
 
Instructions: Compact plants are sturdy and work well in containers. Peppers prefer light, well drained, moderately fertile soil. Start transplants 6-8 weeks before planting date. Sow seeds into flat ~4 seeds/inch and then pot up into 2” or larger cells after first set of true leaves appear. Optimal soil temperature for germination is 85°F.  For growing transplants, maintain temperature at around 75°F during the day and 65°F at night. Harden off plants by slightly reducing temperature to 60-65°F and reducing water for 2-3 days before transplanting. Harvest first peppers promptly to stimulate further fruit production. Peppers can be harvested and eaten at either unripe (green) or ripe (colored) stage.  
 

Sun Preference: Full sun
Planting Depth: 1/4”
Spacing in Row: 12-18"
Spacing Between Rows: 18-36"
Days to Maturity: 65 for Green. 85 for Red
Fruit Size at Maturity: 3-3.5"

PEP-16 Sweet Chocolate Pepper
 
Item Details: A chocolate colored sweet bell pepper. Medium-sized, elongated, thick-walled fruit bear the color of chocolate as they ripen; they acquire a scarlet hue when fully ripe. Fruit are abundant on plants that are medium-tall in height. Flavor is sweet and texture is crunchy but, alas, they do not taste like chocolate. An excellent slicing pepper for salads, where its unique color creates plenty of interest.
 
Instructions: Peppers are one of the most challenging of home garden crops, but most of the difficulty is borne during the plants early life. Pepper seed requires heat to germinate; it just won't do much in cool soil. So the first trick is to find a spot that is steadily warm; above the fridge may work, as might a spot near the woodstove. Sow pepper seeds by late March; they mature later in the season than tomatoes, and to get a good crop of ripe peppers requires an early start. (If you prefer green peppers, you've got more flexibility.)
 
Sow peppers in soil blocks or plug trays. Give them a good ten to fourteen days to germinate before thinking of giving up on them. Once up, peppers grow quite slowly when young and, again, require warmth to grow quickly. If you have a heating mat or heating cables, use them to keep the peppers toasty (but be cautious not to dry them out).
 
Peppers should not be transplanted until the weather is settled, usually about two weeks after tomatoes go in. Row cover provides a warm microclimate for quicker growth. Although most pepper plants stay much smaller than tomato vines, their stems are weak and, when loaded with fruit, they tend to blow over in late summer storms. They can easily be staked to prevent this.
 
Harvesting green peppers increases the total amount of peppers you get from a plant. If you like both green and fully ripe peppers, harvest some green; when you stop plucking the green ones, the plant will fill with ripe fruit and cease production.
 

Sun Preference: Full sun
Days to Germination: 7-14
Planting Depth: 1/2”
Spacing in Row: 18-24"
Spacing Between Rows: 24-48"
Days to Maturity: 85 from transplant
Height at Maturity: 36-42”
Width at Maturity: 18-24"
Support: Cage or stake