How to Read My Seed Packet

 Seed Packet reading: Vegetable - Leafy Green, Swiss Chard, Beta Vulgaris, SS: Community

The image above is an example of what is shown on a seed packet. Here is a step by step process of each line's meaning and how to read your seed packet:

  • The top line of text tells you what kind of plant your seeds will produce. Some examples include: flowers, beans, herbs, vegetables. In this example you can see the plant is "Vegetable - Leafy Green".
  • The next two lines of text provide you with the species common name and scientific name. In this example you can see that the common name is "Swiss Chard" and the scientific name is "Beta vulgaris"
  • The third line describes the SS which stands for "seed source". We get our seeds form a variety of natural growers as well as community donations. The Seed Source is followed by another set of initials which stand for the seed company. You can visit the seed company and find out more information about your varieties! 

The seed companies are as follows: NSS: Native Seed/SEARCH
SS: Siskiyou Seeds
SSE: Seed Savers Exchange
ST: Seeds Trust
BSPC: Burgess Seed and Plant Co.
TS: True Love Seeds
BCHS: Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
FM: Ferry-Morse
                                                       Community: Community grown!                                                       

  • The last line on the seed packet label provides the library phone number should you have any further questions about your seeds.                       
  • The color-coded stars on your seed packets signify how easy or difficult it is to save seeds from that species of plant. A green star signifies that the species of plant has a very low rate of cross pollination, while red stars signify that species may cross pollinate very frequently. Yellow stars may indicate either that the species is prone to some cross pollination or that the species may be biennial and require care for two or more years rather than for a single season in order to produce seeds.