How the Seed Library works

The Seed Library, located at Mundaring Public Library, aims to provide a variety of organic, heirloom and native seeds to the local community.

Your Shire of Mundaring library membership gives you access to the Seed Library. Two seed packets may be issued per person per visit to the library. 

Once planted and grown, seeds can be harvested and returned to the Library to be added to the Seed Library collection. 

Seed packets may be reserved via the library catalogue for collection at either library. 

Types of seeds

The Mundaring Seed Library includes a variety of vegetables, herbs and flowers which have all been collected from the local area. 

The seed packets provide specific instructions on how to plant the seeds.

What varieties are available at any one time will vary depending on donations and what is in season.

Working together for a sustainable future

Saving seeds leads to a sustainable future for your garden and community and helps to increase the diversity of heritage varieties. It will help to develop seeds that are acclimated to our local area, allows you to grow plants that are more pest resistant, and saves money on seeds and plants.

Seed saving for beginners

Seeds for beginners

  • Basil
  • Beans
  • Broad Beans
  • Capsicum
  • Coriander
  • Garlic Chives
  • Lettuce
  • Marigold
  • Nasturtium
  • Okra
  • Pea
  • Sage
  • Snake Bean
  • Tomato


You can start with some of the plants listed above. Nurture them carefully so they remain healthy when forming their seeds.

Choose several of the most robust and productive plants for saving seeds, marking them with a ribbon so you know which ones to harvest seeds from.

It is important to avoid cross-pollination by wind or by insects transferring pollen from plants of another variety or species. Methods to avoid cross-pollination include:

  • Growing a single variety
  • Isolating from other plants by a suitable distance
  • Planting multiple varieties from one species at different times of the growing season to avoid overlapping flowering times.

Harvesting and processing

Select best fruits, pods or seed heads, and harvest only when fully mature. Collect after morning dew, in warm, dry conditions and label.

Dry cleaning

Seeds that mature dry in pods or husks such as beans, peas, beetroot, brassicas, carrot, onions, and most garden flowers can be left to dry on the bush. 

In wet or damp conditions, pull out the entire plant, and hang in a dry place until pods are dried out.

Carefully roll or crush seeds out of their casings, and sieve or winnow to separate the viable seeds from the chaff. Kitchen sieves, colanders or mesh screens can be useful tools when separating seeds..

Winnowing seeds

Use shallow containers outdoors, and pour seeds from a higher container to a lower container. Gently toss in air, blowing over surface. The breeze carries away lighter seeds and debris, while heavier, more fertile seeds remain.

Wet cleaning

Seeds that are carried in moist flesh such as pumpkins, eggplant, capsicum, squash and melons need to be rinsed clean. Soaking briefly in water can help separate good seed from debris.

Discard any floating debris, then rinse and drain seeds in a sieve.

Place on a plate or baking paper to dry (7 to 10 days).

Tomatoes and cucumbers can be fermented in water until a layer of mould forms and seeds sink. Drain off debris, and rinse and dry as above.


Containers and labelling

Options for containers to store dried seeds:

  • Envelopes
  • Recycled, clean paper bags
  • Sealed glass jars
  • Ziplock bags
  • Donation bags (available from the libraries)

Record details of seed, including type, variety, date harvested and any other useful information.

Place seed packets in rodent-proof storage container.

Tip: Small packets of silica gel crystals, powdered milk, or rice placed in the container, with the seed packets can help absorb moisture.

Store seeds in a dark, dry, cool location as light can halve the lifespan of some seeds. A cupboard or drawer can be useful to store seeds for up to six months. If you are storing longer than six months, a fridge is ideal, but do not freeze.

When removing seeds from the fridge, allow the container to come to room temperature for a day or two before opening to avoid condensation.

Most vegetable seeds remain viable for three to four years if stored correctly.


Our thanks go to Mundaring In Transition, Glen Forrest Community Garden, Perth Hills Permies, and Mundaring Organic Growers Group who were instrumental in setting up the Seed Library.

Join Mundaring Seed Savers

Mundaring Seed Savers is a local group of community and backyard gardeners who are who want to grow, save and share locally adapted food seeds especially for the eastern hills region of Perth. Mundaring Seed Savers also sort, clean and package the seeds donated for the Seed Library. 

Contact forms are available at the libraries.

More information and contact

If you have any queries, please contact Mundaring Library on 9290 6780.

You can also visit the Mundaring Seed Savers Facebook page.