09 20, 2020

Enjoy free gardening programs from Mentor Public Library

By |2020-09-20T16:00:58-04:00September 20, 2020|

Hey green thumbs! We were fortunate to host Carol and Pat from the Lake County Master Gardeners earlier this week. They suggested tools and techniques that can make gardening easier and safer as you age. Gardening – like so many other physical tasks – gets trickier as we grow older. However, with the right plan, one can still enjoy gardening at any age.

Two more tips for any gardeners out there:

1. Did you know that you can get free veggie, flower, and herb seeds from our Seed Library? Check out our collection  the next time you visit our Main Branch. Borrow up to 15 packets of seeds per season.

2. By the way, any green thumbs should check out the special collection from Holden Forests & Gardens’ Corning Library available at our Main Branch. In addition to a gorgeous arboretum in Kirtland, Holden also has a spectacular collection of gardening, horticulture, environmental and botany books at Corning Library within its arboretum.

Dozens of Corning Library’s books are now available to borrow at our Main Branch. Thanks to a partnership between libraries, you can use your cards to check out books from this special collection. Our typical lending rules apply.

05 17, 2020

Get herb, veggie & flower seeds from Mentor Public Library

By |2020-05-17T06:00:19-04:00May 17, 2020|

Pick up flower, herb, and veggie seeds from Mentor Public Library's seed library.

Pick up flower, herb, and veggie seeds from Mentor Public Library’s seed library.

Update: Our Main and Headlands Branches will reopen with limited hours and additional safety measures on Monday, June 8. Click here for details. 

Starting Monday, May 18, you can pick up books, movies, music and other items from the drive-thru at our Main Branch or curbside at our Lake and Headlands Branches.

But there’s another thing you can pick up too: seeds.

You can get free herb, vegetable, and flower seeds for your yard and windowsill gardens from us.

Here’s how our seed library works. Anyone with a CLEVNET card in good standing can check out seeds from us for their own garden. Our collection already has dozens of varieties of seed. You can check out as many as 15 types of seed per year.

Then, you can plant the seeds. Later, after the plants have grown, you can save some of your seeds and return them to us, if they wish.

When calling us to place holds, you can tell us that you also want seeds, and we’ll let you know what varieties are available.

Click here for more information about our seed library.

10 27, 2019

Help the Monarch Butterfly by planting milkweed

By |2019-10-27T06:00:42-04:00October 27, 2019|

You can support Ohio Monarch butterfly populations by planting milkweed, which you can get for free from Mentor Public Library's Seed Library.

You can support Ohio Monarch butterfly populations by planting milkweed, which you can get for free from Mentor Public Library’s Seed Library.

Ohio pollinators are in trouble. The populations of many pollinators like bees and and butterflies are declining because of habitat loss. One threatened species is the Monarch butterfly.

This colorful visitor migrates to our region in the late summer each year. But you can help them by planting milkweed — the plant on which their caterpillars subsist exclusively.

You can get milkweed for free from Mentor Public Library's seed library.

You can get milkweed for free from Mentor Public Library’s seed library.

And where can you get milkweed? You can have some for free from our seed library! Our Adult Reference Manager Amy Senning has spent the last few months collecting milkweed pods for us to share with you.

Here’s how our Seed Library works. Anyone with a CLEVNET card in good standing can check out seeds from the library for their own garden. The library’s collection includes more than 100 varieties of seed, including herbs, flowers, vegetables and fruit. People can check out as many as 15 types of seed per year.

You can take those seeds; and, if they grow into plants, save some of their seed and donate it to the library.

November is the best time to plant milkweed. (Here are some simple steps for planting milkweed, if you’re looking for a primer.) Help create both a home and food for Monarch butterflies by planting milkweed.

By the way, any green thumbs should check out the special collection from Holden Forests & Gardens’ Corning Library available at our Main Branch.

In addition to a gorgeous arboretum in Kirtland, Holden also has a spectacular collection of gardening, horticulture, environmental and botany books at Corning Library within its arboretum.

Dozens of Corning Library’s books are now available to borrow at our Main Branch. Thanks to a partnership between libraries, you can use your cards to check out books from this special collection. Our typical lending rules apply.

03 30, 2018

Get orchid advice from a master gardener

By |2018-03-30T06:00:19-04:00March 30, 2018|

Lake County Master Gardener Susan Cowling offered advice on caring for orchids when she visited earlier this month.

She makes recommendations for watering, light, humidity, fertilizer, and potting the lovely (and surprisingly hardy) plants. She also suggests some lovely starter orchids for novice gardeners.

Speaking of gardening, did you know MPL has a seed library? Here’s how it works:

You can borrow heirloom and organic seeds from us the same way you’d borrow a book or movie.

You can pick from our dozens of varieties of herbs, flowers, vegetables and fruit seeds. Take up to 15 types of seed per year.

All we ask is that when the seeds grow into plants,  you save some of its seeds and return them to the library.

For more gardening tips, including a seed-planting calendar, visit our Seed Library’s page.

04 28, 2017

5 notes for using native plants in your gardens & landscaping

By |2017-04-28T06:00:16-04:00April 28, 2017|

Support biodiversity and invite local fauna (like the Monarch butterfly) to your yard by using native plants.

Support biodiversity and invite local fauna (like the Monarch butterfly) to your yard by using native plants.

Listen, we all love tulips. But you can create problems when you fill your gardens and yards with non-native plants.

You:

  • decrease space for native plants.
  • drive out native animal species, especially pollinators like birds, bees, and butterflies.
  • make gardening harder by trying to grow a species that didn’t evolve to survive in our habitats.

(Besides, the deer are going to eat all your tulips anyhow.)

Master Gardener Kathy Terrell offered a different tact when she visited our library earlier this month.

Use native flowers, shrubs, and trees, she advised. Your gardening will become easier, your lawn will look more distinctive, and you’ll support local wildlife.

Here are five notes to help you get started:

1. Learn to appreciate the beauty of nature for what it is.

We’re accustomed to the cut grass and meticulously curated garden. But there’s also beauty in going au naturale.

After all, roses, daffodils, and hostas are all lovely. But so are the black-eyed susan, butterfly weed, coneflowers, bee balm, and Jupiter’s beard that grow naturally.

2. Let nature make your life easier.

Native plants are inherently easier to grow than alien species.

Why?

Because they spent millions of years adapting to our climate. Meanwhile, the tulips we import from Denmark are so much deer fodder.

You can save the time that you might spend mulching, fertilizing, irrigating, or weeding by going native.

3. You still need the right plant in the right spot.

That having been said, not all plants from Northeast Ohio will automatically blossom.

A smooth sumac is still going to want sun, a blackhaw viburnum will still need alkaline soil, and a scarlet oak still likes it dry. (Follow the link for more native plant preferences.)

You can try to force a bunch of square pegs into round holes, or you can pick your plants based upon the conditions that nature already gives you.

4. Native species support local wildlife.

Native, host plants like butterfly weed, dogwoods, tuliptrees, and milkweed provide sanctuaries to local pollinators like birds, butterflies, and insects. (And, frankly, our local pollinators could use the help.)

Meanwhile, invasive species can wreak havoc on fragile ecosystems.

5. Make sure to get your local plants legally.

The bad news: It’s illegal to take wildflowers from the wild.

The good news: Most local nurseries are well-stocked with native seeds. Also, Holden Arboretum has gaggles of native plants available during its annual sale.

Or you could check out our seed library.

If you want to know more about gardening with native plants, we (naturally) have some book recommendations:

  • Go Native: Gardening with Native Plants and Wildflowers in the Lower Midwest by Carolyn Harstad
  • Landscaping with Wildflowers and Native Plants by William Wilson
  • Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide by Lawrence Newcomb
  • The Woody Plants of Ohio by Lucy Braun

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