Getting Seeds and Starts

Community Resources

Cedar Falls Seed Library

Located at the Cedar Falls Public Library

  1. Sign up at the Cedar Falls Library Service Desk or at any of our outreach events. Giving name and email address(or phone number if you do not have email.)

  2. Pick out up to 5 packets of seeds(per year) from the seed library, located downstairs by the self checks in old card catalogs. Then go to the service desk to check them out.

  3. Take them home, plant them, help them grow, at harvest time save some seeds, and return those seeds to the library to keep the collection growing. See below for how to return.

  4. Come to classes to expand your gardening knowledge and learn new skills & practices

  5. And if you’re willing… Volunteer to help sort seeds over the winter

ISU Extension and Outreach Black Hawk County

3420 University Ave, Waterloo

​Seed Giveaway:

Iowa State Extension and Outreach Black Hawk County will once again be offering free garden seeds to the public. There is a wide variety of seeds including fruits, vegetables, herbs, and perennial and annual flowers.

The public is invited to get seeds starting at 9am on Wednesday, March 30 and continuing through 4pm on Friday, April 1st.


How to get the seeds.

1. Come to the ISU room at 3420 University Avenue from. Use Door 3.

2. Email seed requests to Your order will be filled to what is available. They will be labeled and placed in for pickup in the hallway.


There is no inventory or selection list. There are some restrictions on the number of seeds available per person. Resources and publications of research-based information covering questions you may have on planning, planting, growing, and harvesting will be available.

*We will not take public seed orders before March 28.

*Seeds must be picked up in-person by April 8th.

*Social distancing is encouraged when picking up seeds.

*Seeds will not be mailed.


For more information, contact Steven Eilers, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Black Hawk County Urban Agriculture Specialist at 319-234-6811 or at

Local Nurseries and Producers

Browns Gardens

Stand off of Highway 63

Cedar Falls and College Hill Farmers Markets

(319) 883-5636

Earl May Garden Center​

2501 Melrose Dr, Cedar Falls

Hoffman Produce Farms

1011 Martin Rd, Waterloo

Cedar Falls Farmers Market

Jordan's Nursery

1715 W 1st St, Cedar Falls


(319) 296-1840

tomato, pepper, and collard plant starts

Meyers Nursery

1685 Independence Ave, Waterloo,

Wapsie Pines Nursery and Greenhouse

5708 W Cedar Wapsi Rd, Cedar Falls


Free seeds for both first time gardeners and those would not otherwise be able to afford or access quality seeds:

Local Farmers' Markets

Local farmers markets are great and easy places to get plant starts and produce grown locally. (List of local farmers markets.)

Cedar Falls: May 7 - October
Saturdays, 8:30-noon
Overman Park, downtown Cedar Falls
316 W 3rd St, Cedar Falls, IA

College Hill: May 18 - October
Wednesdays, 4-6 p.m.
W 22nd St & College St, Cedar Falls, IA

Evansdale: May 4 - October 29
Wed 3-6 p.m. and Sat 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
3562 Lafayette Road, Evansdale, IA 
(Ted’s Hardware/Mercy One parking lot)

Kimball Ridge: May 3 - October
Tuesdays, 3:30-6 p.m.
Behind Wells Fargo, 3065 Kimball Ave, Waterloo, IA

Waterloo: May 7 - October 29
Saturdays, 8 a.m. - noon
RiverLoop Expo Plaza, downtown Waterloo
460 Jefferson St, Waterloo, IA

Waverly: May 7 - mid October
Saturdays, 8:30-11:30 a.m.
1st Ave, Waverly, IA