What we're about

Have you ever wished you could plant 8 different tomato varieties to find out which grew best in your yard? Or wanted to plant a perennial that you could feel confident would grow well in your garden? As Master Gardeners, we too want to plant the best vegetables and ornamentals for our climate and maybe also discover fruits/vegetables that will do double duty as ornamentals (blueberries and Oriental spinach work well). From this desire to learn more grew our Trials Garden.

Planted, weeded and well loved since 2007, the Trials Garden at the Gardens at Lake Merritt provides the Master Gardeners with a unique space to try different varieties of the same plant to determine which one does best in our Mediterranean fog-influenced climate. We have conducted trials of spinach, tomatoes, peppers and more.

Learn to Grow Workshops
We hold hour-long workshops (talk + Q&A) on a variety of topics from April through September. The 45-60 minute talks are always free.

Upcoming events (2)

Help Save Our Monarchs by Planting Milkweed! (Free Plants Available)

Last winter only 28,429 monarchs were counted compared to a historic population of about 10 million in the Western Monarch Population. Today’s monarchs face several challenges, the most intractable being a lack of milkweed (Asclepias spp.) where a female can lay her eggs. Do you have a sunny, open 3' x 3' space where you could plant Milkweed and Butterfly Flowers? We have California Native Milkweed plants to give out to people willing to create Butterfly Gardens. Come by for a 20 minute presentation on how to plant your milkweed and leave with milkweed plants to help the monarchs!

Successfully Grow a Garden in Containers! (Master Gardener-Led Workshop)

Are you a frustrated gardener because you don't have a good piece of earth for gardening? Fear not! You too can garden by using containers. Whether planting for aesthetics or food, there are many possibilities for growing veggies, flowers and herbs vertically to conserve space. Learn about vertical trellising, which can be done in the ground and in containers. In addition to tips on the best container size, soil, light conditions and watering techniques.

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