Learn the keys to successful vegetable gardening emphasizing seasonal techniques and organic practices that work best for Southern California growing. Topics vary with by month and season. Come grow along with us!
Torrance Memorial Learning Garden is located in Columbia Park, which can experience several distinct 'seasons' in a single morning. Dressing in layers is always the best idea. Some of our workshops are hands-on, so be mindful to dress in clothes which can get a little dirty. There is an outdoor presentation area that has wooden benches that make for comfortable but rustic seating. You are always welcome to bring your favorite outdoor chair or cushion. In cases of rain, cold weather or heat, classes will be held at a classroom at Torrance Memorial Medical Center.
Instructor Judith Gerber, Learning Garden Coordinator, is a UC Master Gardener, horticultural therapist, local author, and proud Torrance native.
Planning the Year-Round Edible Garden - January 11 or January 13
One of the advantages to living in Southern California is that we can grow delicious and nutritious fruit and vegetables year-round. This course will give you the skills and knowledge you need to be on your way to a successful harvest. You will learn how to give your garden a healthy start and keep it growing strong all year. Bring a notebook or garden planner. Class will be held at TMMC Health Education Center.
Small Space Food Gardens - February 8 or February 10
If you can provide three basics: sun, water and great soil, you can vegetable garden regardless of how much space you have. You will learn to make efficient use of in-ground space, intensive and succession planting techniques, raised bed/container/vertical gardening tips, season extension, and building and maintaining healthy soils.
How to Grow a Cook's Garden - March 7 or March 09
If you have a spot in your garden, balcony, or deck that receives more than six hours of direct sunlight, you can grow fresh herbs and vegetables. We will cover how to grow the best essential ingredients for your kitchen: tomatoes, onions, peppers, squash, garlic, and leafy greens. You?ll learn the basics of soil preparation, planting in pots, plant selection, protecting your harvest from pests, extending the crops from spring through fall, and ideas for food preparation
Totally Tomatoes - April
Whether you want to cook with them, preserve them or eat them raw, learn how to grow the tastiest tomatoes in your warm season garden. Class topics include basic soil preparation, maintenance, gardening resources, tools and events, and the best tomatoes to plant in our area.
Get the Dirt on Feeding Your Soil - May
Soil is the basis for everything you grow in your garden. If the soil is not healthy, the plants won't be either. In an organic system, feeding the soil is a primary way to help nourish plants, fight disease, and even keep pests away. Learn how to identify the type of soil you have, how to improve soil nutrients and texture and how and what to feed your plants.
Planting for Pollinators - June
Pollinators are animals that move pollen from one flower to another so plants can produce fruits and seeds. Most pollinators are insects, including bees and butterflies, but some plants are pollinated by birds such as hummingbirds. Since June is National Pollinator Month, it is a great time to learn how to choose and grow plants that attract butterflies, birds and bees to increase the pollination in your own neighborhood, and support pollinators as they travel.
What's Bugging Your Garden? - July
All of your hard work in the garden should produce healthful, nutritious food; so don't let a host of pest problems ruin this for you. Learn a variety of environmentally friendly and sustainable ways to minimize or eliminate pests in your veggie garden, including promoting beneficial insects that attack bad bugs without using poison.
Create a Cut Flower Garden - August
Whether you want to grow flowers for your own bouquets, or to share them with others, there are some tips to get you started on your own cut flower garden, like creating a separate "cutting garden" that lets you snip as many flowers are you want without leaving obvious holes in the garden. In this workshop we will discuss some of these design ideas as well as the best flowers for your arrangements or bouquets. Class to be held at TMMC Health Education Center.
Design a Dog-Friendly/Pet-Friendly Garden - September
Many gardeners worry that they will have to give up a beautiful garden if they have a dog that can dig up or eat all of their plants. But, there are some simple things you can do to protect both your garden and pets and to have a healthy happy dog and garden.
Sensational Salad Bowl - October
Fall is a great time to grow your cool season vegetables including delicious salad fixings. In this hands-on workshop, you will make your own living salad bowl that can be placed outside on your patio, on your balcony, or even in your garden. Materials include container, soil, and lettuce blend. Limited to 20. Class to be held at TMMC Health Education Center.
Create Your Own Healing Garden - November
No matter how large or small, it is easy to transform your own yard, patio, or garden into a personal and meaningful garden for your soul by using the elements of water, scent, color, sound and planting schemes to create a "sensory" healing garden.
December - No formal classes scheduled