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.
Torrance Memorial Learning Garden
2020 Formal Classes
Planning Your 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 season by season, all year. Bring a notebook or garden planner to use during class. Class will be held at TMMC Health Education Center.
Maximizing Your Space - February 8 or February 10
Whether you have an acre or a small patio, 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. Class will be held at TMMC Health Education Center.
Spectacular Spring Containers- March 7 or March 9
Add color, texture, form, seasonal interest, and more to your outdoor living space. You will get tips on keeping those containers vibrant through the season with interesting plants and great combinations We will discuss potting soil, watering and fertilizing, and design ideas for container gardening. Learn to build your own spring-themed container that will extend your seasonal blooms into the summer. Class will be held at TMMC Health Education Center.
Create a Cut Flower Garden - April 11 or April 13 **CANCELED**
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 as 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 will be held at TMMC Health Education Center.
Growing a Culinary Herb Garden - May 9 or May 11 **CANCELED**
Eat healthier with homegrown culinary herbs from your garden or containers. Grow parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, and pizza herbs like basil and oregano, plus many more. Herbs are also beautiful fragrant flowering plants that support pollinators. We will discuss the different characteristics of culinary herbs, and how to grow and maintain them.
Gardening to Attract Pollinators (Birds, Butterflies, Bees, and More) - June 20 or June 22
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.
July - No formal classes scheduled, Special Event (see below)
Cooking From Your Garden - NEW! August 10
Come and learn how to use the produce you grow in your own garden! This class led by a Torrance Memorial dietitian will show you the best ways to use your fresh produce, meal planning, preserving, and recipe ideas to create not only flavorful meals, but also healthy meals. Class will be held at TMMC Health Education Center.
September - No formal classes scheduled
So Shady: Edibles that Love Shade - NEW! October 17 or October 19
Do you have an area of your garden that is shaded part of the day? Do you think you can't grow veggies there? You might be surprised to know that many vegetables grow in shade. Some, like leaf lettuces and greens, actually thrive in the cool season. Come and learn what you can grow in the shade of the fall and winter.
The Peaceful Garden: Gardening for Peace of Mind & Body - November 14 or November 16
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 and body by using the elements of water, scent, color, sound and planting schemes to create a "sensory" healing garden. Class will be held at TMMC Health Education Center.
December - No formal classes scheduled
Learning Garden Special Events
Earth Day Celebration, Wednesday, April 22 - TMMC Health Education Center
Learning Garden's 8th Birthday, Saturday, July 11
Harvest Party, Saturday, September 26