Our hands-on workshops teach the San Francisco Bay Area to garden sustainably. Join our gardening experts each week to learn how to grow food, conserve water with native and drought-tolerant plants, and build soil with compost.
Each weekend, we offer workshops to the public on a wide range of garden topics. Our workshops teach people to garden sustainably and our incredible instructors are gardening experts with years of experience. We believe in hands-on education and design our workshops to be dynamic and educational.
We will teach you to use less water, cultivate healthy soil, and create biodiversity in your backyard or community garden plot. Every workshop is appropriate for a beginning gardener unless otherwise noted, but even experienced gardeners will also leave with new knowledge and skills.
LEARN TO GARDEN!
Below are some of the workshops we offer in our urban teaching garden.
Growing food in your own backyard, whether it be a small herb patch or a full high yield garden, is incredibly satisfying and fun for all ages. Here in San Francisco, we can grow food year-round in our mild climate. Join us each month as we talk about what to do in your backyard garden at that exact time of year to ensure success. We'll cover pests you might encounter, how to plan what to grow that will thrive, and answer all your food-growing questions! This workshop is good for beginner and more experienced gardeners alike.
We know that the key to a healthy garden and good soil is high quality compost. Not only does it close the environmental loop, and serve as a great teaching tool about all the invisible activity in a garden, but it is the core of what we do. We have been teaching San Francisco how to compost since we opened in 1990 and would love to show you the magic of black gold in one of our free Saturday workshops.
Sponsored by the SF Dept of the Environment
DIG IN! SIX-PART EDIBLE GARDENING SERIES
Every Spring, 6 weekends in a row
Do you want to get your hands dirty? Learn how to garden this spring! This six-part workshop series is designed after our renowned Get Up! training program and will teach you everything you need to start growing food in your backyard. We will first build a raised bed together, and then you will learn how to make healthy soil, build a simple irrigation system, plant and care for veggies, and harvest your crops.
THE SUSTAINABLE SERIES
3 weekends in a row
Spring, Summer + Fall
Introduction to Sustainable Gardening is a three-part workshop series designed to help you transform your backyard into a thriving, beautiful, and sustainable garden!
This course will teach you everything you need to know to plant flourishing perennial gardens that save water and attract pollinators and beneficial insects.
Sponsored by the SFPUC.
Fruit trees can thrive in our Coastal California climate with the right knowledge. Learn what varieties we recommend, how to prune your trees in the summer and winter, and how to tackle pest problems and more. We also practice hands on pruning in our two urban orchards on site!
Whether you're already keeping bees or simply curious about what beekeeping involves, this class will cover it all. Each workshop is based on the specific season but will also cover some basics on bees, the progress of bees through the year, how to keep bees healthy, and what to look for at this time of year. We’ll also talk about swarming, pest management, and more.
Are you interested in bringing a group out to teaching garden for a private and customized work day? Our staff will work with you to design a workshop and curriculum to best suit your needs and objectives in our beautiful outdoor demonstration garden. Visit our group workday page to learn more information and request a date.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do you ever cancel workshops?
We try our best not to cancel, but if the weather forecast suggests it is very likely to be pouring rain, we will cancel the workshop and notify attendees by 5pm the day before. We do hold classes in drizzling weather, however, so come prepared with rain gear. We are also occasionally forced to cancel workshops due to other unforeseen circumstances. In any case, we will happily register you for another workshop or refund your workshop fee.
Do I need to pre-register for workshops?
We do accept day-of registrations, just be sure to sign in with a garden staff member when you arrive. If a class is full but you are interested in attending, please arrive a few minutes early and we should be able to get you in.
What are my transportation/parking options?
Although there is street parking available, it can be challenging on weekends. Public transportation is frequent and nearby, so it's a great option! The 6, 36, 43, and 44, bus lines and the N Judah all run within a few blocks of the garden. Forest Hill Station is also nearby and you can take the 43 or 44 directly from there to the garden.
What should I bring to the workshop?
Classes are held outside in our teaching garden. We recommend bringing a hat and sunscreen, comfortable closed toed shoes, a full water bottle, and lots of layers. You may also want to bring a notebook to take notes on what you are learning and you are welcome to bring food and join us for a picnic lunch in the garden at noon.