Adult Education Courses

Adult Education Courses Offered by the Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County

Master Gardeners offer multi-week courses in cooperation with a variety of adult schools and organizations throughout the county.  These courses focus on sustainable gardening practices and generally consist of two-hour sessions that meet weekly for 2-6 weeks.  Please visit our Upcoming Event List to see which courses are coming up in your area. Or visit our Project Locations map to see what Master Gardener project is closest to you and what classes they may be offering.

All About Seeds: Starting and Saving

Local food starts with local seed--grow your own! Learn how to start and save your own seeds. Explore what is necessary for a seed to grow into a successful plant and how to save your own locally adapted seeds for coming harvests. Find out the benefits of saving seeds, how to ensure your seed will be true to type, the different requirements of different plants, how to harvest and store your seeds for maximum germination, and much more.

Edible Landscaping

The number of U.S. households growing their own fruits and vegetables is increasing daily. Join us to learn about edible landscape plants and practices and create your own beautiful, productive landscape. Topics include edible plant choices, soil preparation, and watering, as well as design, planning, and maintenance of an edible landscape.

Sustainable Vegetable Gardening

Gardening year round is easy and rewarding in our mild Mediterranean climate. Learn how to have a successful, environmentally responsible food garden that provides delicious vegetables and herbs every month of the year. This course stresses sustainable gardening practices such as mulching, efficient watering methods, on-site composting,integrated pest management, and use of organic fertilizers and soil amendments.

Topics include:soil preparation, amendments, and fertilizers; irrigation methods and systems; working with both seeds and seedlings; cultural requirements of specific warm and cool season crops and varieties that do well in our area; and how to identify and manage common pests, weeds, and diseases of vegetable crops in Santa Clara County.

Renovating Your Landscape / Waterwise Gardening

Learn how to evaluate and rework your landscape to bring beauty to your home and be more in tune with our Mediterranean climate and local ecology. This course will provide tips for getting the most from your irrigation system, improving your soil, controlling weeds and pests, and caring for your lawn. Pruning basics and renovation pruning will be covered. Learning about tough plants that thrive in our climate will help home gardeners make good plant decisions.

This course is a 6-hour course: it meets either 3 times, 2 hours each time; or twice, for 3 1/2 hours each time (1/2 hour break included).

Growing Fruits and Berries Sustainably, Parts I and II

Our mild Mediterranean climate allows us to grow a dazzling variety of temperate and subtropical fruits and berries. Learn how to harvest delicious fruit from your garden every month of the year. This course stresses how sustainable gardening practices such as efficient watering methods, integrated pest management and use of organic fertilizers and soil amendments apply to growing fruits and berries.

Part I: Pome fruits (apples and pears) and stone fruits (apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums, pluots and cherries)

Part II: Citrus, other Mediterranean-climate fruits, and berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and others)

Topics include: soil preparation, planting (including space-saving techniques) and establishment of plants in the first year; irrigation methods and systems; cultural requirements of specific fruits and berries; recommended varieties of deciduous fruits, citrus, avocados and other subtropicals; and pruning, including summer pruning for controlling tree size.

Gardening in Our Time and Place: Santa Clara County Gardening Basics

Santa Clara County is one the best places in the world to create a year-round garden, whetheryou want to grow vegetables or a beautiful sustainable garden full of trees, shrubs, perennials and flowers. Come learn the basics about our climate and soil and the best practices for creating your ideal garden. If you are a beginning gardener, you will learn how to get started successfully. If you have some experience, you’ll learn about sustainable practices and appropriate plants to introduce into your garden. The goal of this class is to enable you to have a successful and sustainable garden in our time and place.

Sustainable Landscape Gardening: The Easy Way to Create a Beautiful, Earth-Friendly Landscape

Did you know fall is the perfect time to plant native plants and Mediterranean-climate plants?  The plants' roots have an easier time getting established over our mild winters, sipping on the winter rains.  Learn simple techniques of sustainable gardening to create and maintain a beautiful ornamental garden that will be attractive year-round while respecting and protecting the environment.Topics include caring for the soil, using efficient irrigation and choosing the right plant for the right place. The course also covers basic design concepts, non-toxic pest management and season-appropriate chores to keep your garden looking its very best.

Sustainable Vegetables 2.0

Looking for even more information on growing veggies? We'll cover topics like the onion and garlic family, perennial vegetables such as asparagus and artichokes, and much more.