Gardening has become very popular lately, particularly in growing fruits and vegetables, and largely due to the need to lower grocery bills and eat healthy during this recession. But for beginners, gardening can sometimes seem intimidating and bewildering due to the multitude of variables involved, such as soil fertility, pest management, seasonal plants, composting, to name a few. Well, UC Cooperative Extension’s “Grow LA Victory Garden Initiative” in Los Angeles helped demystify gardening for many residents, using UC research-based information.
Master Gardener volunteers organized and led low-cost gardening courses to teach the basics of gardening to 297 students. Thirteen classes were held in March, April and May at 10 different sites throughout the county, from Tarzana to Echo Park. Each site accommodated about 30 participants who wanted to turn their new interest in gardening into successful, productive gardens in their backyards, community gardens and patios. Overall, participants walked away very pleased with the classes, and many felt that their gardening knowledge improved significantly.
“My husband and I just want to say thank you for a really wonderful four-session course. It was the perfect amount of information for beginner gardeners like us,” said a participant at the Milagro-Allegro Community Garden site in Highland Park, California.
So, what’s next? Cooperative Extension hopes to host another round of classes in Fall 2010. The hands-on experience was very successful, leaving many to inquire about future classes. For information, please contact Yvonne Savio, Common Ground program manager, at (323) 260-3407, firstname.lastname@example.org.