Tips / FAQ

Q: I want to plant a garden, where do I start?
A: Here is a link to a checklist to get you started planning for your garden. Once you're ready to start planting, be sure to check out resources to save you money on your garden like a Seed Lending Library. Here is a list of tools that you may want when you get started. These links might also help you get started: Planting Basics: Understanding the Basics of Growing a Garden, How to Have a Fabby Garden, and Lose your Lawn.
Q: How do I determine which plants will grown best in my yard?
A: The best way is to refer to a planting calendar. It will tell you what plants grow best in your area and at which times of year. Here are two examples: The Old Farmers Almanac and Burpee. Here are some additional planting and harvesting tips.
Q: Where can I learn about composting?
A: There is some great information in the book The Growing Classroom by Roberta Jaffe and Gary Appel. You can also find more information on this site in the Get Growing section.
Q: How do I identify weeds?
A: UC IPM has some great information on identifying weeds. Check out their weed photo gallery!
Q: Do you have some suggestions for natural/least harmful insect repellent?
A: Here is a link to some homemade sprays you can make yourself. UC IPM also has some great information on pesticides.
Q: What's another good website for gardening questions? Is there a gardening hotline?
A: The Alameda County Master Gardeners Program is a great resource! They have a hotline 510-639-1371 that is answered Mondays and Thursday, you can leave them a message or email them at