Master Gardeners are in The Gardens at Lake Merritt Trial Gardens to answer your gardening questions every Wednesday weather permitting, 11 AM – 1 PM.

The Alameda County Master Gardeners’ terrific new website is packed with “what you’d like to know” about East Bay gardening and the Master Gardener’s community outreach efforts.


Purposes of the Trials Garden:

  • To test varieties of vegetables to see which do best in our marine-influenced local climate.
  • To test and demonstrate various types of irrigation, mulching, plant support, planting containers and other techniques that might enhance growing success.
  • To test and demonstrate the use of summer-dry ornamental plants to beautify the garden and save water, with a focus on the plants in our brochure Outstanding Plants for Alameda County.
  • To demonstrate inviting butterflies, bees, and birds into your garden.
  • To provide a venue for garden workshops, classes and demonstrations for Master Gardeners and the general public.
  • To provide a venue for ongoing public outreach for answering gardening questions.

Philosophy of the Trials Garden:

  • Because we are in a public garden that does not allow chemicals for fertilizing or pest control, we only will practice and demonstrate organic, sustainable methods in the Trials Garden.
  • We are an educational garden always open to the public during Garden Center hours even when Master Gardeners are not present.

As trained agents of the University of California, through the University of California Cooperative Extension, our purpose is to extend research based knowledge and information on home gardening issues to the residents of Alameda County.

Alameda County Master Gardeners help gardeners by extending the information they have learned through a variety of programs and projects, including seminars, workshops and newspaper articles.