April Special Events

American Rhododendron Society Show and Plant SaleApril 20-21, Noon to 4 p.m., April 20; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., April 21 at  the Lakeside Park Garden Center. Many fragrant rhododendrons for sale including tropical vireyas.  Don’t miss the colorful display of species and hybrids. Educational exhibit and raffle prizes. Free to the public.

Earth Day In the Gardens: Saturday, April 20, 9:00am-noon. Gather with your neighbors, friends and community to celebrate and volunteer in the Gardens. Organized work parties planned for all levels of effort and ability.

Growing Great Summer Vegetables:  Saturday, April 27, noon-1:00pm. Free Gardening Workshop by Alameda County Master Gardeners, Trials Garden in the Edible Demonstration Gardens. April is the ideal time to get your summer vegetables into the ground. Big spaces or small, you will learn about growing vegetables, what varieties work best in our climate and when to plant.  Master Gardener Ann Naffziger created a “food forest” in her Alameda front and back yards. She grows everything from apples and asparagus to dried beans and zucchini. She’s got bees and chickens too!

Community Work Party Events 

” A special thanks to the volunteers for making these Gardens the pride of Oakland,” Dick Austin, President, Friends of the Gardens at Lake Merritt. 

First Saturday of each month, (April 6) 9am-noon – Mediterranean Garden

First Saturday of each month, (April 6) 9am – 1:30pm – Succulent Garden

First and third Saturday of each month, (April 6 and April 13) Edible Gardens. If you’re interested in gardening at an Edible Garden; the Victory Garden Foundation’s People’s Victory Garden will have mentored gardening days on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays. Please see the Event Calendar for the month of April at http://www.peoplesvictorygarden.org/apps/calendar/

Third Saturday of each month, (April 20) 9am- noon – Sensory Gardens, Palmetum, and the Rhododendron Garden


Every Tuesday Evening, Sensory Garden, 5:30pm-7:30pm.

Every Thursday Morning, Succulent Garden, 9am-noon 

April and May Gardening Tips

Spring Banner 600

Prepared by the Alameda County Master Gardeners

Spring Months: April and May are among the busiest months for gardeners. Almost all warm season vegetables, herbs and annual flowers are planted. 


  • Continue to plant root crops in the garden (beets, turnips, carrots, radishes, potatoes, etc.).
  • Set out plants or seed directly summer annuals (cosmos, marigold, sunflower, petunia, etc.).
  • Some cool season crops can still be planted in early April (chard, leek, green onion, lettuce, other salad greens).
  • Summer crops can possibly be planted in late April if it’s warm enough. Start cucumbers, squash, pumpkins and melons indoors in peat or newspaper pots.
  • Plant summer bulbs (callas, cannas, dahlias, gladiolas, etc.).
  • Fertilize and water as needed.
  • Manage any pests who have appeared with help from UC Pest Notes.


  • All summer vegetables can be planted (beans, corn, squash, tomatoes, peppers, melons, etc.).
  • All summer annual flowers can be planted or sown.
  • Continue planting summer bulbs.
  • In cooler areas east of the coastal hills, continue planting beets and carrots.
  • Thin fruit on fruit trees as needed (use the width of your closed fist as a rough guide). For more information, read up on thinning here.
  • Check to be sure that your irrigation system is working and meets the needs of your garden.

For more information on gardening tips and information from the Alameda County Master Gardeners, go to http://acmg.ucdavis.edu/