Category Archives: Instructional Activities

Grow LA Victory Garden Classes Fall 2019

The University of California Cooperative Extension is organizing workshops in various communities throughout Los Angeles County to teach residents how to grow fruits and vegetables in their own backyard.

Where: Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills
905 Loma Vista Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
** Entrance on Doheny Rd.

When: Sunday September 15, September 22, September 29, and October 6.
Time: 10:00AM – 1:00PM

List of topics includes:

Week 1 (Sunday September 15): planning, seed starting, raised beds, container gardening, plant selection (what to grow and when to grow it).

Week 2 (Sunday, September 22): tools, soil structure, soil preparation, plant nutrition, organic fertilizers, transplanting, irrigation, mulching

Week 3 (Sunday, September 29): integrated pest management (weeds, diseases, insects), organic pesticides, composting and worm composting

Week 4 (Sunday, October 6): pollination, seed saving, fruit trees, harvesting, review, and graduation

Registration must be completed through Beverly Hills Park and Recreation. Click here to register online. You will be confirmed registration once payment is made.

The cost is $19 for each class ($15 for Beverly Hills residents) or $69 for the entire series ($55 for BH residents). Those who take all 4 classes will be given a certificate of completion.

Any questions please contact:
George Pessin, Master Gardener Instructor
Tel: 310-779-8816

Jr. Master Gardener Classes Summer 2019

JR. MG Garden class

New gardening classes for children ages 6-12. Everyone knows kids who grow broccoli eat broccoli. You don’t want to miss this.

Where: Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills
905 Loma Vista Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
** Entrance on Doheny Rd.

When: Sunday July 21 and Sunday July 28

Cucurbita pepo – Zucchini Varieties

Zucchini varieties are more numerous than you can imagine. Zucca is an Italian word for pumpkin and ini (from ino and ina means “little”). In Italy all squash are zuccas. There are big zuccas like our American field pumpkins and small zuccas like zucchinis.

Saving Arugula Seeds – A Visual Guide

March 16th, Arugula has bolted and is flowering.

Arugula Bolting

Olla Irrigation



An olla (pronounced oy-yah) is an unglazed, porous, clay container with a narrow neck and large belly. It is buried up to its neck in the soil and then filled with water. The water then slowly seeps out and keeps the area irrigated for approximately one week.  The main benefit is that water is not lost to evaporation like many other watering techniques.

Growing Sweet Potato from a Sweet Potato

Sweet Potatoes are one of those vegetables I never liked until I started growing it. Turns out, the orange and purple varieties are super nutritious due to high amounts of anti-oxidants. Eat your colors they say.

“Sweet potatoes with orange flesh are richest in beta-carotene. Sweet potatoes with purple flesh are richer in anthocyanins. Beta-carotene and anthocyanins are naturally occurring plant “phyto” chemicals that give vegetables their bright colors. These phytochemicals are researched for their potential role in human health and disease prevention.”  Harvard School of Public Health

Potatoes and sweet potatoes are similar – both tubers – but of different species. Potatoes are in the Nightshade family which include tomatoes. Sweet potatoes are in the Morning glory family which includes the namesake, colorful, vining ornamental.

Both are not grown from seed. A “seed” potato is the potato itself that is saved from the previous harvest and planted whole or in sections, eyes up.

Sweet potatoes are grown from slips. Slips are the leafy green growths that form on the side.

Gardening and Safety

garden tools

Now that’s it officially springtime lets turn our attention to our gardens and all the work still to be done. Beds need to be amended, seeds need to be sown. At the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR), Health and Safety is the #1 priority.

Please see the following articles from Thinking Safe and Green Notes, For our purposes start with #5