UC Master Gardener Program of Alameda County
University of California
UC Master Gardener Program of Alameda County

Lake Merritt Trials Garden

 Welcome to the Trials Garden!

Trials Garden Talk

Have you ever wished you could plant 8 different tomato varieties to find out which grew best in your yard? Or wanted to plant a perennial that you could feel confident would grow well in your garden? As Master Gardeners, we too want to plant the best vegetables and ornamentals for our climate and maybe also discover fruits/vegetables that will do double duty as ornamentals (blueberries and Oriental spinach work well). From this desire to learn more grew our Trials Garden.

Planted, weeded and well loved since 2007, the Trials Garden at the Gardens at Lake Merritt provides the Master Gardeners with a unique space to try different varieties of the same plant to determine which one does best in our Mediterranean fog-influenced climate. We have conducted trials of spinach, tomatoes, peppers and more.

Spinach Trials Results 2011


Come for a visit

Trials Garden Sign
Come see our trials in action. Master Gardeners staff the Trials Garden every Wednesday, year around, from 11am to 1pm. In addition, we do a summer series of free garden workshops on 2nd Saturdays. Look for the current schedule below.

We do our best to answer questions that will help make all of us be better, more productive gardeners. 

The Trials Garden is located in the Gardens at Lake Merritt, which are next to and behind the Lakeside Garden Center, 666 Bellevue Ave, Oakland. Bellevue is one-way off of Grand Ave on the north side of Lake Merritt. After passing Children’s Fairyland on the right and the lawn bowling club on the left, you come to the Garden Center building on your left. The main entrance to the garden area is just past the building, with a second entrance several hundred yards further around. The Trials Garden is in the center of the overall garden area. 

Learn To Grow Workshops - 2017
Learn To Grow Workshops - 2017
Learn to Grow Workshops - 2017

We hold hour-long workshops (talk + Q&A) on a variety of topics from May through September (weather permitting). Our 2017 Learn To Grow Workshop schedule includes talks covering vegetables, beginning to garden, dealing with pests and what to do in the fall and winter for your garden. The 45-60 minute talks are always free and begin at 12:00 pm on the second Saturday of the month (click on the image to the left for the complete 2017 schedule). Be sure to bring your questions and plant samples of concern; we'll hold a plant doctor session after the talk!

 

More Outstanding Plants for Alameda County - UCCE
Outstanding Plants for Alameda County

Another aspect to the Trials Garden is to showcase most of the outstanding plants that we recommend for home gardens in our two brochures of landscaping plants. Click on this link to go directly to that section of our website. You also can pick up the brochures at the garden.

Pollinator Habitats 
Adrena - Mining Bee

In addition to the previous features, we have two Trials Garden areas dedicated to educating visitors about how they might attract and support pollinators in their home gardens. We have a demonstration monarch butterfly habitat and a demonstration native bee habitat where you can see and learn about these insect pollinators and the plants that attract them.  You can learn more both about habitats and how you might create them in your own garden in the document links below:

Other Helpful Resources

Here are more resources available to download, or pick up a the garden, to help with garden issues:

 

 

 

Webmaster Email: dakooyumjian@ucanr.edu