Gardening Classes

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The Saving Water Partnership sponsors free gardening classes in the spring and fall to help you create and maintain beautiful, healthy landscapes that use water wisely.

Virtual and in-person classes  

Our gardening classes have moved online since we are currently unable to  meet in person due to COVID-19. It’s our hope that we will be able to meet in person again soon.  

Below, we have provided information on the physical location for some of the classes. However, those classes will be moved online if in-person meetings are not allowed at the time of the class. When that happens, those registered for the class will receive information on how to join the class virtually.   

Small-space food gardening

Presenter: Marni Sorin, Educator for Tilth Alliance

Grow your own healthy, organic food in small spaces suited to your landscape. Container gardening is great for beginners, apartment dwellers, and anyone looking to add extra space or variety to their garden. This class will teach you how to grow herbs, small fruits, and summer veggies. This class includes how to choose the right container, where to put it, soil prep, and maintenance.

Tuesday, April 27th, 6:00-7:30 pm
To register: call (425) 430-7387 or email limhoff@rentonwa.gov
Location: class will be online – information to join via Zoom will be emailed before the class.

Easy peasy edibles: growing a food forest

Presenter: Jessi Bloom, best-selling author and Owner/Lead Designer of N.W. Bloom EcoLogical Landscapes

Have you wanted to grow your own food but found it is too much work or takes too much of your time? Learn basic permaculture concepts that employ design strategies from nature, so you can grow easy peasy edibles which are low-maintenance, resilient, and sustainable. Plant and enjoy the harvest from your edible landscape for years to come!

Thursday May 6th, 6:30 – 8:00 pm
To register:
call (206) 362-8100 or email theresah@northcitywater.org
Location: class will be online – information to join via Zoom will be emailed before the class.

Automatic sprinkler systems – how to water your yard and garden efficiently

Presenter: Mark Guthrie, Landscape Water Conservation Program Manager at the Saving Water Partnership

Have an in-ground sprinkler system? Thinking about installing one? Do you want to reduce your water bill while maintaining a beautiful landscape? This class will explain how to make your sprinkler system more water-efficient. Topics include how to set your sprinkler timer, choosing irrigation equipment that’s best for watering plants, and how to use your meter to look for leaks.

Wednesday May 19th, 5:00 – 6:30 pm
To register:
call 425-255-9600 or email daniellet@kcwd90.com
Location: King County Water District 90, 15606 SE 128th St., Renton

If in-person meetings are not allowed at the time of this class it will be moved online and information to join via Zoom will be emailed before the class.

Drip irrigation for home gardeners

Presenter: Chris Hoffer, Educator for Tilth Alliance

Learn how easy it is to water your garden with water-efficient drip irrigation! Even though our Pacific Northwest maritime climate is known for its rain, our summers are not. We still need to water our crops, thirsty ornamentals, and container gardens. Be smart with your resources and learn how to maximize the water you use in your landscape.

Thursday June 10th,  6:00-7:30 pm
To Register: call (425) 430-7387 or email limhoff@rentonwa.gov
Location: class will be online – information to join via Zoom will be emailed before the class.

Attracting bees and butterflies to your garden 

Presenter: Ladd Smith, Co-Owner of In Harmony Sustainable Landscapes

Come learn the small steps you can take to bring more wildlife to your yard.  Butterflies, bees, and birds bring movement, color, and pollination to our gardens. Along with learning how easy it is to make a big difference in your garden, you will be given plant lists that attract these special creatures. The class includes attracting specific bird types.

Thursday June 24th, 6:30 – 8:00 pm
To register:
call (206) 362-8100 or email theresah@northcitywater.org
Location:  North City Water District, 1519 NE 177th St., Shoreline

If in-person meetings are not allowed at the time of this class it will be moved online and information to join virtually will be emailed before the class..

Simply lovely: great plants for NW gardens

Presenter: Emily Bishton, Landscape Designer and Environmental Educator

Beautiful, sustainable, and low-maintenance gardening with native plants solves many landscape woes. You will leave this class with design tips, species recommendations, and an appreciation for giving your yard a northwest aesthetic. Perfect timing to create a plant list before the fall plant sales.

Wednesday July 7th, 5:00 – 6:30 pm
To register:
call 425-255-9600 or email daniellet@kcwd90.com
Location: King County Water District 90, 15606 SE 128th St., Renton

If in-person meetings are not allowed at the time of this class it will be moved online and information to join virtually will be emailed before the class.

Designing for the northwest garden

Presenter: Greg Rabourn, Educator and Radio Personality

Native plants adapted to our soil and climate solve many landscape woes—less watering, less need for pesticides and fertilizers, and less chance of introduction and spread of invasive species. They also attract valuable native wildlife. You’ll come away with design tips and species recommendations to make your own Northwest native haven. Discover just how beautiful, sustainable, and low-maintenance gardening can be with native plants!

Wednesday July 21st, 5:00 – 6:30 pm
To register: call 425-255-9600 or email daniellet@kcwd90.com
Location: King County Water District 90, 15606 SE 128th St., Renton

If in-person meetings are not allowed at the time of this class it will be moved online and information to join via Zoom will be emailed before the class.

Know your garden: winning the war on water use with great plants and techniques

Presenter: Marianne Binetti, Author and NW Horticultural Expert

Get inspired to plant not just shrubs and perennials that will survive in our climate, but plants that make a knockout statement when grown together. These plants will also smother weeds and solve other landscape problems. Learn how to create stunning plant marriages; how to use short plants to support taller specimens to avoid stakes or ties; and how to use trees and large shrubs already in your landscape as focal points to create gardens with seasonal interest that will knock your socks off.

Wednesday August 4th, 5:00 – 6:30 pm
To register:
call 425-255-9600 or email daniellet@kcwd90.com
Location: King County Water District 90, 15606 SE 128th St., Renton

Thursday September 2nd, 6:30 – 8:00 pm
To register: call (206) 362-8100 or email theresah@northcitywater.org
Location: North City Water District, 1519 NE 177th St Shoreline

If in-person meetings are not allowed at the time of these classes they will be moved online and information to join via Zoom will be emailed before the class.

The down and dirty: soil building secrets for greener gardens

Presenter: Ea Murphy, Soil Scientist and Author

How do you grow more productive, greener, and healthier gardens and farms, with less time and money? The secret is healthy, living soil! Join Ea in unlocking the secrets of living soil. Learn how to recognize healthy soil, feed and nourish the soil food web, and build fertility using natural strategies and techniques that come from getting down to the ground, a soil-eye view that will change the way you grow.

Thursday August 12th, 5:00–6:30 pm
To register: call 425-255-9600 or email daniellet@kcwd90.com
Location: King County Water District 90, 15606 SE 128th St., Renton

If in-person meetings are not allowed at the time of this class it will be moved online and information to join via Zoom will be emailed before the class.

Perma-what? Designing your own permaculture paradise

Presenter: Jessi Bloom, Best-Selling Author and Owner/Lead Designer of N.W. Bloom EcoLogical Landscapes

Landscapes and gardens offer a wealth of benefits if designed and managed well. Learn how to look at your garden as an ecosystem and explore the possibilities to make your space more sustainable. How to build healthy soils, good design, as well as proper maintenance strategies will be covered and you will see examples of beautiful gardens for inspiration.

Wednesday September 8th, 5:00 – 6:30 pm
To register: call 425-255-9600 or email daniellet@kcwd90.com
Location: King County Water District 90, 15606 SE 128th St., Renton

If in-person meetings are not allowed at the time of this class it will be moved online and information to join via Zoom will be emailed before the class.

Native Plants: Combining Beauty With Water Conservation

Presenter: Peggy Campbell, Horticulturist

Enjoy beauty sustainably with Northwest natives. Naturally suited to our wet winter and dry summer climate, discover these low-maintenance, water-saving wonders. Peggy Campbell shares sun-loving and shad-preferring favorites, how to match them to your garden spots, and tips for successful, fuss-free gardening.

Tuesday, September 14th,  6:30 – 8:00 pm 
To Register: call (425) 430-7387 or email limhoff@rentonwa.gov
Location: class will be online – information to join via Zoom will be emailed before the class.