Blue Flax in bloom at the Historic Hatchery

Tahoe City Demonstration Garden

2017 Tahoe Plant Workshops

High Altitude Gardening Workshops: Want to grow your own fruits and vegetables here in Tahoe? Attend free workshops in May and June to learn how food can be grown at the Lake. Participants receive instruction on cultivation techniques, history/background on the plants being highlighted, and leave with free plants for their gardens. These are family-friendly workshops, with hands-on opportunities to get acquainted with growing fruits and vegetables. All workshops are sponsored by the Lake Tahoe Master Gardeners and held on various days and times at the Tahoe City Demonstration Garden, the Truckee Community Garden, the North Tahoe Demonstration Garden, and at the South Lake Tahoe Library.

For the Tahoe City Demonstration Garden (2400 Lake Forest) events hosted by the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center, doors open at 5:00 p.m. and events start at 5:30 p.m. 

We have one final fall garden workshop planned for 2018:

Seedlings grown for Garden Event Giveaways

Seedlings grown for Garden Event Giveaways

    • October 1st: Garlic and Alliums. Learn the tricks of the trade in growing in garlic and onion in high altitude. These varieties are specifically chosen to survive tough Tahoe winters and provide a hearty spring harvest. Topics include proper varietal selection, location in the garden or container, planting options, and methods for protecting the young plants.
    • May 14th: Potatoes. Featuring the much loved starchy potato, one of the few vegetables known to be grown at Lake Tahoe (Glenbrook House) during pioneer times. The potato, native to the Andes is well suited to our climate. Interesting varieties have been selected for our trials, including blue, red and several fingerling types. Melissa Guthrie's PowerPoint presentation available here!
    • May 21st: Onions. That tasty root vegetable you love so much it makes your cry. Join Lake Tahoe Master Gardeners and UC Davis TERC for a discussion and presentation on the cultivation techniques and plant attributes of various onions as we learn which varieties grow best in our unique region. Dave Long's PowerPoint presentation available here!
    • June 1st: Raspberries and Gooseberries. The easiest fruits to grow are also the best backyard fruits to grow because they don’t really ship well so you cannot buy good ones: berries. These pricey fruits can easily grow in a thicket along your fence or covering bare patches of land. Eat them fresh off the plant in the summer or make preserves so you can enjoy them all year! Dave Long's PowerPoint presentation available here!
    • June 4th: Kale and Lettuce. One of the first crops to be harvested from any garden every year are leafy green vegetables like kale and lettuce. Add a couple of other veggies from the high elevation garden takls and you have one great spring salad or stir fry. Harvest continuously throughout the season and make kale chips for a superfood snack! Mary Wall's PowerPoint presentation available here!
    • June 11th: Tomatoes. In cooler climates tomatoes typically are grown in greenhouses. The Lake Tahoe Master Gardeners and UC Davis TERC are more interested in the hardier species of tomatoes that can handle the climate of Tahoe. This fruit is notoriously the problem child for garden families here in Tahoe. Learn the techniques required to grow these plants in our cool summers. Topics include proper varietal selection, location in the garden or container, planting options and methods for protecting the young plants and fruit. Dave Long's PowerPoint Presentation available here!

About The Tahoe City Demonstration Garden

The Tahoe City Demonstration Garden and Historic Fish Hatchery building and Eriksson Education Center are located at 2400 Lake Forest Rd as part of the Tahoe City Field Station. The Education Center and Demonstration Garden are operated by the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC) and open to the public from Memorial Day through Labor Day seven days a week, 8am-6pm, for self-guided tours. Docent-led tours through our historic hatchery building and demonstration garden are available on Saturdays from 10am-2pm. The 3-acre garden focuses on encouraging native plant gardening, implementing various Best Management Practices (BMPs), and utilizing citizen science to monitor response a plant’s to changes in climate.Follow the permeable path that meanders through the garden and learn about Tahoe’s native flora by reading the small green identification signs that are sprinkled throughout the garden. Using a diverse array of native species of different sizes and textures in your gardening plan will not only reduce your dependency on water and fertilizers, but it will also help maintain the health of the ecosystem by attracting native wildlife and pollinators. Learn what types of bright, fragrant flowers to plant in order to attract bees and butterflies. Discover which shrubs provide food sources and habitat for local birds. Tahoe Basin’s native plants thrive in the short growing season, variable climate and acidic, hydrophobic soil conditions. By planting native plants you are creating a low-maintenance garden that will efficiently cycle nutrients, minimize and prevent erosion, and conserve important resources. Among the small green plant identification signs throughout the garden you will also see larger blue signs that display different types of BMPs implemented in the garden. Whether it’s stabilizing a slope for erosion control or thinning your trees and removing high fuel shrubs to create defensible space, there are many ideas that you can implement to allow your garden to mimic the functions of a natural landscape. Human impact on the environment has caused significant changes to the Tahoe environment. In the last 50 years Tahoe has lost over 30 feet of clarity due to microscopic particles that remain suspended in the water. Your garden can help mitigate this change and trap these problem-causing particles through BMPs.Phenology is the study of seasonal changes or phases of plants from year to year, such as growth, flowering, and fruiting. The timing of plant growth directly affects the rest of the ecosystem including insects and migratory birds. These changes have a direct relationship with weather and climate. Plants are stationary and cannot move away from a threatening factor, therefore their responses to climate can help us predict an increase or decrease in population, making phenology one of the best indicators of climate change impacts. Become a citizen scientist at the Tahoe City Demonstration garden by collecting phenology and water quality data that can be utilized by scientists around the world. You don’t need to be a scientist to be a citizen scientist; all you need is enthusiasm to learn and a passion for preserving your beautiful environment. Help us collect phenology data by joining TERC docents on Saturdays from Memorial Day through Labor Day (10am-2pm).       

To learn more contact Alison Toy ( or visit the Tahoe Science Center in Incline Village (open year round)!