Gardening experts attend Iowa City gardens at regular times throughout the growing season. Visit the gardens for free food, inspiration, learning and fun.
Got gardening questions? Ask a Garden Guru.
From May through October, garden experts will help you...
Increase yields in vegetable and herb gardens
Successfully grow fruit trees and berry bushes
Mitigate the impact of climate change through gardening
Grow habitat for pollinators and other wildlife
Increase your connection with nature and community
2021 Theme: Urban Bushcrafting for Families
With the COVID-19 pandemic still upon us, gardening topics this year are designed to help families form lasting connections with nature by practicing gardening and wilderness skills right outside their backdoor.
Bushcrafting is the practice of thriving in the wilderness using both modern and primitive skills. It simultaneously brings out a love of living and a love of nature through experiential activities that highlight gifts provided by the natural world.
We wish you an abundance of wellness.
Mother Nature will care for anyone who takes time to get to know her. These classes will help you...
Prepare to help your community during emergencies
Gain greater family and neighborhood cohesion
Grow Easy Fruits
Sat, May 1 10 - 11:30 am
Wetherby Edible Forest
Grow Easy Vegetables and Herbs
Sat, May 8 10 - 11:30 am
Forage Wild Edibles
Sat, Jul 3 10 - 12 pm
Hickory Hill Park: 800 Conklin Lane
Build a Toad House
Sat, Aug 7 9 - 10:30 am
Creekside Edible Forest
Grow Herbal Tea
Sat, Sep 4 10 - 12 pm
Track Backyard Critters
Sun, Sep 5 2 - 3:30 pm
Glendale Park: 1250 E Jefferson St
Easy Outdoor Cooking
Sun, Sep 12 10:30 am - 12:30 pm
Kardos Wellness Residence
Grow Herbs in Turfgrass
Sat, Sep 25 10 - 11:30 am
Grow Easy Pollinator Habitat
Sun, Oct 24 2 - 4 pm
Wetherby Edible Forest
Most classes will be conducted at public gardens listed below. If you cannot attend a class, please visit the gardens afterward to see what was done, pick up publications, tend the garden and harvest food.
Fee: $5 per family (up to 4 people)
All classes are free to Backyard Abundance members. Learn about membership.
Please register soon: Classes are limited to 15-20 families (20-30 people) and they are expected to fill quickly.
Even though classes are held outside, masks and social distancing of at least 6’ will be required the entire time. Depending upon CDC recommendations, we may change to online if the virus risk increases.
Join neighbors to transform landscapes into spaces that help reduce the impact of climate change.
At all Garden Guru events and public gardens, we'll provide top tips for how you can create a climate-friendly garden.
Grow vegetables, herbs or fruits.
Plant trees or shrubs.
Cover bare soil with mulch or ground covers.
Seed and grow cover crops.
Seed lawn with Dutch white clover or violets.
Use natural products instead of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.
This program was created in conjunction with the Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department and is funded by the DNR Resource Enhancement and Protection Conservation Education Program (REAP CEP).
It would not be possible without these sponsors and supporters. Please frequent these generous organizations to thank them for donations of materials and funds.