Workshops / Classes

City of Bloomington Parks & Recreation

Class listing

Bloomington Parks and Recreation Community Gardening Program
  2015 Fall Garden/Bloomington Community Orchard Classes

The Community Gardening Program offers a variety of gardening and orchard management classes. For more information, call 349-3700 or email  hobsonr@bloomington.in.gov

To register for classes on line, please visit www.bloomington.in.gov/parks


Gardening Classes


Harvest and Season Extension

Ensure a supply of greens and other vegetables through the Indiana winter by learning to use season extending methods. Examine different approaches to gardening throughout the year including the use of coverings to create microclimates, hoophouse and greenhouse design, and modifications for success in any size overwintering garden. Co-sponsored by Bloomingfoods, the Center for Sustainable Living and Hilltop Gardens at Indiana University.

Date: Tuesday, Thursday 9/22 & 9/24, 6:30–8 p.m.

Registration deadline: September 21st,  Code: 36502-A

Cost: $16/in-city, $18/non-city

Ages: For ages 16 yrs. and up.

Location: Hilltop Garden and Nature Center, 2367 E. 10th St.

Instructor: Rhonda Baird


Grow Organic Educator Series

Get gardening with GOES! During this in-depth, 10-week class series, you will learn a wide variety of organic gardening skills from area experts and share your knowledge with the community during a horticultural outreach program. Topics covered include soil science, seed saving and everything in between. Complete the course and volunteer hours in a number of community projects to be certified as a Grow Organic Educator or just take the course for your own enrichment. Textbook and comprehensive reference notebook are included in the fee. There are a number of optional Saturday workshops and field trips scheduled. Co-sponsored by Bloomingfoods, The Center for Sustainable Living and Hilltop Gardens at Indiana University.
Thanks to the generosity of a GOES graduate, scholarship assistance is available through the Cassell Memorial Scholarship fund.

Date: Wednesdays, September 23rd to December 2nd (Class does not meet 11/25), 6–9 p.m.

Registration deadline: September 17th, Code: 26502-A

Cost: $125/in-city, $145/non-city

Ages: For ages 18 yrs. and up.

Location: Hilltop Gardens at Indiana University, 2367 E. 10th St.

Instructor: A team of area gardening experts


Soil Building and Cover Crops

Fall is the best time to build good soil, and this workshop identifies techniques for building fertile garden soil. We will focus on the use of various cover cropping methods to build soil fertility and improve aeration. Learn how these techniques can not only lead to better production in your garden next year, but also how these practices can play a part in addressing climate change. Co-sponsored by Bloomingfoods, Hilltop Gardens at Indiana University, and the Center for Sustainable Living.

Date: Th 10/1, 6–8 p.m.

Registration deadline: September 29th,  Code: 36503-A

Cost: $14/in-city, $16/non-city

Ages: For ages 16 yrs. and up.

Location: Hilltop Garden and Nature Center, 2367 E. 10th St.

Instructor: Rhonda Baird


Scents and Sentimentality: Growing Fragrant Heirloom Roses

If you miss the incredible fragrance and romantic beauty of the old garden roses, you can incorporate spectacular and aromatic blooms into your home landscape. The class covers site selection and soil preparation, plant selection and sourcing, disease and insect pest prevention, fertilization, and pruning. These roses are guaranteed to “Knock Out” the competition. Co-sponsored by Bloomingfoods and Hilltop Gardens at Indiana University.

Date: Tuesday, October 6th, 6:30–8:30 p.m.

Registration deadline: October 5th,  Code: 36504-A

Cost: $16/in-city, $18/non-city

Ages: For ages 16 yrs. and up.

Location: Hilltop Garden and Nature Center, 2367 E. 10th St.

Instructor: H. Michael Simmons, Advanced Master Gardener


Designing Your Home Landscape

Home landscaping design contributes both to the comfort and happiness of residents (and neighbors) and to property value. Learn how to plan and create an aesthetically pleasing landscape that is easy to maintain. Whether you wish to design and manage your own landscape or rely on professionals, the class helps you make sound decisions that will save money and create outdoor space in which you can feel at home. Co-sponsored by Bloomingfoods and Hilltop Gardens at Indiana University.

Date: Tuesdays, October 13th to October 27th • 7–8:30 p.m.

Registration deadline: October 9th,  Code: 36505-A

Cost: $42/in-city, $48/non-city

Ages: For ages 16 yrs. and up.

Location: Hilltop Garden and Nature Center, 2367 E. 10th St.

Instructor: H. Michael Simmons


Identifying and Managing Common Invasive Plants in Your Yard and Garden

Invasive plants are ubiquitous in Bloomington and present many challenges to gardeners. We will learn to identify invasive plants in an outdoor setting and how to manage them with cultural controls, by mechanical means, and through the safe application of herbicide. Feel free to bring samples of your problem plants to the class. Participants should come prepared to walk over moderate terrain. Rain date is 10/22. Co-sponsored by Bloomingfoods and Hilltop Gardens at Indiana University.

Date: Thursday, October 15th, 5:15–7:15 p.m.

Registration deadline: October 13th,  Code: 36506-A

Cost: $10/in-city, $11/non-city

Ages: For ages 16 yrs. and up.

Location: Winslow Woods Park — Meet at the shelter.

Instructor: Jon Behrman, native and invasive plant expert


Seed Saving and Propagation

This introductory class covers the ins and outs of seed saving, the propagation of plants by cuttings and rooting, and more. Participants gain the necessary knowledge to cut their seed costs, share their favorite plants with friends, and start to breed new varieties suited to our area. Co-sponsored by Bloomingfoods, the Center for Sustainable Living, and Hilltop Gardens at Indiana University.

Date: Thursday, November 5th, 6–8 p.m.

Registration deadline: November 3rd,  Code: 36507-A

Cost: $14/in-city, $16/non-city

Ages: For ages 16 yrs. and up.

Location: Hilltop Garden and Nature Center, 2367 E. 10th St.

Instructor: Salem Willard


Gardening Basics

Get ready to plant your first garden in the spring! This two-hour workshop is designed to give you what you need to know for a fruitful growing season. The class addresses such topics as soil preparation, bed design, plant selection, integrated pest management, organic fertilizers, saving seed, starting seed, and more. Co-sponsored by Bloomingfoods and Hilltop Gardens at Indiana University.

Date: Tuesday, November 10th, 6:30–8:30 p.m.

Registration deadline: November 9th,  Code: 36508-A

Cost: $15/in-city, $17/non-city

Ages: For ages 16 yrs. and up.

Location: Hilltop Garden and Nature Center, 2367 E. 10th St.

Instructor: Marie Fleming


Bloomington Community Orchard Classes

 The Community Gardening Program and the Bloomington Community Orchard are pleased to announce that all Community Orchard classes will be provided free to the community, as part of our continued dedication to making healthy food available to all.

To register, visit BloomingtonCommunityOrchard.org/classes. and reserve your seat at least 48 hours before the class. 

Instructor: H. Michael Simmons, orchard educator Bloomington Community Orchard classes are co-sponsored by Hilltop Gardens at Indiana University, Bloomingfoods, the Bloomington Community Orchard and Free University of Monroe County.

Saturdays 2-4 p.m.  FREE  For ages 16 yrs and up.  Hilltop Gardens at Indiana University, 2367 East 10th Street.


Growing Native Fruits: Paw Paw and Persimmon

Learn the benefits of growing native fruits in this informative class on the cultivation of paw paws and persimmons in Indiana. This class covers cultivar selection, sourcing of plants, site selection and preparation, pollination requirements, troubleshooting, harvesting, and using the fruit.

Date: September 26th


The Cider Orchard

Learn how to plan and plant a cider orchard using dwarf trees. Blending a tasty cider requires combining apples with different characteristics that complement each other in the flavor profile. The class covers cultivar selection, sourcing of trees, site selection and preparation, pollination requirements, managing pests and diseases, harvesting, storage, and use of fruit for cider production. Participants are invited to tour a cider orchard on a date to be announced after the class.

Date: October 24th


The Fall Planting of Fruit Trees

Fall is an excellent time to plant pome fruit trees, such as apples and pears. Studies have shown that fall-planted apple and pear trees have an advantage over similar trees planted in the spring. The class covers cultivar selection, site selection and preparation, pollination requirements, planting technique, early care, and first dormant season pruning. The class includes a demonstration planting.

Date: November 14th