Expert Gardeners Share Tips on Growing a Successful Vegetable Garden


The Rutgers Master Gardeners of Union County are on a mission to help gardens flourish all over Union County, and this summer they are offering a free Vegetable Garden Series of classes and garden tours available to all gardeners from beginner to expert. The series is held in the Union County Demonstration Garden.

The Demonstration Garden, located in Union County’s Watchung Reservation by the Trailside Nature and Science Center in Mountainside, is the centerpiece of the Master Gardeners’ many community service programs.

“The Master Gardeners are one of the most active volunteer organizations in Union County, and they have touched the lives of many Union County residents with their willingness to share their expertise and time,” said Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen. “The Freeholder Board is very proud to support their efforts.”

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The first class and tour of the Vegetable Gardening Series will be on Thursday, June 22 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.  The program includes a class titled “Starting a Vegetable Garden” along with a tour of the Sharing Garden beds at the Demonstration Garden.

The Sharing Garden features 24 raised beds of vegetables commonly grown in home yards and community gardens.  All produce from the garden is donated to local food pantries.   The class will cover site selection, planting tips, maintenance and budgeting aimed at smoothing the path to a successful vegetable garden. 

Other topics and dates in the series are:

Tuesday, July 25: Keeping Pests Out of the Garden -- Insect and Disease Management

Wednesday, August 9: Harvesting and Food Safety in the Vegetable Garden

Thursday, September 7: Keys to Successful Composting

All programs include a tour of the Sharing Garden that relates to the topic of the evening’s class.

The program is free but pre-registration is required at

Free parking is available in the Trailside Nature and Science Center parking lot, located at 452 New Providence Road in Mountainside. 

The Master Gardeners of Union County is a volunteer community service organization run by the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County and supported in part by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

For more information about the Vegetable Garden Series, or to find out how to join the Master Gardeners, call the Extension at 908-654-9854, option 4. The Extension offices are located in the Colleen Fraser County Services building in Westfield, at 300 North Avenue East.

For more details about the Demonstration Garden and other Master Gardeners program visit

Links to Master Tree Stewards, 4-H youth clubs and all other Extension programs are available at

The Rutgers Cooperative Extension is an equal opportunity program provider and employer. Contact your local Extension Office for information regarding special needs or accommodations. Contact the State Extension Director's Office if you have concerns related to discrimination, 848-932-3584.

For all Union County programs and services visit, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email or use the online Contact Form.

Connect with Union County on social media.

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