Seasonal Plant Events & Gardening Workshops

Here’s how it works: Register online, in the store or by phone to reserve your spot; classes fill quickly. All workshop materials are included in the class cost, unless otherwise stated. Prepayment is required when registering; debit and credit cards are accepted. Click the link on the workshop or call 602-279-9510 to register.

Cancellation policy: No refunds or store credits will be issued if you can’t attend a class. Instructors work in advance to prepare materials  and they are paid whether or not you attend. No exceptions. You are welcome to send someone in your place. Please let us know in advance.

Free Parking & Light Rail

  • There is plenty of free public parking west of Southwest Gardener at 400 and 444 West Camelback Rd. Additional free public parking across Camelback to the south.
  • Don’t want to drive? Take the Light Rail! It lets off at the Central Avenue/Camelback Park-and-Ride, which has hundreds of free parking spaces across the street from Southwest Gardener.

Plant sales and workshops are at our shop at The Newton, 300 W. Camelback Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85013. 602.279.9510.

Click on the SIGN UP NOW  link on any individual workshop to register. Don’t delay because they fill quickly. All class materials are included in price, unless otherwise stated. This list is chronological.

Cancellation policy: No refunds or store credits will be issued if you can’t attend a class. Instructors work in advance to prepare materials  and they are paid whether or not you attend. No exceptions. You are welcome to send someone in your place. Please let us know in advance. 

Gardening Workshops & Plant Sales

Soil Prep: Everything You Need To Know Before You Plant A Garden

Sunday, August 11, Noon. The most important step for a successful garden happens before you ever plant. Soil preparation is the key to having a healthy, prolific garden, yet it is a step that many people bypass. Local gardening guru Gregory Ware will demystify the mystery of good soil. He will take your through every step needed to prepare for your fall/winter garden. This class includes packages of enough locally produced organic fertilizer and soil sulfur to cover a 100 square foot garden. You’ll add your new-found knowledge of building healthy soil plus your own organic material such as compost or manure, and you will be set to grow!  Check out our blog post on soil and water then come to this two-hour class. (Seriously, this is the way to prevent so many common gardening problems that can occur.) .


Prickly Pear Happy Hour

Saturday, August 17, 2 p.m., 3 p.m. OR 4 p.m. August is prickly pear fruit season so the time is ripe to whip up a batch of frosty beverages that celebrate this colorful food. Come enjoy a fruitful happy hour with Tanya Chakravarty. While you are here, Tanya (who has become somewhat of an expert in this local delicacy) will show you how to prepare your prickly pear fruit by cooking off the glochids, juicing and straining techniques, and she will share her favorite recipes. Of course, it wouldn’t be a prickly pear happy hour without enjoying a prickly pear drink! Choose from a prickly pear lemonade or margarita or maybe try a sampling of each!


Fall Tomatoes & Peppers Plant Sale

August 18, Noon to 3 p.m. This is the plant sale for gardeners who want to grow a second season of tomatoes, something that’s very doable in the desert. Gregory Ware will be here with tomato transplants, mostly early varieties to ensure you get fruit that ripen in fall’s short days. There will be many medium to small size tomatoes, with a few exceptions. There will also be a selection of eggplant, tomatillos, ground cherries, and pepper plants. Many of these transplants do well in large containers. All have been outside, in the all-day sun, heat and wind. They are ready to grow. And if we get no frost, these tomatoes will go through the winter. Start prepping your soil – fall planting is only weeks away! TIPS FOR GROWING FALL TOMATOES.


Starting From Seed

Sunday, August 25, Noon – There are lot of benefits to starting a garden from seed, and the fall garden is a perfect way to start. Homegrown seedlings will be better acclimated to our desert climate, you are guaranteed your plants are grown organically, and there are many interesting varieties available by seed that you won’t find as transplants at garden centers. This is the perfect time to master the ins and outs of seed gardening from local grower Gregory Ware. He’ll explain techniques specific to seed gardening, how to avoid common mistakes, how to choose quality seeds, and everyone will plant one seed starting tray (total of 72 starts). You will choose season-appropriate seeds for your tray using a $10 store credit from Southwest Gardener. Our biggest gardening season of the year starts now – time to get growing!


Fall Plant Sale

Sunday, September 15, Noon to 3 p.m. Attention all gardeners! It’s time to start planting your fall garden. Gregory Ware will be here with his locally grown, organic  vegetable and herb plants. Don’t miss this opportunity to snag some of Gregory’s unusual varieties. This Plant Sale will be inside so we won’t bake in the sun. Check here a few days before the event for a list of what you’ll find.


Fall Herb Pot

Sunday, September 22, 10 a.m. It’s a treat to step outside your door and snip fresh herbs for your next meal. It’s an experience we can all enjoy. Our resident grower Gregory Ware will teach you to plant, grow, and harvest a plentiful pot that includes all the herb basics: parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Gregory will share best practices so your organic herbs will flourish and can be harvested all season long. You’ll want to bring your gardening gloves (or purchase some here ). Soil, pot, plants are all provided as part of the fee. Everyone will take home an herb pot that will provide flavor for upcoming holiday meals.This is a two-hour class.


Growing Strawberries

Sunday, September 22, 1 p.m. Yes, you can grow tasty, ripe strawberries in the desert.  The key for success is plant selection and timing. Our grow guru Gregory Ware will be here to share his secrets for growing strawberries in the desert. Gregory will teach you about  the best varieties for our climate, when to plant, care and fertilization information along with harvesting techniques. He’ll also answer that age-old question: Do I need to use a strawberry pot? You will plant a pot with three bare-root strawberry plants to take home. All materials are provided, and Gregory will have extra plants for sale if you want to expand your strawberry horizons. Plan on about a two-hour class.