Whether you're looking to tour a home, hone your home maintenance skills, get some gardening tips or learn homebuying strategies, you'll find plenty of opportunities on the Peninsula this fall. Check out our September home & garden events calendar.
BARE BONE OPEN HOUSE
10 a.m.-4 p.m., Friday-Sunday, Sept. 8-10 | 2200 St. Francis Drive, Palo Alto | Free. Registration required.
Bone Structure, the family-operated company that is building steel-frame homes designed to be fire, earthquake and termite resistant, is opening the doors to one of its homes currently under construction in Palo Alto to provide the public an in-person look at what the company's patented steel-frame system looks like before it is concealed by interior and exterior wall finishes.
The steel frame pieces are prefabricated and manufactured from recycled steel – mostly made of smashed cars – that are designed to be attached together on-site, similar to how a toy erector set works. Headquartered in Canada, the company built its first California home in Stanford in 2016 and now operates a satellite office in the Bay Area. Company CEO Marc Bovet and his team will be at the open house to answer questions.
LAWN ALTERNATIVES ON DISPLAY
10-11 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 2 | Palo Alto Demonstration Garden, 851 Center Drive, Palo Alto | Free. More information.
Visit the Palo Alto Demonstration Garden and learn about the many choices for lower water, lower maintenance and less fertilizer-using plants for your home landscape. The lawn alternatives area has examples of various types of low-water replacement plants, including lawns with smooth surfaces for kids and pets to play on, groundcovers that have a walkable, low-growing surface and meadow grasses that are suitable for low foot traffic. UC Master Gardener Carolyn Williams will be on hand to discuss techniques for removing old lawns, best planting times, water usage and irrigation, sun and shade requirements, and fertilizer and maintenance.
HARVEST TIME IN THE GARDEN
10 a.m.-noon, Saturday, Sept. 9 | Gamble Garden, 1431 Waverley St. Palo Alto | Free. More information.
Gamble Garden is offering tours, garden tastings and other family activities to celebrate its September harvest. Visitors can take a guided tour of the edible garden and learn some surprising facts about the nightshade family of plants (tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and others). The historic house will be open and decorated to celebrate the harvest. Visitors can taste some of the peppers and tomatoes grown in the garden and vote on the ones they like best as part of the Great Gamble Tasting Competition
COMPOST BASICS WORKSHOP
10 a.m.-noon, Saturday, Sept. 9 | Murphy Park Building, 250 N. Sunnyvale Ave., Sunnyvale | Free. Registration required.
Learn how to compost. In this two-hour workshop, master composters from the UCCE Santa Clara County Composting Education Program will teach you how to compost backyard trimmings and food scraps, as well as how to apply compost to your soil. www.ucanr.edu/compost
FALL PLANTING STRATEGIES
6:30-8 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 20 | Online | Free. Webinar Registration required.
In this webinar by the Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency (BAWSCA), learn why fall is California's ideal planting season, how to prepare your garden area and how fall timing helps plant establishment and reduces water use.
INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT
7-8:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 14 |Online | Free. Registration required.
Pests or weeds a problem? Join this class sponsored by the city of Palo Alto to learn how to manage pest and weed problems while using alternatives to toxic chemicals. Instructor Suzanne Bontempo of the Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency (BAWSCA) will share techniques and tools for pest prevention, as well as tips for managing many common pests in homes and gardens.
HOME ELECTRICAL REPAIR WORKSHOP
10:30-1 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 16 | 1330 Orleans Drive, Sunnyvale | Ages 15 & up | Cost is $55. Registration required.
Learn how to safely replace a switch and an outlet and how to swap out a ceiling light, as well as how to verify that an outlet is wired correctly. In this workshop hosted by Maker Nexus, instructor David Wertheimer will work with a life-sized demonstration wood-framed wall that is open on one side so you can see how things look both from the finished side, as well as inside your walls.
Noon-1 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 21 | Online |Free. Registration required.
Learn homebuying basics in this one-hour webinar hosted by Stanford Federal Credit Union. A Realtor and mortgage consultant will share tips on how to find and buy a home with the most favorable terms and help participants understand the homebuying process and financing options. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A session.
MAYFIELD WALKING TOUR
10 a.m.-noon, Saturday, Sept. 23 | Sarah Wallis Park, 202 Ash St.| Free. More information.
Explore the architecture and history of Mayfield during this guided walking tour hosted by Palo Alto Stanford Heritage. Once its own town, Mayfield is now home to California Avenue, Palo Alto's "second downtown." Bo Clark will be your host as you stroll the streets and learn about the neighborhood's earliest houses and businesses, including storefronts designed by Palo Alto's celebrated architect Birge Clark. (Don't forget to bring water, sun or light rain protection.)
RAIN BARREL WORKSHOP
10-11 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 30 | Rinconada Library (Embarcadero Room), 1213 Newell Road, Palo Alto |Free. Registration required. See "Classes & Workshops."
Learn how rain barrels can improve your property and garden, conserve water, save money and help protect local creeks and the San Francisco Bay. Chris Corvetti will lead this informational workshop about the benefits of rain barrels, what’s involved in rain barrel installation and maintenance, and rebates available to Palo Alto residents and businesses.