April 16, 2021

Calendar: Veggie growing made easy

University of Illinois Extension horticulture experts have teamed up with the Rock Island Public Library to offer free presentations via Zoom on Veggie Growing Made Easy. Illinois Extension master gardeners will be on hand during the calls to answer your gardening questions.

It’s a great way to learn more about gardening basics. Did you know the Rock Island Library has a seed library? You can check out free seeds to use at home. These presentations will help you learn the basics of growing and utilizing your seeds.

All programs begin at 10 a.m. Register at https://web.extension.illinois.edu/registration/?RegistrationID=23169.

  • March 15, Seed starting introduction.
  • March 17, Germination and seedling growth: Learn how to successfully start plants indoors from seeds for use later in the garden.
  • March 22, Blueprint to gardening, planning and prepping: Explore how you can go about planning your garden and different techniques that are used to plant gardens.
  • March 24, Cool season vegetables and warm season vegetables: Learn about the different types of vegetables that are commonly grown in gardens and the basics on how to grow them.
  • March 29, Hardening off and transplanting, and general care: Discover how to prep seedlings that you grew indoors for being transplanted outdoors as well as basic garden care, including watering and fertilizing.
  • March 31, Pest control considerations, and tips to garden safely: Followed by a final Q&A session.

Make an extra $1,000 on one acre of land

Have an acre of land and want to make an extra $1,000 or more? When it comes to farming, it turns out that small isn’t only beautiful – small is also sustainable, manageable, and productive. In the four-part series, Make $1,000 on One Acre of Land, classes will explore farming or gardening for profit (and not necessarily enough to live on) as a business enterprise. Then, set your dreams on the right track with tips and resources for planning your own compact farm. Classes will be held online from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. March 15-18:

  • Pasturing poultry: Hatching eggs, broilers, turkey.
  • Asparagus: Growing and marketing.
  • Heirloom tomatoes: Growing, varieties and marketing.
  • Beekeeping.

Cost is $50 for the entire course or $15 for selected classes. Register at https://web.extension.illinois.edu/registration/?RegistrationID=23107. For more information, call 815-933-8337 or email froning@illinois.edu.

7th annual Gathering of the Gardeners

The seventh annual Gathering of the Gardeners for master gardeners from Christian, Jersey, Macoupin and Montgomery counties will be from 10 to 11:30 a.m. March 16.

Guest speaker Terry Milne will discuss Right-sizing Your Garden. Learn tips and tricks to make your garden less work and easier to maintain as you and your garden mature — think more shrubs and less annuals. Milne will discuss the process of evaluating your garden and deciding what needs to be tweaked for maximum results with a minimum of effort. She also will highlight plants that are proven performers in our area, and will guide your efforts to select those that look good without lots of maintenance.

Handouts and details will be sent to all registrants.

The presentation will be available to watch live at your desired Extension office. Register at https://web.extension.illinois.edu/registration/?RegistrationID=23204.

Let’s Talk Money Webinar

Our financial fears and personal biases can hold us back from making wise financial decisions. Learn how to overcome poor spending choices by using behavioral economics techniques in the Let’s Talk Money Webinar at 6:30 p.m. March 16.

Webinar participation is free, but registration is required. Register at https://forms.illinois.edu/sec/1060860889.

Design a garden to attract birds

The webinar Designing a Garden to Attract Birds will be at 6:30 p.m. March 16. Dr. Michael P. Ward, associate professor, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois, will discuss avian ecology and behavior, and habitat design features and plantings we can introduce in our home gardens to make them both inviting to and protective of the variety of song birds that frequent this area.

Register at https://web.extension.illinois.edu/registration/?RegistrationID=23189.

The webinar is part of the Think Spring Gardening Series. Other programs in the series include:

  • March 18, Lessons from the Red Oak Rain Garden: The Red Oak Rain Garden, located on the University of Illinois Urbana campus is a site that soaks up rainwater and supports pollinators. Many lessons were learned throughout the process of designing and building it that homeowners can apply on a smaller scale to their own properties.
  • March 23, Bulb Lasagna — Creating Layers: Spring is always busy for gardeners but it’s not too early to think about adding bulbs to your landscape later in fall. By observing gaps of color and interest in the spring garden, identifying areas for “bulb beautification,” to be addressed later in the year, is prudent and worth the time. Your bulb planting should consider the “layered” or “lasagna” approach in putting multiple varieties of bulbs in close proximity (even the same hole!) to create amazing, layered compositions while maximizing beauty in even a small space.
  • March 25, 50 Shapes of Shade: Trees and shrubs come in a wide array of shapes. Learn how those shapes can be used in the landscape to their best advantage.
  • March 30, Succulent Wreaths: Bright and textured succulent wreaths are living plant wreaths for any occasion. Succulents are desert plants turned houseplants. Learn more about what succulents are, their biology, and how to build and care for a succulent wreath in this presentation.
  • April 1, Starting Seeds Successfully: Starting seeds indoors for your vegetable garden can be challenging. You need proper equipment and the right environment to be successful. Each year, there are new varieties in seed catalogs, but most of these depend on you starting them indoors before planting this spring. This class will go through the basics of selecting varieties, using seed starting equipment, and trouble shooting.

Grow your own tree fruit

Learn to keep your fruit trees healthy and productive throughout the growing season. Two free online webinars will give practical tips about growing fruit trees, including tips on pest and disease management.

Grow Your Own Tree Fruit: Getting Started will be from 3 to 4 p.m. March 17. This workshop will look at the cultural requirements required for establishing fruit trees. Learn about site selection, cultivar selection, planting, and maintenance. Extension Educator Andrew Holsinger will cover the most important aspects of growing fruit trees.

Grow Your Own Tree Fruit: Pest and Disease Management will be from 3 to 4 p.m. March 24.

Register at https://web.extension.illinois.edu/registration/?RegistrationID=23084.