April 16, 2021

Calendar: Spring lawn care webinar

As your lawn responds to nature’s spring wake-up call, step in to prepare it for a year of healthy growth. By addressing a few simple chores, you can make the lawn grow and look better.

Join Extension educators Richard Hentschel, Nancy Kreith and James Theuri in the free Spring Lawn Care webinar from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. March 24. Register by March 20 by visiting https://web.extension.illinois.edu/registration/?RegistrationID=23280.

Topics will include spring lawn improvements, weed management and a few tips on natural lawn care.

For more information, contact Nancy Kreith at 217-300-5601 or kreith@illinois.edu.

Cover crop field day March 24

WATERLOO, Ill. — Cover Crop Field Day will be at 9 a.m. March 24 at Baebler Educational Farm, 4022 JJ Road, Waterloo, Illinois. University of Illinois Extension Educator Nathan Johanning will discuss ways to incorporate cover crops in your rotation and tour demonstration plots. Local farmers will discuss how they are using cover crops.

Register at https://web.extension.illinois.edu/registration/?RegistrationID=23309.

Webinar series for woodland owners

Just in time for spring, the Illinois Extension forestry team will lead a six-session webinar series for woodland owners from 2 to 3 p.m. on Wednesdays starting March 24.

Registration is required for these free webinars at go.illinois.edu/SpringForestry.

  • March 24, Crop Tree Management: Science and Application: Arguably the best forest stand management practice a woodland owner can undertake on their property is the release of crop trees. Explore crop tree management selection, potential, and maximizing return on investment.
  • March 31, Tree Planting Basics: Tree planting is a vital practice to restoring Illinois’ forests. Get a simple guide for everything you need to know to have a successful planting operation. Explore plant materials and planting methods as well as how to apply these practices in a variety of field conditions.
  • April 7, Get Lost: How to Navigate in the Backcountry: Have you considered navigating off-trail or wondered how to get back on track after getting lost, but didn’t know where to start? Orient yourself with this session on basic map-and-compass navigation and the mapping app for smart devices, Avenza Maps. Outdoor enthusiasts will gain skills allowing them to adventure safely and how to navigate a safe return. This is an interactive presentation. After registering, participants will be sent information to prepare in advance to get the most of the experience.
  • April 14, Identification and Management of Herbaceous Invasive Plants: Herbaceous invasive plants are a threat to forest health, productivity, and diversity. Learn how to identify common Illinois invasives, tools for controlling these invaders, and new species to keep an eye out for.
  • April 21, Save Use of Herbicides in Natural Settings: Herbicides are an indispensable tool for vegetation managers, but they must be used properly as off-target movement can be very damaging. Learn about common herbicide issues faced by Illinois landowners and applicators, what herbicide injury symptoms look like, and whom to contact if herbicide injury is suspected. Leave with tips on herbicide application that prevents and avoids herbicide movement.
  • April 28, Providing Suitable Woodland Habitat for Secretive Animals — Bats, Snakes and Salamanders: Woodlands across Illinois are home to many secretive animals such as salamanders, snakes and bats. We tend to think these animals prefer dark and cold spaces, but this is not always the best habitat for them. Discover how you can provide habitat for these animals in your woods.

Wholesale market opportunities

The webinar Too Small for Wholesale Markets? Think Again will be from noon to 1 p.m. March 25. Many smaller diversified farms focus on direct market channels to sell without considering wholesale market channels. In this webinar, producers will explore how to diversify their sales by expanding into wholesale market options, what it takes for a small farm to access higher volume markets and learn about a new wholesale market opportunity for Illinois growers — the Good Food Purchasing Program recently enacted in Chicago and greater Cook County. Chicago Food Policy Action Council staff will explain the policy and how small farmers can use the new program to access new markets.

Register at web.extension.illinois.edu/registration/?RegistrationID=22955.

The program is part of the 2021 Small Farm Webinar Series, which gives small producers access to practical tools and knowledge to improve their profitability and sustainability by learning about leading practices on emerging topics in production, management, and marketing. Past programs are available on YouTube at bit.ly/ILLocalFoodsYouTube.

For more information, contact Zack Grant, Extension local food systems and small farms educator, at zgrant2@illinois.edu or 708-679-6889.

Understanding emotional eating

The program Emotional Eating: Understanding How Stress Impacts Hunger and Appetite will be from 1 to 2:30 p.m. March 25.

The webinar will be presented by the University of Illinois Extension Nutrition and Wellness Educator Diane Reinhold who will discuss how emotions and stress affect eating habits, and provide helpful steps for you to reach your wellness goals.

Register at web.extension.illinois.edu/registration/?RegistrationID=23178. For more information about upcoming programs on nutrition and wellness, visit go.illinois.edu/jsw or call 815-235-4125.

Grab a salsa garden kit

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. —The Master Gardener Grab and Go Salsa Garden Kit Program is family-fun event that includes everything you need to start your summer salsa garden.

Your Grab and Go Salsa Garden Kit will be available for pickup from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 26 at the University of Illinois Extension office, 1650 Commerce Drive, Bourbonnais. The kit includes tomato, pepper and cilantro seeds, and starter pots. The fee for each kit is $6.

The day you pick up your kit you will be able to start your garden near a sunny window.

Pre-registration is required by March 22 by visiting https://web.extension.illinois.edu/registration/?RegistrationID=23313.

For more information, email Holly Froning at froning@illinois.edu.

Plant flowers, trees to help pollinators

Full plate? Thank a pollinator. One out of every three bites of food we eat is only possible because it has been cross-pollinated by pollinators such as hummingbirds, bees, butterflies, and other insects.

But insect populations are declining partially due to habitat loss. You can attract birds and butterflies to your yard or patio this spring by planting native Midwestern flowers and trees.

The Good Growing Garden Day Pollinators Webinar will be from 9 a.m. to noon March 27. The Good Growing blog and podcast team of University of Illinois horticulture educators Chris Enroth, Andrew Holsinger, Ken Johnson and Katie Parker will cover how anyone with an outdoor space can be supportive with pollinator-friendly plantings.

Register by visiting web.extension.illinois.edu/registration/?RegistrationID=22991.

Colors of spring workshop

The Virtual Color of Spring Workshop will begin at 9 a.m. March 27. Register at web.extension.illinois.edu/registration/?RegistrationID=23037.

  • 9 a.m. Terrariums: Think of it as a mini-greenhouse. Terrariums are low-maintenance, space saving and beautiful, Learn how to create a terrarium to display in your home or office. They are simple, fun and will brighten up any location. A glass jar with starting kit will be provided.
  • 9:30 a.m. Journaling: Using a simple composition notebook and a children’s set of colored pencils, join the interactive opportunity to see how you can take your favorite nature sightings to create an uplifting record of what you enjoy most of the world we live in. Sign up and receive the free notebook and colored pencils to start your own nature journal.
  • 10 a.m. Growing & Tending Herbs: Learn how to select herbs for various culinary and decorative uses. Also learn how to plant and preserve herbs.