May 13, 2021

Calendar: Mum’s the word workshop

STERLING, Ill. — When we think of mums, we generally think of autumn as they begin to appear in garden centers in September and October. If you are looking to add the jeweled colors of mums to your garden, you should be contemplating planting mums in early spring.

Join University of Illinois Extension Whiteside County master gardeners and discover how to grow and care for these colorful members of the daisy family. The workshop will be from 10 a.m. to noon April 17 at the Whiteside County Extension office, 12923 Lawrence Road, Sterling.

Participants will be required to wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines. Register at

For more information or questions, call Mary Nelson at 815-632-3611.

Beyond the basics in gardening

Beyond the Basics in the Vegetable Garden will be presented online at 6 p.m. April 14.

You know the basics, now get more from your garden by exploring additional opportunities to improve your success. University of Illinois Extension master gardeners will discuss early and late-season extension, benefits of good cultural practices, scouting and identifying common insects and weeds, and more.

The program is part of the Garden Learning Series presented by the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County and the University of Illinois Extension, Lake County.

Register at

Managing herbaceous invasive plants

Identification and Management of Herbaceous Invasive Plants will be presented online at 2 p.m. April 14.

Herbaceous invasive plants are a threat to forest health, productivity, and diversity. Chris Evans, University of Illinois Extension forester, will explain how to identify common Illinois invasives, tools for controlling these invaders, and new species to keep an eye out for.

Register at

The program is part of Extension’s Forestry Spring Webinar Series.

Be savvy while saving on travel

How to Save on Travel will be presented online at 2 p.m. April 15.

Whether traveling across the state or around the world, the program offers ways to be a savvy traveler, including how to manage your finances efficiently and safely while traveling.

Register at

The program is part of the 2021 Lessons for Living series, presented by the University of Illinois Extension in collaboration with the Illinois Home and Community Education Association.

Women in Entrepreneurship seminars

The Women in Entrepreneurship Lunch & Learn seminars will be at noon April 16 and April 23.

On April 16, W. Brooke Elliott, associate dean of online programs and Ernst & Young distinguished professor in accounting in the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois, will moderate a fireside chat with Deborah Quazzo, managing partner at GSV Ventures and co-founder of the ASU+GSV Summit. The virtual session will focus on “Moving from B.C. to A.D.: The Dawn of the Age of Digital Learning.” Register at

On April 23, guest speaker Dr. Esther Ngumbi, assistant professor of entomology and African American Studies, will present “Daring in Entrepreneurship with Little Resources: Lessons from Building a Sustainable Community Rooted in Agriculture 8,000 Miles Away.” Register at

The Women in Entrepreneurship Series is provided by University of Illinois Gies College of Business.

Carolyn Mason Education Day

DECATUR, Ill. — Join the University of Illinois Extension Glacier’s Edge Master Naturalists for the annual Carolyn Mason Education Day: Out Your Back Door.

The event will be 8:30 a.m. to noon April 17 at the Macon County Extension office, 3351 N. President Howard Brown Blvd., Decatur.

Cost is $10, which includes breakfast. For an additional $5, attendees can make a toad house to take home, which will take place after the speakers. Register by April 13 by visiting

Schedule of events:

  • 8:30 a.m. – Registration and boxed breakfast
  • 9 a.m. – Birds at Home, Tina Owens-Anderson, master naturalist and bird enthusiast
  • 10 a.m. – Gardening with Native Plants, Linda Spence, native plants gardener
  • 11 a.m. – Attracting Attractive Insects to Your Yard, Phil Nixon, retired U of I Extension entomologist
  • Noon – Making a Toad House (hands-on activity)

For more information, call 217-877-6042.

Community garden kick-off meeting

Need space to grow? Applications are now available for the 2021 growing season at the Monticello Area Community Garden. The online Monticello Area Community Garden Kick-off Meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. April 20. Learn about the garden guidelines, organic planting methods and how to apply. Register at

Garden fees are $20 for a 12-by12-foot plot, and $35 for a 12-by-24-foot plot.

The garden is a partnership between Kirby Medical Center, the city of Monticello and University of Illinois Extension in Piatt County.

For more information, call 217-762-2191.