May 13, 2021

Calendar: How to prune shrubs

Join Extension Horticulture Educator Sarah Vogel and Piatt County master gardeners for a virtual event on shrub pruning at 3 p.m. April 20.

Get “cutting hedge” information on how to prune, pruning methods, and tools and techniques. There also will be a pruning demonstration.

Register by April 19 by visiting For more information, call 217-762-2191.

Grow and create your own flower arrangements

Vermilion County master gardener and retired teacher Claudia Ferrell will provide suggestions on what plants produce long-lasting flowers, unique foliage, and textures for flower arrangements. Spring is the perfect time to add these plants to your garden.

Farrell will guide you through the steps of creating a spring flower arrangement. You will receive a supply list so you can follow it at home.

Learn to design flower arrangements with plant materials harvested from your own garden at 6 p.m. April 21. A Zoom link and handouts will be emailed to all who register by April 20.

Register by visiting For more information, call 217-442-8615.

Community Supported Agriculture tips

Learn about different styles of Community Supported Agriculture, produce availability, and tips for eating local with your CSA share at noon April 21. The program will be presented by Caitlin Mellendorf. Register at

Get Growing series kicks off April 22

Join Grant McCarty, Illinois Extension local foods and small farms educator, for the Get Growing Webinar Series. The series will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, April 22 through May 13. To register or for more information, visit or call 815-858-2273.

  • April 22: Growing Perennial Vegetables. Rhubarb, asparagus, and horseradish are the main perennial vegetables that are the first to yield in the early spring in northern Illinois. These crops can grow successfully for decades. Topics will include varieties, general management, harvest, and other issues that you might encounter in adding perennial vegetables to your garden.
  • April 29: Raspberry and Blackberry Production. When it comes to growing fruit in the backyard vegetable garden, brambles like raspberry and blackberry can fit in well. They consistently yield with few disease issues. However, like all fruits, they do require some needed attention such as pruning and trellising. Variety selection, pruning, insects, and basic management will be covered.
  • May 6: Raised Bed and Container Vegetable Gardening. Raised beds and containers have become increasingly popular in the last couple of years. Both can work well for growing almost all vegetables with some troubleshooting while also producing vegetables for you if you do not have the space. This class will go into the basics of creating a raised bed, selecting material, and general management.
  • May 13: Weed Management. After planting of the spring and summer vegetables, weeds are notorious for moving in. You may have selected an area that already has an established weed problem and are wondering how you need to go about removing them. This class will look at some basic recommendations on weed management, common weeds you might be encountering, and preparing your growing area to keep weeds from becoming a problem.

Earth Week compostables collection

CHICAGO — A compostables collection event will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 24 at Plant Chicago, 4459 S. Marshfield Ave., Chicago.

University of Illinois Extension in Cook County and Plant Chicago have teamed up for Earth Week to keep compostables out of the landfill. Bring your yard/garden/kitchen waste to be composted and bring your own bucket (up to 5 gallons) to take home finished compost for your garden.

Organizers hope to collect 5 tons of compostable material at this one-day-only event.

Social distancing and face coverings required to participate in this free event. Finished compost is first come, first served.

For more information, visit, call 217-300-8636 or email

Seed-starting workshop in Lee County

FRANKLIN GROVE, Ill. — The weather is warming and everyone is thinking about getting outside and in the dirt. Illinois Extension master gardeners in Lee County will present a workshop on how to start your flowers so they will be ready for your gardens this spring at 10:30 a.m. April 24 at the Winifred Knox Memorial Library, 112 S. Elm St., Franklin Grove.

Class size is limited to 10 and registration is required. Call the library to register at 815-456-2823. For more information, call Marilyn Kemmerer at the Lee County Extension office at 815-357-3525.

Spaghetti luncheon fundraiser to benefit veterans project

ALEDO, Ill. —The Mercer County 4-H Teen Federation is hosting a drive-through spaghetti luncheon fundraiser to benefit the Mercer County American Legion’s Veterans Memorial Marker Project.

Spaghetti, garlic bread and dessert will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 25 at the American Legion Post 121, 2000 IL-17, Aledo.

Drive up or call ahead at 309-373-3636 or 309-371-6158 to place your order.

Free-will donations are being accepted to benefit the project, which seeks to place honor makers on the graves of veterans buried at Mercer County cemeteries,

For more information, visit

April 24, 2021

Event Time

9:00 AM - 2:00 PM


Plant Chicago 4459 South Marshfield Avenue. Chicago, IL 60609.