URBANA, Ill. — Seasons come and go, but home gardening, environmental stewardship, and backyard food production take year-round effort. Pick up the knowledge you need to grow a beautiful, bountiful garden, select plants and trees that are right for your area, and reap the rewards of a successful growing season by joining Extension experts in the three-session fall lineup of Four Seasons Gardening:
• Dahlias: Digging, Dividing, and Diseases, 1:30 p.m., Sept. 27: Dahlias can be a dazzling cut flower for your flower bed or garden. Gain Dahlia growing tips for summer care while learning to identify pest and diseases that can damage blooms. Fall brings new techniques for digging and dividing the tubers as a way of propagating for next season’s flowers. Presenter: Christina Lueking, Illinois Extension horticulture educator. Register: https://tinyurl.com/mr4d3ex2
• Using Fresh Produce, 1:30 p.m. Oct. 18: You have grown fresh produce all summer long, now what do you do with the excess produce like onions, cucumbers, tomatoes and more? Explore simple ways of storing produce for longer shelf life and sharing resources for get easy recipes like refrigerator pickles to make your produce go further. Presenter: Bruce Black, Illinois Extension horticulture educator. Register: https://tinyurl.com/y3t7smmv.
• Deep Bark Secrets of Tree Selection, 1:30 p.m. Nov. 1: Are you looking to plant more trees in your yard? Confused about what species might be best? Have something in mind and want to ensure its success? Branch out to find methods for selecting the right tree for your site. Make informed decisions when selecting your next tree. Presenter: Sarah Vogel, Illinois Extension horticulture educator. Register: https://tinyurl.com/7y6nn8zu.
Color of Autumn
WATERLOO, Ill. — Color of Autumn Workshop will be from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Sept. 24 at the Monroe County Extension office, 901 Illinois Ave., Waterloo.
Topics will include:
• Joy of Seeds: Just like the plants they are destined to become, seeds can differ greatly in their germination requirements. Session will include advice on seed collecting, storage, and seeding methods.
• Backyard Birds: Do you struggle with identifying birds? Become more familiar with common birds you can find in your backyard. Some are migratory birds and some live in the area all year long.
• Tool Sharpening: Using sharp tools will make work in the garden easier. Learn how to sharpen and properly care for your tools to keep them working like new.
To register, visit https://tinyurl.com/2p9cd25j. For more information, call the Extension office at 618-939-3434.
Create a Fall Centerpiece
MT. CARROLL, Ill. — Make your own unique fall centerpiece with Master Gardener Nancy Gmitro and learn some facts about growing and drying gourds at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 24 at the Carroll County Farm Bureau’s Naaman Diehl Auditorium, 811 S. Clay St., Mt. Carroll.
Register by calling the Mt. Carroll Public Library at 815-244-1751.
Nature Scavenger Hunt
OLNEY, Ill. — Get up close and personal with out natural habitat during the Nature Scavenger Hunt from 3 to 5 p.m. Sept. 25 at Miller’s Grove Park in Olney.
Register at https://tinyurl.com/4a3nv8a6.
Miller’s Grove is located on the south side of East Fork Lake near the dam.
Air Fryer Class
COLUMBUS, Ind. — Purdue Extension Bartholomew County will host an air fryer class from 3 to 4 p.m. ET Sept. 27 at Mill Race Center, 900 Lindsey St., Columbus.
Cost is $3. Register by calling 812-376-9241.
Best Small(ish) Shrubs
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The program Best Small(ish) Shrubs for the Home Landscape will be from 7 to 8 p.m. Sept. 27 at the Champaign County Extension auditorium, 801 N. Country Fair Drive, Champaign.
Dyke Barkley, horticulture adviser, Lake Land College, will discuss:
• How to select a good mix of flowering and ornamental shrubs that will successfully grow in the Midwest.
• Common and more unusual shrubs.
• Maintenance of shrubs and how to prevent leading cause of problems.
• The definition of “hardiness” as it relates to plant selection.
This presentation is offered both in-person and online. Register by visiting https://tinyurl.com/2p93s2mz.
Dining with Diabetes
GREENCASTLE, Ind. — Learning to live well with diabetes can be a challenge. The program Dining with Diabetes will be at 2 p.m. ET Sept. 28 at the Putnam County Extension office, 12 Central Square, Greencastle.
Register for this free program by calling 765-653-8411 or email email@example.com.
It’s a Wrap
FREEPORT, Ill. — The program Wrapping up the Vegetable Garden will be from 6 to 7 p.m. Sept. 28 at the Freeport Public Library, 100 E. Douglas St., Freeport.
University of Illinois Extension Local Foods and Small Farms Educator Grant McCarty will discuss the things you can do this fall to help prepare your garden for next spring.
The program is part of the Autumn Joys of Gardening Series. Register at https://tinyurl.com/mmu83st9.
When Prices Rise
URBANA, Ill. — The online program Inflation: When Prices Rise will be from noon to 1 p.m. Sept. 28. Learn how how you can ward off some of the short- and long-term impacts of inflation.
The program is part of the Get Savvy: Grow Your Green Stuff series. Register at https://tinyurl.com/yjs9kh27.
OXFORD, Ind. — Connect with nature and learn how to use mindfulness for less stress as a family. The five-week Mindful Together program is designed to build long-lasting, positive health behaviors together though nature walks, learning various breathing techniques, stretching and fun.
The program will be Thursdays from 5:30 to 7 p.m. ET Sept. 29-Oct. 27 at Erwood-Atkinson Edge of the Prairie, 7387 S 300 E, Oxford.
Families may register by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the Extension office at 765-884-0140.
Explore the Night Sky
GENOA, Ill. — Discover the planets and learn to identify the constellations in the program Explore the Night Sky from 7 to 9 p.m. Sept. 30 at the Russell Woods Forest Preserve, 11750 IL-72, Genoa.
The program will start with a short presentation revealing the life cycle of a star and an introduction to telescopes. There will be telescopes available for sky viewing, however, you are encouraged to bring binoculars.
Register by visiting https://tinyurl.com/34xak6d5 or call 815-632-3611.
Cover Photo Contest
QUINCY, Ill. — Illinois Extension in Adams County is holding a photo contest. The winning photo will be on the cover of the 2023 Adams County Plat Book. The photo must be your original work, and the location must be in Adams County, Illinois.
The winner will be selected by University of Illinois Extension staff. Preference will be given to photos with an agricultural theme.
Submit entries by 4 p.m. Sept. 30 to Shelby Crow at email@example.com.
For more information, call the Extension office at 217-223-8380.
Happy Hour Hike
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The East Central Illinois Master Naturalists and Champaign County Climate Coalition will host a Happy Hour Hike from 5 to 6 p.m. Sept. 30 at Porter Park Pavilion, 2310 S. Rising Road, Champaign.
Happy Hour Hikes are held on the final Friday of the month at local natural areas. These meet-ups are designed to be low-key opportunities to enjoy a walk and talk with conservation-minded folks. Whether you are just getting curious about our local environment or it is your full-time job, anyone is welcome to join. You will be in the company of others who enjoy sustainability and climate-related activities and conversation.
There is no registration necessary, just swing by the meeting location at 5 p.m. After the Happy Hour Hike, folks are invited to head over to Green Drinks.
For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/ChampaignCountyClimate, or call 217-333-7672.
Howl-A-Ween Dog Show
NORTH VERNON, Ind. — Jennings County 4-H Dog Club presents the Howl-a-ween Open Fun Dog Show at 9 a.m. ET Oct. 1 at the Jennings County Fairgrounds, 4920 N ST RD 3, North Vernon.
Show classes include Showmanship, Obedience and Costume. Other fun activities at the event include face painting, photo booth, and concessions. There also will be dog trick or treat — do a trick, receive a treat.
Hair Sheep Sale
SALEM, Ind. — The Washington County Sheep Association is hosting the 16th annual annual Midwest Hair Sheep Sale at 1 p.m. ET Oct. 1 at the Washington County Fairgrounds, 118 Fair St., Salem.
The Midwest Hair Sheep Sale is sponsored by the Washington County Sheep Association to provide an opportunity for producers to sell or purchase high quality hair sheep breeding stock.
For more information, visit https://tinyurl.com/yw4f94a4.