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Put research-based knowledge to work for you at home, at work, and in your community. Get inspired, build confidence, and trust Extension’s reliable and relatable information to help you navigate health and resilience in all areas of life.

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Plan your garden.


Growing your own food brings many rewards. Start planning your garden now to maximize both your garden space and the growing season. Find expert tips on planning, planting, growing, and managing a great garden, and look over resources to help you know when to plant vegetables in each Illinois plant hardiness zone.



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close-up view of perodical cicada head

Explore Illinois Cicadas

2024 is a big year for periodical cicadas in Illinois! Discover how periodical broods differ from Illinois' annual, or dog-day, cicadas.
cupcakes on a counrt

Grow Your Food Business

Learn about the laws, certifications, processes, and practices required to run a home-based cottage food operation safely and legally in Illinois.
New bright green plants emerging from the soil in springtime

Springtime Brings Growth

Kick off the spring season by learning about cicadas, replacements for invasive trees, and steps to take to prepare for days spent outdoors.
Recent News
Recent quarter-sized holes in the soil made by periodical cicadas

Enjoy the silence. Cicadas are coming

If you haven't heard the buzz, you will soon. Billions of periodical cicadas are coming, and University of Illinois Extension is sharing information to help track their moves before emergence.

“Historically speaking, 2024 is a big year for periodical cicadas in Illinois,” says Ken…

Erin Garret standing next to little bluestem in a garden

Grasses at a Glance blog earns award from national Extension organization

URBANA, Ill. — Grasses are a small and often subtle backbone of many ecosystems, making up nearly 30% of the planet’s land cover. They prevent soil erosion, regulate water flow, and provide food and habitat for wildlife and livestock. But ask someone to identify one grass from another, and you…

spotted lanternfly

Get tools to manage non-native plants and insects at Illinois Invasive Species Symposium

URBANA, Ill. — Spotted lanternflies were found in Illinois for the first time in 2023. Quagga and zebra mussels clog water intake pipes on Lake Michigan, and every spring, invasive Bradford Callery pear trees and amur bush honeysuckle bloom across Illinois communities instead of native…

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Good Growing

Do you enjoy spending your evenings outdoors? On this week’s Good Growing Podcast, we talk about how you can create a garden to be enjoyed at night. Learn about night-blooming plants that can be incorporated into a ‘night/moon’ garden, landscape lighting, insects that come out at night, and...
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