News Releases

Master Gardener Column by Jan Phipps
We are entering that magical time of the year – Firefly Season. Whether you call them fireflies or lightning bugs, they are neither flies nor bugs. Fireflies belong in the beetle family (Lampyridae) and like all beetles, they undergo four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.The females...
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Learn tips for a healthy pregnancy, toddler nutrition
URBANA, Ill. — The 1,000 days between a person's pregnancy and their child's second birthday offer a unique opportunity to build a healthier and more prosperous future, so knowing how to care for mother and baby during this period is vital. The University of Illinois Extension...
A woman with her back to the camera faces a dumpster full of pumpkins as she smashes them with a bat
Have a smashing good time composting Halloween pumpkins
CHICAGO, Ill. — Jack-o’-lanterns live a short, scary life. That is unless they are catapulted, hurled, or whacked into a compost pile after spooky season is over. Green your Halloween by recycling pumpkins after the holiday at one of more than a dozen University of Illinois...
Green plants in degradable pots sitting in the soil ready to be planted.
Master Gardener program offers online training options
URBANA, Ill. — For 48 years, University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners have measured success by gardens planted, insects identified, produce harvested, and the millions of hours volunteers have logged by helping others learn to...
street sign says alumni avenue
Illinois 4-H launches alumni campaign
URBANA, Ill. — Illinois 4-H is calling all 4-H alumni to raise their hands if they are “4-H Grown.” More than 25 million Americans who share this unique bond as former 4-H members. As part of the “Are You Illinois 4-H Grown?” campaign which runs from June 1 to August 31, alumni who have...
wild parsnip
Identify, avoid, and manage troublesome wild parsnip
URBANA, Ill. — Often parsnips, large white carrot-like root vegetables, are substituted for celery in soups and stews. The cultivated parsnip that we eat heralds from the appropriately named wild parsnip, Pastinaca sativa. However, wild parsnip is a plant to avoid. The wild version of cultivated...
weather map showing drought conditions across Illinois
Illinois at increased risk of drought conditions
Parts of northeast, western, and central Illinois have been much drier than normal in the past four to six weeks, causing dry soils and lower streamflow. Perennials, gardens, and young trees in these areas have begun to show some response to the dryness, requiring more frequent watering than...
two blooming pinguicula plants in containers
Bugged by houseplant pests? Give carnivorous plants a try
URBANA, Ill. – During the chilly, dreary winter months, I enjoy my green houseplants that add a bright spot in my office and living space. So when I was visiting a new specialty plant shop this fall, I had to add a new plant friend, “Ping,” to my collection. If you have ever dealt...
bright purple flowers with yellow center
Plant top annuals of 2023 to create craveable container gardens
URBANA, Ill. – Experienced container gardeners likely know that successful containers have good drainage, appropriate sun exposure, and proper potting media. Get a jump on new annual arrivals each year, discover the best performers, and be the envy of your neighborhood this summer by...
Backyard landscape filled with green grass, plants, flowers, and a tree.
Make time to be inspired by nature's lessons
URBANA, Ill. — Spending time in nature allows people to take in the world around them. In today's busy world, learning how to hit pause to take lessons from nature and explore the benefits of outdoor activities is vital. University of Illinois Extension...
A pair of redbud trees in bloom with pink flowers in spring alongside gravel road
Plant trees for every season
URBANA, Ill. – In a landscape, trees accomplish multiple tasks, from shading our homes to being a home for wildlife. They do everything from providing food to conserving water as well as contributing to our health and community well-being. As trees provide physical, environmental, and...
Canned tomatoes
Learn 3 ways to can with confidence
UBBANA, Ill. — One of the best ways to preserve food is canning, a home-based method of food preservation that helps people prolong garden harvests, save on food costs, participate in family traditions, and control the quality of the food they eat. Discover how to can with confidence and...
rows of vegetables with tarp over soil grow behind garden building
Sustainable community gardens benefit local growers, ecosystems, communities
URBANA, Ill. –  The concept of community gardens is not new. One of the most successful, sustainable, and thriving community gardens in the U.S. is the Historic Bethabara Park in North Carolina. It has been active since 1759 and is the oldest community garden in the nation. There is...