Gardening and Growing


Let us help from planting to harvest.

Growing your own food can be an incredibly rewarding experience. But there’s more to it than tossing some seeds in the ground. Whether it’s your first-year gardening or you’ve been growing for decades a gardener is always learning. Illinois Extension has done the research for you and presents these easy-to-understand steps for planting, harvesting, cooking, and preserving your garden's harvest. 

Vegetables | Plants & Flowers | Herbs | Soil | Lawns | Grasses | Info Sheet Collection 

Want to learn more? Join us for upcoming classes.

Have questions about gardening? We can help.

The Master Gardener Help Desk is a community service that Master Gardener programs provide across the nation. Our Master Gardener Help Desks are open March to October in DuPage, Kane, and Kendall counties. To reach a Master Gardener, individuals can call or stop by a local Extension office during Help Desk hours, or complete an online form for your county's Help Desk. Volunteers will assess your question and reply with a research-based answer. 

Ask a Master Gardener

Master Gardener logo

Each growing season, trained volunteers field questions from fellow residents on trees, shrubs, lawns, flowers, vegetables, and other plant-related topics. In 2023, across the tri-county area, Master Gardeners answered more than 700 help requests and logged 15,727 hours through service projects in our communities. Submit your question online using the buttons above, or learn how to call or visit your local office below:

DuPage County Help Desk

Hours: March-October | Monday-Wednesday-Friday | 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  

Kane County Help Desk

Hours: March-October | Monday-Wednesday-Friday | 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Kendall County Help Desk

Hours: March-October | Monday-Wednesday-Friday | 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

General Help Desk email submission tips

  • In addition to your question, please include as much additional information as possible:
    • This could include planting date, age of plant, chemicals used, number of plants affected, where found, patterns, when symptoms were first noticed, etc.
  • For plant identifications, please include photos of the whole plant AND close-ups of plant parts.
    • Parts may include leaves, flowers, roots, fruit, seeds, etc.
  • Please check your photos before submitting them. Are they clear and in-focus?
  • When possible, please include a size reference in your photos (such as a pen, ruler, or a coin).
  • Send a maximum of 10 images per sample/question.

Learn more about our Master Gardener volunteer programs