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25th Annual Gardener's Day | McDonough County

pink petalled flowers with yellow center
Event Date(s)
Event Time
Spoon River College Outreach Center | Macomb, IL
Event Fee

The 25th Annual Gardener's Day, sponsored by University of Illinois Extension and McDonough County Master Gardeners, will be Saturday, April 1, 2023 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Spoon River College Outreach Center in Macomb, Illinois. Check-in begins at 8:00 a.m. with our first speakers beginning at 9:00 a.m. We are proud to offer this one day program for all levels of gardening interest and experience. 

Registration Includes:
Attendance at educational sessions, lunch, access to vendor displays, and a chance to win a door prize.

Seating is limited and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Registration deadline is March 24.
Questions? Call the McDonough County Extension Office at (309) 837-3939.


Educational Sessions

Session One - 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Establishment of Pollinator Habitat & Turf Stands
Laura Lant 
Why choose between pollinator habitat and a healthy lawn when you can have both? Join Midwest Grass and Forage agronomist, Laura Lant, as she discusses the benefits and importance of incorporating pollinator habitat into landscaping. Laura will offer tips on establishing pollinator habitat. Plus, she will cover best practices for seeding new lawns and basic turf management tips. 

Making Fruit Trees Within Reach for Everyone
Jeff Vancil 
Jeff Vancil, owner of Hart's Nursery, will demonstrate a specific pruning method that will train a fruit tree to stay in a miniature form. Now fruit trees can be planted in many more places throughout the landscape, where manageable production makes care and harvesting much easier and more rewarding. One can now fit more varieties into a smaller space!

Garden Journal Workshop
Wendy Ferguson  
Join Wendy Ferguson, Illinois Extension horticulture program coordinator, and create your own garden journal, perfect for your garden notes, sketches, and memories! Walk through a series of simple steps to decorate and assemble your journal. Learn ways to use your newly created journal that will leave you excited and inspired! A $15 fee will be charged to cover the cost of materials.


Session Two - 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

New Plants for the 2023 Growing Season
Jeff Johnson 
Join the Owner and Head Grower at Sunnyfield Greenhouse and Garden Center, Jeff Johnson, as he covers cultural information on new annuals, perennials, and nursery stock for the 2023 growing season.

Soil Science is Not Rocket Science
Ross Braun
To most people it is just “dirt” but to gardeners it is potential. Join retired NRCS conservationist and Missouri Master Naturalist, Ross Braun, to learn how to increase that potential. Watch a table-top rainfall demonstration comparing tilled vs no-tilled soil. From there, learn how to improve soil health, basic soil science, and techniques to help you understand your soil better during this interesting talk.

Protect Yourself: Ticks & Mosquitoes
Ken Johnson
No matter where you live or garden, ticks and mosquitoes can spoil your time outdoors. Join Illinois Extension horticulture educator and entomology guru, Ken Johnson, as he discusses the biology of ticks and mosquitoes as well as ways to protect yourself from being bitten by them.


Lunch - 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Session Three - 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.

Design Your Own Living Landscape
Carey Boehm-Corrie
Butterflies, birds and bees...oh my! For years, our landscapes have been designed to be rather sterile
environments, however, it’s time to breathe new life into our yards and gardens! Join Boehm's Garden Center landscape designer, Carey Boehm-Corrie, as she discusses ways to take your existing landscape and modify it, step by step, to make it more productive- not only from an aesthetic perspective, but from a habitat producing, caterpillar feeding, bird welcoming, living landscape perspective.

Nature-made Holiday Ornaments
Letha Clark & Bobbi Morrison
For three years McDonough County Master Gardeners have taken home first prize for their entry in the Macomb Festival of Trees. Each year they decorate the tree using material provided by nature. Join Master Gardeners, Bobbi Morrison and Letha Clark, as they share tips for making holiday ornaments from nature so you can bring a piece of the outdoors into your home during the next holiday season. 

Weatherproofing Your Trees
Chris Enroth
Beyond kitchens and bathrooms, healthy trees can add a lot to our property value. Yet, Illinois severe weather can wreak havoc on the urban tree canopy. There are methods to minimize weather-related tree damage through proper planting, management, and care of our trees. Join Illinois Extension horticulture educator, Chris Enroth, as he addresses tree health assessment, proper tree selection, and installation techniques.


Session Four - 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Invasive Species: What are they and how to get rid of them
Chris Enroth
The invasive species seem to be closing in from all directions. Don’t give up, but maybe stop planting them! In this session, Illinois Extension horticulture educator, Chris Enroth, will talk about the most notorious invasives, plus the species we keep planting in our yards. We will discuss tools and techniques to help you control these plant species and get them off your property.

Harvest All Year: Succession planting and season extension
Ken Johnson
Vegetable gardening doesn't just have to take place during the summer. Illinois Extension horticulture educator, Ken Johnson, will teach techniques on how you can extend your vegetable gardening season throughout the year. 

Nature Impressions Tile Workshop
Natalie Shelly
Make your love of nature permanent during this fun, hands-on clay workshop! Naturalist educator, Natalie Shelly, guides you through the design process by selecting natural items to arrange and impress into your clay tile. Participants are highly encouraged to bring a small collection of natural items (grasses, nuts, small twigs) from their own garden to make the piece more meaningful. A $15 fee will be charged to cover the costs of materials.
Please note: Tiles need to be fired and will be available April 13th for pick up at the Extension Office (more details will be given in class).