University of Illinois Extension and Iowa State University Extension have teamed up to offer two virtual gardening Saturday events. With experts from both institutions, you're sure to find several topics to enjoy. Choose one or many sessions through the two Saturday virtual webinars. 

Register for the any of the October 3 webinars. Register for any of the October 10 webinars.

Invasives Track

  • October 3 | 9 AM: Latest Insect Invaders
    New insect pests seem to pop up all the time, and learning how to best manage invasive new pests takes time and effort. This presentation will discuss our most recent invasive insects: the emerald ash borer, spotted wing drosophila, and the brown marmorated stink bug. There will be time to answer questions about whatever other insects the audience chooses to discuss. Bring your insect-related questions! Presenter: Donald Lewis, Professor and Extension Entomologist, Iowa State University.
  • October 3 | 10 AM: Emerging Diseases in the Midwest
    Diane and Lina will discuss how to look for plant disease problems, how diseases spread and move around in the environment, some example invasive diseases to watch for, and technology and tools that can help expand your knowledge and report suspect infections. Presenters: Lina RodriquezSalamanca, Diagnostician and Extension Plant Pathologist, Iowa State University; and Diane Plewa, Plant Diagnostic Outreach Specialist, University of Illinois.
  • October 3 | 11 AM: Not just another weed: Why invasive plants need to be taken seriously 
    Invasive plants are not simply plants out of place. This presentation will discuss the complex ecological processes and interactions that happen with plant invasions, the type of impacts we see as a result of invasive plants, and the priority invasive plant species in Illinois. The presentation includes what landowners, gardeners, professionals, and volunteers can do about invasives. Presenter: Chris Evans, Forestry Extension and Research Specialist and Interim Master Naturalist Coordinator, University of Illinois.

Vegetables and Herb Track

  • October 3 | 9 AM: Growing Vegetables in Containers
    There are not many things better than enjoying fresh vegetables from your own garden, whether greens, herbs,  vine-ripened tomatoes, or a bumper crop of zucchini. Container vegetables allow gardeners to enjoy fresh veggies even when they don’t have the ideal spot for a vegetable garden. Learn about the special considerations needed for growing produce in containers. Presenter: Cindy Haynes, Associate Professor and Horticulture Specialist, Iowa State University.
  • October 3 | 10 AM: The Cook’s Garden
    As your summer vegetable garden has come to a close, now is a great time to consider unusual or new varieties for your 2021 garden. Broccoli rabe, ‘Pink Banana’ squash, Cheddar’ cauliflower, Okinawan sweet potato, and spelt are some of the newer vegetables and grains trending. This class will look at what you can (and can ’t) grow in your summer garden, with a focus on produce that will be eaten fresh, made into sauces, have center stage in your cooking. Grains, unique vegetable varieties, microgreens, and flavor focused produce will be covered. Presenter: Grant McCarty, Extension Educator, Local Food Systems and Small Farms, University of Illinois.
  • October 3 | 11 AM: Culinary Herbs and Pollinating Insects
    Gardening with culinary herbs is a great way to add interest and fragrance to the landscape. Tips will be shared on using herbs to attract pollinating insects. Presenter: Jennifer Fishburn, Extension Educator, Horticulture, University of Illinois.

Houseplants Track

  • October 3 | 9 AM: Houseplants 101: How Not to Kill Your Houseplants
    Houseplants are as popular as ever, but it can be difficult to know what lighting, care, and watering requirements are needed in order to keep them alive long term. Learn about the most popular and easiest to grow houseplants and some tips for houseplant success. Presenter: Candice Hart, State Master Gardener Specialist, University of Illinois.
  • October 3 | 10 AM: Indoor Propagation: From the Kitchen to Beyond!
    Propagation is one of the greatest plant skills to know. What could be better than making a new plant? During this session, we will discuss basics of propagation and why it works, as well as talk kitchen scrap gardening. Presenter: Bruce J. Black, Extension Educator, Horticulture, University of Illinois.
  • October 3 | 11 AM: Orchids 101
    With bold beautiful flowers, many gardeners are interested in growing orchids. While many species are relatively easy to grow indoors, their care is different than other houseplants. Learn how to care for these unique tropical plants, which species are best for gardeners to try, how to address common issues that arise, and the things you need to do to get them to bloom every year. Presenter: Aaron Steil, Assistant Director of Reiman Gardens and Lecturer, Iowa State University.

Natives Track

  • October 10 | 9 AM: Prairie Plants and Other Wildflowers for Sunny Gardens
    This class will focus on prairie plants and other sun-loving natives that are in four, large plant families: the sunflower/aster family (Asteraceae), mint family (Lamiaceae), milkweed family (Apocynaceae/Asclepiadaceae) and grass family (Poaceae). Discussion will include their availability, uses in our gardens, and roles in creating pollinator habitat. A few wetland or wet-tolerant plants that occur in these four families will be included for those who have rain gardens or other open, wet sites. Presenter: Deb Lewis, Curator of Ada Hayden Herbarium, Iowa State University.
  • October 10 | 10 AM: Wondrous Wildflowers for the Shade
    There has been a dramatic increase in interest in native plants, particularly prairie, pollinator, and meadow plants. Less attention has been given to our shade areas. Ed Lyon has extensive experience in shade gardening; his current property is the third where he has successfully mastered the challenges of shade. He will talk about native plants for Midwest shade conditions. To be inclusive to all gardeners, the plant list will also include nativars. This session will not be recorded. Presenter: Ed Lyon, Director, Reiman Gardens.
  • October 10 | 11 AM: Native Trees and Shrubs for Wildlife
    Ryan Pankau reviews a list of favorite Illinois native trees and shrubs in this presentation, including ornamental attributes of each plant, planting requirements, and the relative wildlife value of each native. Presenter: Ryan Pankau, Extension Educator, Horticulture, University of Illinois.

Fruits Track

  • October 10 | 9 AM: Underutilized and Lesser-Known Fruit
    This session will discuss the potential of growing fruits such as pawpaw, hardy kiwi, currants, and many more. Presenter: Patrick O’Malley, Horticulture Specialist, Iowa State University.
  • October 10 | 10 AM: Planning the Home Fruit Garden
    There is nothing like picking fruit from your own garden, but how do you get started?  In this session, Elizabeth will discuss the pros and cons of the most common tree and small fruit to help you select the best choice for your site and gardening skills. Presenter: Elizabeth Wahle, Extension Educator, Commercial Agriculture, Fruits & Vegetables, University of Illinois.
  • October 10 | 11 AM: Big Flavors in Small Spaces: Container Fruits
    Lacking a large landscape, yet love homegrown fruits? Look to container gardening: fruit edition! Join Horticulture Educator Bruce J. Black, to discuss how dwarf cultivars of blueberries, strawberries, brambles (raspberries and blackberries), and even apple trees can be planted on your patios or small outdoor areas to provide those big fresh fruit flavors in small spaces! Presenter: Bruce J. Black, Extension Educator, Horticulture, University of Illinois.

Ornamentals Track

  • October 10 | 9 AM: Late Summer & Fall Colors in the Garden
    Late summer and fall gardens often look worn out and tired after the riot of spring and summer color. Our fall gardens don’t have to look tired and past their prime. Many plants are available to give you a fall wow factor. Learn how to rev up your autumn  garden with perennials, ornamental grasses, and the fall colors of trees and shrubs. Presenter: Martha Smith, Extension Educator, Horticulture, University of Illinois.
  • October 10 | 10 AM: Composting Do’s and Don’ts
    This class will discuss the composting process: what materials work well for composting, what should be avoided, and management considerations. Presenter: Duane Friend, Extension Educator, Energy and Environmental Stewardship, University of Illinois.
  • October 10 | 11 AM: Fall Gardening for Pollinators
    Pollinators are important, and fall is an important time for pollinators. Learn about what you can do or stop doing to make your landscape more pollinator friendly. Presenter: Ken Johnson, Extension Educator, Horticulture, University of Illinois.

If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in programming, please contact Martha Smith @ Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time for the requested accommodation. Closed Captioning for requested programs (if recorded) will be honored after the event