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Blog Posts

reddish colored worms making compost
Read article: Turn trash to treasure with composting
Turn trash to treasure with composting
At its core, composting is recycling organic matter into nutrient-rich soil.  Plants and other vegetative matter are broken down by decomposers such...
hands in blue gloves pruning dormant twig
Read article: Winter considerations for propagating plants
Winter considerations for propagating plants
Dormant winter pruning always leaves a mess of trimmings that usually end up being composted or placed in your yard bin. There is another use for...
bee on sedum
Read article: Choose native plants for ecological benefits and wildlife resources
Choose native plants for ecological benefits and wildlife resources
Are you looking to select plants that support local wildlife, conserve water, and enhance the overall ecosystem in Central Illinois? Here are some...
raised bed with flowers and vegetables growing together
Read article: New Hardiness Zone Map changed some of our local zones
New Hardiness Zone Map changed some of our local zones
The USDA Hardiness Zone Map has been updated to reflect temperature data collected over the last 30 years. This new map version used GIS technology...

News Releases

lilac bush advertising gardening workshop
Exciting Gardening Workshop Returns to Dixon: Ready…Set…Grow…
Dixon, Ill.- Calling all gardening enthusiasts! University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners are thrilled to announce the return of Ready…Set…Grow…, an engaging gardening workshop set to take place on March 23, 2024, at the Loveland Community House in Dixon. ...
Text "Rain Garden Rumble" with illustrations of native plants
Root for your favorite native plant in Rain Garden Rumble playoff
URBANA, Ill. — It’s plant versus plant in the return of the Rain Garden Rumble that pits native flowers against each other in a friendly competition to take home the 2024 title. This March, get to know 28 plants native to Illinois by building a bracket and voting for your favorites in the annual...
Red-throated hummingbird.
Learn how to attract ruby-throated hummingbirds to your backyard
Have you noticed different birds at your feeders? Although ruby-throated hummingbirds are expected visitors to gardens east of the Rocky Mountains, several species of vagrant hummingbirds have been documented in Illinois. Did you know that there are citizen science projects looking for your...


Starting a Garden: Seed Starting Basics


Are you new to starting your own vegetable garden seeds? Doing it yourself can save you money and get you involved with the food you eat from seed to harvest. In this video, Illinois Extension horticulture educator Chris Enroth demonstrates seed starting while at home during the...

Themed Gardens: Design with Kids in Mind


Foster the love of gardening with the youth in your life by creating theme gardens. Join Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator Brittnay Haag as she shares ideas and tips for creating a special place for your young, hands-on learner to grow, explore, and be creative. Whether it’s at...