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Dig in with confidence with spring vegetable gardening workshops

Growing Great Vegetables

URBANA, Ill. — Growing a vegetable garden takes work, but sometimes the hardest part is knowing where to start. Grow with confidence this spring with Growing Great Vegetables, a five-week webinar series from University of Illinois Extension that explores everything from seeds and soil to a successful harvest.

Log on for the weekly online workshops starting February 27. Each session will explore a new topic and give participants the opportunity to engage with University Illinois Extension horticulture experts and receive emails with even more research-based tips and factsheets.

Sessions will be from 6 to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays. Each class covers a different topic and will consist of a live 50-minute presentation followed by a Q&A. Extension horticulture educators  Chris EnrothJennifer FishburnNicole Flowers-Kimmerle, Ken Johnson, and Sarah Vogel will lead this series.

  • February 27, Where Will You Garden? Build a garden using whatever space you have. Learn about traditional garden plots, raised beds, salad tables, container gardening, growing vertically, and more.
  • March 5, Seed and Plant Choices, Soils and Fertilizers: Planning, design, and layout are key elements to successful gardening. Learn about hardiness zones, frost and freeze dates, how to order plants or seeds from a garden catalog or locally, reading and selecting seed packets, and starting plants from seed. We'll also cover soil testing and amendments, fertilizer, manures, mulch, watering, and weeding.
  • March 12, Cool-Season Vegetables: Cool-season crops can be grown in spring or fall, each with its own characteristics and potential issues. Learn about growing and harvesting cool-season vegetables, including how to manage common insect pests.
  • March 19, Warm-Season Vegetables: Warm-season crops grow during the hottest part of the year. This session will cover how to make vegetables such as peppers, tomatoes, squash, and more flourish while keeping pests at bay.
  • March 26, Insects and Diseases: New and experienced growers alike are challenged by pests, diseases, and disorders of vegetable plants. Learn about insects, diseases, and wildlife pests and how to prevent and handle them.

Participants can also ask their plant and garden questions during a bonus session with Extension gardening experts on April 23. Register for the series by February 25 at The cost is $10 for the series. Sessions will be recorded and made available to registered participants if they are unable to attend live. For more information, contact Ken Johnson at

University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. If you need reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please contact Ken Johnson at Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time for meeting access needs.

About Extension

Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities. Illinois Extension is part of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.