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Gardening advice now available 'in the air'

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URBANA, Ill. – Gardening in the Air filled a void during the early pandemic days. With the increase of home gardening, the Extension programs of Illinois and Iowa transitioned in-person workshops into online opportunities and introduced gardening to a new generation. To reflect the online nature of the training, the one-day, nine-session workshop was called "Gardening in the Air."

"The series is exactly what its name suggests, an opportunity to virtually learn about gardening wherever you lived with the miracle of technology," says Bruce Black, University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator and event coordinator.

The fall series will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 8 and concludes at 12:30 p.m. Register online at There is no fee, and donations are accepted at the time of registration. 

This year’s fall edition features three tracks: water, lawns, and nature. One may select one workshop from each of the three time sessions.

If a reasonable accommodation is needed to participate, email Tracy Mulliken Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time to meet your access needs.

Workshop details include:

Water Sessions

  • Make Every Drop Count – Xeriscaping @ 9 - 10 AM
    Presenter: Chris Enroth, Extension Horticulture Educator, Illinois Extension

  • Water Features For Your Garden @ 10:15 - 11:15 AM
    Presenter: Jamie Beyer, author.

  • Drought Tolerant Annuals and Perennials @ 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
    Presenter: Dr. Cynthia Haynes, Professor, Department of Horticulture & Consumer Horticulture Extension Specialist, Iowa State University

Lawn Sessions

  • Troubleshooting Turfgrass Problems @ 9 -10 AM
    Presenter: Dr. Adam Thoms, Associate Professor, Department of Horticulture, Iowa State University

  • Reimagining the Lawn @ 10:15 - 11:15 AM
    Presenter: Maggie Reiter, Former Extension Educator, University of Minnesota Extension

  • Get into the Weeds of Natural Lawn Care @ 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
    Presenters: Sarah A. Zack, Pollution Prevention Extension Specialist; Janice Milanovich, Pollution Prevention Assistant; both from Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, University of Illinois Extension.

Nature Sessions

  • Trees for Fall Leaf Color @ 9 – 10 AM
    Presenter: Dr. Jeff Iles, Professor and Chair, Department of Horticulture, Iowa State University

  • Owls of Iowa and Illinois @ 10:15 - 11:15 AM
    Presenter: Nahant Marsh Education Center

  • Gardening with Grasses: Native Grasses for the Home Landscape @ 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
    Presenter: Erin Garrett, Natural Resources, Environment, and Energy Extension Educator, University of Illinois Extension

SOURCE: Bruce Black, Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator
WRITER: Judy Mae Bingman, Illinois Extension Marketing and Communications Manager

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.