Growing Great Vegetables

Growing a vegetable garden takes work, but sometimes the hardest part is knowing where to start.

Dig in with confidence this spring, with the Growing Great Vegetables five-week webinar series that explores how to grow a vegetable garden from seed to harvest. Log on for a weekly online workshop covering a new topic, engage with Illinois Extension horticulture experts, and receive emails with even more research-based tips and factsheets.

Each class is live on a Tuesday at 6 p.m. and covers a different topic and ends with a Q&A. Sessions are recorded and made available to registered participants if they are unable to attend live.

If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate, please contact Ken Johnson at

Registration for the 2024 class is full and closed. 

Growing Great Vegetables Sessions

vegetable bed in outside garden

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.

seedlings in container

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 some of the different cool-season vegetables that can be grown in Illinois and how to grow and harvest them.

zucchini flowering

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.

insect on plant

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.


Bonus session, April 23 

Join the experts and get your plant and gardening questions answered!