News

A hand saw cutting into a branch to prune it at the proper location
Cutting back branches leaves trees with healthier outlook
URBANA, Ill. — To stay healthy, sometimes trees need a little help in the form of a trim. Pruning is an essential maintenance activity to promote tree health, safety, and aesthetics. Since trees are large, long-living plants in our landscape, pruning throughout the life of a tree can have a...
Two blooming Amaryllis flowers
Bloom in the winter with gift of amaryllis bulb kit
URBANA, Ill. — The gift of gardening is an experience anyone can appreciate this holiday season. Take the stress out of shopping this holiday season and give a blooming amaryllis kit that brings the beauty of nature indoors. Poinsettias are beautiful, popular holiday plants, but the gift...
Growing Great Vegetables
Dig in with confidence with spring vegetable gardening workshops
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...
An orange cat walks near potted house plants at ground level
Protect your pets: Keep paws off overwintering indoor plants
URBANA, Ill. — As winter settles in, many plants and houseplants that were growing outdoors have returned inside. Before bringing in your plants, consider animal companions, such as dogs and cats, because some plants can make them sick if ingested. Knowing what plants you have and how they...
Miscellaneous herbs growing in a wooden container.
Keep growing with herbs indoors this fall, winter
URBANA, Ill. — Just because days are shorter and colder and the outdoor gardening days are over, that doesn't mean growing must come to an end. Indoor green houseplants are an option, so add some herbs to the mix this fall and winter. Whether growing indoors or outdoors, plants still...
Up close on brown tree bark with text overlay reading Community Tree Care.
Sharpening knowledge of tree care leads to healthier, better-looking trees
URBANA, Ill. — Trees are a beautiful and vital part of our communities, providing many long-term benefits to the public. Routine maintenance and proper care techniques contribute to a longer, healthier life. “Trees improve the local environment, economy, and overall quality of life,”...
A woman with her back to the camera faces a dumpster full of pumpkins as she smashes them with a bat
Have a smashing good time composting Halloween pumpkins
CHICAGO, Ill. — Jack-o’-lanterns live a short, scary life. That is unless they are catapulted, hurled, or whacked into a compost pile after spooky season is over. Green your Halloween by recycling pumpkins after the holiday at one of more than a dozen University of Illinois...
Yellow rake sitting against large tree with fall leaves on the ground
Consider pollinators during fall garden cleanup
URBANA, Ill. — Pollinators are important to the global food supply and local ecosystems. About 35% of food crops rely on pollinators for production, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Meaning without pollinators, there would be no food. If you have enjoyed an apple this fall or a...
Two row tunnels protecting plants in a garden
Tips for extending the garden’s growing season
URBANA, Ill. — Harvest season in a vegetable garden doesn’t have to end so soon. Stretch growth with techniques that extend the typical growing season past the point where crops would normally be grown outdoors. Protection from frosts can happen at either end of the growing season. A...
Group of yellow and purple perennial plants.
Four Seasons Gardening series ushers in the fall season with care
URBANA, Ill. — As seasons shift, take care and fall into gardening with ease. Find healing, growth, and how adding a little planning keeps the mind going and growing. Explore how to keep the season alive with tips for dividing perennials, continuing self-growth, and healing with time...
Monarch caterpillars crawling around milkweed plants.
Butterflies can eat to live, live to eat in a balanced garden
URBANA, Ill. — A favorite thing about visiting gardens in the summer is catching sight of a butterfly enjoying nectar from a brightly colored zinnia or a monarch caterpillar munching on a milkweed leaf. When designing a butterfly garden, expand and balance plant selection to provide more than...
Up close image of purple coneflowers
Build drought-tolerant gardens this fall for next summer’s blooms
URBANA, Ill. — Many Illinois gardens are entering the fall stressed from the lack of summer rains combined with scorching hot temperatures. These conditions easily stress some plants; however, many plants quickly adapt to hot, dry conditions. Drought-tolerant plants are not only tough and...
Green plants in degradable pots sitting in the soil ready to be planted.
Master Gardener program offers online training options
URBANA, Ill. — For 48 years, University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners have measured success by gardens planted, insects identified, produce harvested, and the millions of hours volunteers have logged by helping others learn to grow....
Growing cucumber on vine in the garden.
Want more from your garden? Plant a fall crop of cucumbers
URBANA, Ill. — It’s the middle of summer, and you are looking for a new home project. Did you know it is not too late to plant some vegetable plants? With proper care, many vegetables are easy to grow in a sunny location in your backyard or a container garden on a patio. Take the challenge and...
An Indiana Bat with a metal band on its wing
Illinois landowners can support bats with backyard trees, forests
URBANA, Ill. — Fluttering overhead at night, quiet except for their squeaks, bats can be easily overlooked, but these small mammals play a big role in the ecosystem. Bats are also at risk. Illinois is home to 13 species of bats, and more than half of them are listed as endangered, threatened by...
Vegetables share
Vegetable Share at Heartline community room in Eureka
EUREKA, Ill. – While some of us are experiencing harvest baskets overflowing with ripe garden produce, others do not have the space or tools to grow a garden of fresh vegetables. With baskets overflowing, it is time, once again, to share the harvest with our neighbors and celebrate Woodford...