Freeport, IL--Mark your calendars for the 21st annual Joys of Gardening program offered by the University of Illinois Extension and the U of I Extension Master Gardeners. Slated for Saturday, February 17, at the Highland Community College Student Conference Center, 2998 W. Pearl City Road, Freeport, the program will begin with registration at 8 a.m., keynote address at 8:25 a.m., and breakout sessions following the keynote.

This blog post is written by Extension Educator Martha A. Smith,

Stop and think before grabbing a bottle of pesticide to control garden pests. That's the message University of Illinois Extension educator Martha Smith wants to convey to gardeners this season.

"Integrated Pest Management stresses monitoring your landscape, keeping a keen eye out for problems from the start," Smith says. "Ask yourself, should I spray or is there an alternative? Most pest problems start out small.

Landscaping and gardening is great physical exercise and studies show it's good for emotional well-being, but University of Illinois Extension educator Chris Enroth says those working outside must remain aware of the dangers associated with heat stress on our bodies.

News source/writer: Bruce J. Black, 815-632-3611,


URBANA, Ill. – Cold, blustery temperatures have been moving across Illinois lately and gardeners are starting to put the landscape to bed for the winter. Why not weather the season indoors and start designing next year's garden?

This blog post is written by Extension Educator Andrew Holsinger, 217-532-3941,


Blackberry and raspberry gardeners can achieve a huge boost in berry yield by learning a technique known as tipping, according to a University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator.

October is upon us and as gardeners that means we are wrapping up the gardening season. The leaves have started to turn and will be falling soon. As we head into fall, we need to consider completing a few simple tasks outside in our lawn and garden that will help keep out garden looking good for the next season.

This blog post is written by Extension Educator Candice Hart,

Succulents have long been a favorite group of plants for gardeners, for one great reason: They don't need to be watered often! For a gardener who feels watering is a chore, succulents are a dream.

This blog is written by Extension Educator Jennifer Fishburn, 217-782-4617,

Reduce, reuse, and recycle. The three R's are part of being a good steward to the Earth. Jennifer Fishburn, a University of Illinois Extension educator, points out that it is ironic that the horticulture industry, whose goal is to beautify our yards, uses millions of plastic pots and trays each year.

This blog post is written by Extension Educator Kari Houle, 217-357-2150,


Got a green thumb but inadequate space or sun for an in-ground garden? Container-grown herbs may be the answer, according to University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator Kari Houle. With the right size container and appropriate potting mix, she says, anyone can grow an herb garden.

This blog post is written by Extension Educator Kelly Allsup,

News source/writer: Jennifer Fishburn, 217-782-4617,

URBANA, Ill. – As gardeners, we go to the garden center, wander the aisles, and find a plant we can't live without. Then at home, we walk to our garden with plant and shovel in hand and look for a space to put our new impulse purchase.