U of I Extension, DeKalb County Gardeners Pathway Workshop on February 24


The University of Illinois Extension DeKalb County Master Gardeners is once again hosting the 2018 Gardener’s Pathway, on Saturday February 24, from 7:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. at the Kishwaukee College Conference Center.  Advanced registration is required by February 16.  Workshops have limited seating space and sessions will be filled in the order registrations are received.

This year, we have a new format and new fee! The day will begin with a keynote address by Nina Koziol (longtime writer with the Chicago Tribune and the Chicagoland Gardening Magazine) who will share how home gardens have changed since Illinois was settled in the 1830s, in her Keynote address This Old House: Midwestern Gardens from Past to Present. She will also present a breakout session on Gardening for Hummingbirds and Butterflies, where she will discuss annuals and perennials and how to use them to attract these colorful winged wonders and other pollinators to our gardens.

Our second Keynote is by Richard Eyre, whose presentation on Inspirational Gardens and Plants will take you around the world to gardens and plants. His presentation will underscore how visiting new gardens provides information and inspiration, which results in a great idea, new layout or better use of plants in the landscape.

Following these keynote presentations, choose from a selection of workshops ranging from Surprising Succulents, New and Underused Plants for 2018, Assembling a Baltimore Oriole Feeder, How to Reduce Maintenance through Good Design, Kitchen Basics, and Shady Moves: Using Native Plants to Brighten up your Shade Garden.

We are very excited to have our final Keynote presentation by Richard Hawke, Associate Scientist at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. His presentation, Only the Best – Proven Perennials from the Chicago Botanic Garden Trials will discuss the importance of comparative plant trials and highlight top-rated perennials from 30 years of trials at the Chicago Botanic Garden, considering hundreds of new perennials are introduced each year, and whether these plants bring excitement or disappointment depends in part on a rigorous evaluation.

The workshop fee is $50.00, and includes morning refreshments, lunch, a welcome bag and selected handouts. In addition to the workshops, there will be a wide variety of vendors. 

To register for the 2018 Gardener’s Pathway, you can either mail in your form or go online to the U of I Extension website http://web.extension.illinois.edu/bdo/.

If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please contact the DeKalb County Extension office at 815-758-8194.

Master Gardeners are ready to answer your call 


University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners offer a free service answering garden questions at their Horticulture Help Desk.  The Help Desk is open 1:00-4:00pm, Monday thru Friday throughout the growing season (April – Sept.)


Master Gardeners research topics about insects, trees, shrubs, plants, vegetables, fruits, gardens, lawns, and more.  They provide research-based answers to questions, and take time to find the information you need for your specific circumstance.


The Master Gardeners can be reached by calling 815-544-3710 (Boone) and 815-986-4357 (Winnebago), emailing in your question to uiemg-boone@illinois.edu  or uiemg-winnebago@illinois.edu or by stopping at the office located at 205 Cadillac Court, Suite 3 in Belvidere or 1040 North Second Street in Rockford, IL.  Master Gardener volunteers will ask you diagnostic questions to understand your horticulture situation, then they will call you back after they have done their research.  They do not make house calls. 


Clients are encouraged to email or bring in photos or drop off samples of their troubled plants, trees, or shrubs.  Call for tips on how to collect samples.

Buy Direct From the Farm


Prairie Bounty of Illinois, a directory of direct-from-the-farm sellers, farmers’ markets and agritourism businesses, is available online at www.specialtygrowers.org/prairie-bounty.html

Provided by the Illinois Farm Bureau® and the Illinois Specialty Growers Association, the directory contains contact information and locations for more than 900 individual growers of fruits, vegetables and herbs throughout Illinois. The directory also provides consumers with farms’ contact information, products available, method of sale, and a complete list of all community farmers markets and agritourism businesses in Illinois, searchable by city, county, or zip code. 

“Consumers are demanding more of the food they purchase.  They want to make that connection with the farmer and know who grew the food on their table,” said Jim Fraley, Manager of the Illinois Specialty Growers Association. 

This directory helps consumers do just that — support local farmers and buy farm-fresh produce and products at farms and farmers markets across the state.  Prairie Bounty has become a great source for retailers as well looking to find growers to provide product for restaurants, grocery stores, and schools, among others.

The directory is regularly updated as growers add their names and markets to the system. Growers interested in adding their names and businesses to Prairie Bounty of Illinois may contact Jim Fraley at 309-557-3109 or via e-mail at fraley@ilfb.org, or may visit the Illinois Specialty Growers website at www.specialtygrowers.org for additional instructions on how to register.

“Considerations for First Time Cover Crop Adopters” Guidebook for Il Farmers


“Considerations for First Time Cover Crop Adopters” Guidebook is a new resource for Illinois farmers that introduce the most recent research and information on the best management practices for effectively incorporating a cover crop ahead of soybeans. The Guide outlines comprehensive tactics for cover crop use as part of a nutrient management strategy. Research results from planting to termination of cover crops are included.
 
With funding from the Illinois Nutrient Research & Education Council (NREC), researchers from the University of Illinois, Illinois State University and Purdue University have been studying the various variables involved in a successful cover crop program. Research efforts are supported by Dan Schaefer with Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association (IFCA) through a grant from NREC. This research has been performed at an on-farm, field-scale level and has shown – over multiple years – that a cereal rye cover crop ahead of soybeans has no detrimental impact on the soybean crop, and that the cover crop successfully scavenges nitrogen -- lowering the levels of N in field tiles.

As defined in the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy, Illinois has a target of reducing nitrogen (N) losses by 410 million pounds and P losses by 38 million pounds by 2025. Cover crops are identified as an important tool in meeting that target. NREC’s investment in this research helps to support the collaboration across the agricultural industry, environmental groups, and engaged stakeholders.

The guide is available for download from the Illinois NREC website at www.illinoisnrec.org . Printed copies can be requested by filling out the contact form on the website or emailing Julie.armstrong@illinoisnrec.org.


IMPORTANT:  Dicamba Training Requirements for 2018 Use


In November, the Illinois Department of Agriculture announced that due to a change in the product label for the three dicamba-containing herbicides allowed for use on dicamba-resistant soybeans, all certified private applicators in Illinois or those applying these products under their supervision must attend a qualified dicamba training session this winter. Prior to applying these products in the 2018 growing season applicator(s) must complete dicamba or auxin-specific training. Labels for affected products may be viewed using the following link: https://ifca.com/IllinoisDicambaTraining/Resources

Various Illinois agricultural groups worked to facilitate nearly 60 FREE, 90-minute training opportunities around the state this winter. These trainings will assist applicators in meeting the enhanced training requirement and will provide a certificate of completion of the training (needed for certified applicator record-keeping).

Advance registration is required, please visit:  https://ifca.com/IllinoisDicambaTraining to find a venue near you.

Events near here:


  • January 26- Chateau Hotel and Convention Center, Bloomington, IL from 3-5 p.m.
  • February 21- Kishwaukee Community College, Malta, IL from 4-5:30 p.m.
  • February 23- Stephenson County Farm Bureau, Freeport, IL from 10-11:30 a.m.
  • March 28- Giovanni's, Rockford, IL from 3-5 p.m.




The University of Illinois Extension DeKalb County Master Gardeners is once again hosting the 2018 Gardener’s Pathway, on Saturday February 24, from 7:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. at the Kishwaukee College Conference Center.  Advanced registration is required by February 16.  Workshops have limited seating space and sessions will be filled in the order registrations are received.

This year, we have a new format and new fee! The day will begin with a keynote address by Nina Koziol (longtime writer with the Chicago Tribune and the Chicagoland Gardening Magazine) who will share how home gardens have changed since Illinois was settled in the 1830s, in her Keynote address This Old House: Midwestern Gardens from Past to Present. She will also present a breakout session on Gardening for Hummingbirds and Butterflies, where she will discuss annuals and perennials and how to use them to attract these colorful winged wonders and other pollinators to our gardens.

Our second Keynote is by Richard Eyre, whose presentation on Inspirational Gardens and Plants will take you around the world to gardens and plants. His presentation will underscore how visiting new gardens provides information and inspiration, which results in a great idea, new layout or better use of plants in the landscape. 

Following these keynote presentations, choose from a selection of workshops ranging from Surprising Succulents, New and Underused Plants for 2018, Assembling a Baltimore Oriole Feeder, How to Reduce Maintenance through Good Design, Kitchen Basics, and Shady Moves: Using Native Plants to Brighten up your Shade Garden.

We are very excited to have our final Keynote presentation by Richard Hawke, Associate Scientist at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. His presentation, Only the Best – Proven Perennials from the Chicago Botanic Garden Trials will discuss the importance of comparative plant trials and highlight top-rated perennials from 30 years of trials at the Chicago Botanic Garden, considering hundreds of new perennials are introduced each year, and whether these plants bring excitement or disappointment depends in part on a rigorous evaluation.

The workshop fee is $50.00, and includes morning refreshments, lunch, a welcome bag and selected handouts. In addition to the workshops, there will be a wide variety of vendors.  

To register for the 2018 Gardener’s Pathway, you can either mail in your form or go online to the U of I Extension website http://web.extension.illinois.edu/bdo/. 

If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please contact the DeKalb County Extension office at 815-758-8194.

Winnebago-Boone



 The Four Seasons Gardening program from University of Illinois Extension continues with a session titled, Tree Care in Urban Soils.

Extension Horticulture Educator, Ryan Pankau will discuss tree care and urban soils by exploring the attributes of urban soils in contrast to undisturbed forest soils.  Many common impacts to tree health can be related back to the level of disturbance in our urban soils.  Ryan will discuss practical ways to diagnose tree symptoms related to soil issues and current tree care techniques that address soils.

This program will be offered via computer on Tuesday, March 13 at 1:30pm at the Boone County Extension Conference Room located at 205 Cadillac Court, Suite 5 in Belvidere.

 This webinar may also be viewed from home by pre-registering at go.illinois.edu/4seasons_webinars  Recorded videos of these sessions can be viewed following the program at go.illinois.edu/fourseasonsrecordings . 

This is the second session of the winter series. The final program in the winter series titled Keep on Growing: Tips for Extending the Gardening Season is set for March 27 at 1:30 pm.

There is no fee for this program, but advanced registration is needed.  To register to attend Tree Care in Urban Soils at the Extension office, call 815-544-3710 or visit our website at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/bdo.  If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please contact the Extension office.

U of I Extension, DeKalb County Gardeners Pathway Workshop on February 24

U of I Extension Offers Program on Tree Care- march 13

Ogle County Offering Master Naturalist Training



University of Illinois Extension invites adults of all ages to join them for the 2018 Illinois Master Naturalist program.  The classes will be held in Ogle County on Monday evenings from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m., starting March 12 and ending May 21, 2018.  The training features instructors from local natural resource agencies and organizations as well as state Extension experts.  The training will highlight our rich natural heritage by hosting classes in different locations in the area such as Nachusa Grasslands and Kickapoo Mud Creek Nature Conservancy. 

As a Master Naturalist, you will learn about ecosystems and interrelationships of plants and animals that make up our natural world.  You will also learn how to assist with land management and to share your knowledge with others in your community.  The goal is to encourage participants to seek out lifelong learning opportunities to further their development as a naturalist.

Master Naturalist participants agree to serve 60 hours of volunteer service within the first two years of their initial classroom experience.  Volunteers can then continue their certification with 30 volunteer hours and 10 continuing education hours annually.  Volunteer opportunities in your county are extremely flexible and tailored to fit your personal interests, abilities, and time restraints.

For more information and to apply to become a certified Illinois Master Naturalist, please visit http://web.extension.illinois.edu/bdo or call Elizabeth Sosa, Extension Program Coordinator at 815-732-2191 or email at Sosa6@illinois.edu. 

If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please contact the Extension office at 815-732-2191.