Planting Seeds for Success with Vegetable Gardening Workshop for Beginners | life

U of I . extension

Whether you have a multi-row vegetable plot in your backyard or a patio with room for a few containers, now is the time to start planning a successful gardening season. Over the past several years, there have been a large number of gardeners who first took the shovel to try their hand at growing fresh produce at home.

Kick off with confidence this spring with Growing Great Vegetables, a five-week webinar series starting February 15 that will cover how to grow a vegetable garden from seed to harvest. Participants will check-in during a weekly workshop covering a new topic, connect with University of Illinois horticultural experts, and receive emails with more research-based advice and fact sheets.

The Great Vegetable Planting will be from 6 to 7 p.m. every Tuesday from February 15 to March 15. Sign up before February 9th at Participation costs $10. Sessions will be recorded and made available to registered participants if they cannot attend live.

February 15

Where are you park? Build a garden using whatever space you have. Learn about traditional garden plots, raised beds, salad tables, garden containers, vertical growth, and more. This session will also cover watering, weeding and garden tools.

February 22

Seed and Plant Choices: Planning, design, and planning are essential to a successful garden. Learn about hardiness zones, frost and freeze dates, how to order plants or seeds from a garden catalog or locally, read and choose seed packets and start plants from seed. Discover the importance of soil health and learn about soil testing and amendments such as fertilizer and manure.

March 1

Cold season vegetables: Cold season crops can be grown in spring or fall, each with their own characteristics and potential issues. Learn how to grow and harvest cool season vegetables as well as how to manage common insect pests.

March 8

Warm season vegetables: Warm season crops grow in the hottest part of the year. This session will cover how to make vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, and more blooms.

March 15

Insects and Diseases: New and experienced growers alike face challenges from insect pests as well as plant diseases or disorders. Learn about insects, diseases and pests of wildlife and how to prevent and deal with them. Next, learn how to create a vegetable garden that is more attractive to beneficial insect pollinators such as butterflies, bees, beetles, and moths.

Series sponsors include Illinois Extension horticulture educators Jennifer Fishburne, Ken Johnson and Sarah Vogel, and local food educators and small farmer Erin Harper and Katie Parker. For more information, contact Ken Johnson at

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