Gardening programs offered by extension service

Staff Writer
Woodford Times

The growing season is winding down.  

University of Illinois Extension is offering three gardening programs this fall on invasive weeds, sustainable backyard landscaping and 10 steps to successful community gardens. Each program will be offered twice.

Invasive weeds will be offered at 1 p.m. Oct. 4, and 7 p.m. Oct. 6.  

All plants were not created equally.  Even weeds have varying differences among them including aggressiveness, timing of leaf development, and speed and ease of reproduction. 

Invasive weeds will quickly take over crops, gardens, natural areas, and landscapes if allowed. 

Many are capable of forming a monoculture in a short period of time which means being on the lookout for them and being ready to take appropriate action when populations are discovered. 

Michelle Wiesbrook, weed science extension specialist, Urbana, will discuss 14 of the most commonly found invasive weed offenders in Illinois. 

Identification will be the primary focus but control options will be covered as well.  

Sustainable backyard landscaping — what does that mean?  

Simply it involves gardening activities that do not cause long term environmental harm nor miss-use non-renewable resources. Martha Smith, horticulture educator, University of Illinois Extension, will introduce backyard management ideas that are sustainable.   

As a global society it is becoming more obvious that one’s actions influence others.  

Learn how to identify and change our day-to-day activities to reduce and/or eliminate environmental outcomes that will impact future generations.  

Learn how at 1 p.m. Oct. 18, 2011 or 7 p.m. Oct. 20.  

The crisp freshness of local produce and the camaraderie of a family of gardeners are just two reasons why community gardens are so popular.

They can turn stark vacant lots into productive keystones in a community.

Jennifer Fishburn, Jennifer Nelson and Sandy Mason, horticulture educators, with University of Illinois Extension, will present the program on successful community gardens.

Included will be a discussion of organizational structure, identification of resources and communicating the success of a community garden.  

The program will be offered at 1 p.m. Nov. 1 and 7 p.m. Nov. 3.  

All three programs will be held at the Woodford County Extension, 117 W. Center, using the University of Illinois Extension telenet system.

This statewide telenet program will feature a local PowerPoint slide presentation accompanied by the live voices of the instructors. The program includes handouts and question and answer interaction with the instructors.