Registration Open For Gardener’s Day

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Registration for All Illinois Extension Master Gardeners All Gardener’s Day is now open. The half-day event will be held on Saturday, March 14, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church–Parish Center, 211 E. Columbia Street in Litchfield.

Registration is $15, and includes morning refreshments, as well as information and vendor booths. Register online by visiting https://extension.illinois.edu/cjmm, call Andrew Holsinger at 217-532-3941 or email him at aholsing@illinois.edu. 

This year’s main session will be “Bats of Illinois: Environmentally Friendly Pest Management Controllers of Night Flying Insects” given by Dr. Todd Austin, The Bat Doctor. He will cover in detail four of the state’s most important bat species and which residential and/or crop pests they tend to consume, as well as in what quantity.

Dr. Austin will also explain that insect-eating bats are amazing, beautiful and highly beneficial creatures. He will also give information and demonstrate how bat houses can be used as a man-made artificial habitat for bats and cover the many variables employed to increase one’s chances of attracting bats to bat houses.

Beekeeper Arvin Pierce will present “Just a Little about Honeybees.” Bees face many challenges in the environment. Gardeners will gain a little more understanding about the amazing lives of honeybees through an illustrated tour, both inside and outside of the hive. 

Big M Berry Patch owner Mel Repscher will present “Planting to Market: We’re Not Textbook.” Gardeners will learn how to grow and market 20-acres of produce at “Big M Berry Patch” and “Big M Pumpkin Patch” located in Taylorville.

Trees Forever, Program Manager and Field Coordinator Debbie Fluegel will give a presentation on “Trees for the Home Landscape.” Trees provide numerous ecological benefits, including energy savings, storm water uptake, carbon sequestration, local foods, wildlife and pollinator habitat, medications, increased crop production, stress reduction, improved air and water quality, screens and visual barriers, economic development and much more. Learn about native species of trees and why it is important to plant them in the landscape.

Andrew Holsinger, University of Illinois Extension educator will present “Raised Bed Gardening.” For those who would like to take their vegetable gardening to the next level, Holsinger will introduce the techniques used in raised bed gardening, which will help produce the most from gardening spaces. Topics include techniques to plant densely, vertical gardening, interplanting, succession planting, day length strategies, cultivar choices and more. Think inside the square and the tasks needed to prepare a square-foot garden.

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