Illinois Extension

Spring Introduction to Gardening Series

Dig in with confidence this spring with this Introduction to Gardening workshop series. Whether you are a beginning gardener or have years of experience, you will have the opportunity to learn how to build your successful garden with research-based methods that promote healthy, productive plants.  To get the most out of your garden, University of Illinois Extension Educator Katie Bell will give you steps to plan and tend your garden.  This will include workshops on site selection and preparation, plant selection, planting 101, soil science, plant nutrition, harvesting and plant storage, and pest and disease identification. 

All workshops in this series will be held at the Wayne County Extension office, 2B Frontier Drive in Fairfield starting at 5:30 PM.  Participants do not have to attend all workshops in the series, but are encouraged to choose the workshops that are of most interest to them.  All workshop sessions are free to attend.

Session 1: Site Selection and Preparation
Date: Monday, March 4
Description: Learn how to select a planting area based on light duration and intensity, drainage and slope, utility considerations, and soil type. Learn which tools and methods are needed to prepare the seedbed for planting.

Session 2: Plant Selection
Date: Tuesday, March 12
Description: Learn about crop rotation, disease prevention, and which crops to plant-based on the time of year and location

Session 3: Plating 101
Date: Monday, March 18
Description: Learn where to plant, when to plant, how to plant common species like tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, greens, and corn. We will also discuss the basics of seed starting

Session 4: Soils
Date: Monday, April 1
Description: Learn the basics of soil science with topics such as soil physical properties, and some basic soil chemistry. We will also talk about soil fertility, improvement, and best practices for soil health

Session 5: Plant Nutrition
Date: Tuesday April 16
Description: Explore macro and micronutrients that plants require, how plants interact with the soil ecosystem, different types of fertilizers and recommendations, basic fertilizer calculations, and plant-microbe interactions

Session 6: Harvesting and Plant Storage
Date: Monday, April 29
Description: Learn the basics of harvesting and storing common crops such as tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes

Session 7: Pest and Disease Identification
Date: Monday, May 6
Description: Learn how to identify and control common garden pests, when to expect them, and techniques to reduce damage – plant diseases can be overwhelming and difficult to identify. We will discuss common diseases, how to control them, and when to expect them in the growing season

To register for one or all of the classes offered at In this series call the University of Illinois Extension at 618-842-3702 or register online at   There is no charge to attend but registration is required.      

Contact Information

Please select all workshops you would like to attend

Civil Rights Compliance - Participant Info

As part of our commitment to providing equal opportunities in our programming, University of Illinois Extension is required to collect and report overall statistics about the race, ethnicity, and gender of program participants. Your responses are voluntary and appreciated.