Register Online

Read the Latest News

  • The Humble Gardener Blog
    At University of Illinois Extension, our volunteers are at our core. Hear their voice on this volunteer driven blog.
  • Gardener's Corner
    Four seasons of gardening information.
  • Home Yard and Garden Pest
    Provides timely information on insect, weed, and plant disease pests for landscapers, arborists, lawn care professionals, golf course personnel, and garden center operators.

Contact Us

University of Illinois Extension serving Henderson, Knox, McDonough and Warren Counties

Knox County
180 S Soangetaha Rd, Ste 108
Galesburg, IL 61401
Phone: 309-342-5108
FAX: 309-342-1768
Hours: Hours: Monday - Friday 8a.m. to 4:30p.m. (Closed noon - 1 pm)

Master Gardeners

Master Gardeners

Gardener's Day

Save the date for Gardener's Day on April 6, 2019! Registration will open in February. 

See below for last year's program

The 23rd Annual Gardener's Day sponsored by the University of Illinois Extension and McDonough County Master Gardeners will be Saturday, April 7, 2018, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at The Spoon River College Outreach Center in Macomb, Illinois. Register as early as 8 a.m. with our first speakers beginning at 9 a.m. Click here to view the brochure!




Spoon River College Outreach Center

2500 E Jackson Street

Macomb, IL 61455


Registration includes speaker sessions, lunch, access to vendors, and materials for most of the sessions.

Early Bird Registration is $30 for participants that register prior to Saturday, March 10 at 5 p.m.

Half-Day registration available! The fee for half day is $20 (made payable to University of Illinois Extension) Lunch is NOT included in the half-day option.

Class numbers are limited and will be filled on a first-come-first-served basis. All enrollments, online or mailed in, will be dated upon arrival.

Mail-in and online registration deadline is March 30. Late registrations and walk-in registrations will be $40, but lunch will be on your own. Late registration and walk-ins will be accepted only on a space-available basis. Contact Amanda at 309-342-5108 or for space availability.

This year we are offering two hands-on workshops with room for 15 participants each. One will allow you to build your own bluebird nest box and the other will give you the opportunity to pot up some baby succulents. The bluebird nest workshop is free, but the succulent workshop costs an additional $20.

Master Gardeners are selling Spear Head Shovels, a tool which is coveted in our gardens. You may purchase this shovel in person at Gardeners Day or you can reserve one online by registering here.

All participants have a chance to win one of three Short Handled Spear Head Spades offered as door prizes this year. We will draw door prize winners during lunch.

Lunch will be sandwiches, soup, salad, and fruit and is provided by Whytehouse Catering.


To register; simply choose your schedule, let us know if you need accommodations, and pay online, send in a check, or bring cash to the office.



Session One - 9:00 to 10:00 a.m.



Community Garden Forum

Master Gardeners, Letha Clark, Penny Lawyer, Marilyn Morris, Bobbie Morrison, Mary Robson, with Chris Enroth, & Dr. Joel Gruver

This year, we would like to invite you to start the morning in the ballroom where we will hear from local Community Garden Leaders at our Community Garden Forum. They will present an overview of each of their gardens, share lessons learned, and give the audience a chance to ask questions in our Q & A. The panel will be made up of McDonough Co. Master Gardeners who run the GIFT Garden, Knox Co. Master Gardeners who run the Sandburg Community Garden, and Dr. Joel Gruver, who leads The Macomb Community Garden.

The GIFT Garden is a project developed through partnerships with Extension Master Gardeners, SNAP educator Akinwale Akingbule, and the Western Illinois University Horticulture program. GIFT is an acronym for Growing Illinois Food Together and carries the goal of providing freshly grown produce for food pantries in McDonough County. This garden is located at the Extension Office and 4-H Grounds in Macomb.

The Sandburg Community Garden in Galesburg, Illinois has been growing fresh fruits and vegetables for local food pantries and shelters since 2011. Managed by University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners, the Sandburg Community Garden continues to expand in terms of crops grown and education provided to the community.

The Macomb Community Gardens is a division of Prairie Hills with garden plots for Macomb citizens on East Wheeler Street. The original community garden seed was planted in 2010 by Western Illinois University Professors Dr. Heather McIlvaine-Newsad, Dr. Joel Gruver and Dr. Rob Porter and several local agencies. The original garden plots were located at the Macomb Park District property on E. University Drive in Macomb.



Session Two - 10:15 to 11:15 a.m. Choose One



Cover Crops for the Garden

Dr. Joel Gruver

Join Dr. Gruver as he explores opportunities to replenish your garden during the offseason. He will discuss the value of cover crops and the practical application of cover crops in home gardens. He will share his personal experiences and draw from the literature to provide you with the knowledge to make the most out of your fallow garden.


Superfruits: Growing and Using Unusual Fruits for Health

Dr. Shelby Henning

Join Associate Professor of Horticulture at WIU, Dr. Henning as he covers growing and using seldom encountered fruiting plants valued for their contribution to health and well-being.


Shrubs: The Middle Child of the Landscape

Jeff Vancil

Shrubs, loved but often overlooked by trees (firstborn child) and those flashy annuals and perennials (baby of the family), can truly hold their own with what they can add to the landscape. Used for color and texture by the home, these workhorses also provide choices for screens, food for both wildlife and us, and cutting garden material for ALL seasons! We will discuss variety options, new varieties, and old standbys that now offer new size choices! Put these beauties to work in your landscape, and yes...they can even be used to protect and shade those spoiled annuals and perennials!


Make-n-Take Bluebird Nest Box Workshop

Gerald White

Participants will receive a kit of wooden parts, necessary hardware, and step-by-step instructions with assistance to assemble a Bluebird nest box to take home. Includes a short presentation on cavity-nesting birds. Session Three - 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. Choose One



Session Three - 12:15 to 1:15 a.m. Choose One



Bats: Myths and Realities

Mary McMahon

Come join local educator, Mary McMahon, for an informative session on the myths and realities surrounding our only flying mammal, bats. Learn about their unique characteristics and their vital role in our environment. Come away with plans to build a bat house and a chance to win one.


Food Preservation: Plan Ahead for Harvest Season

Kristin Bogdonas

Start planning for your food preservation needs this summer by learning about up-to-date canning techniques, equipment needs, basics of canning, freezing and drying and how to make the most of your harvest. Join Kristin Bogdonas, Nutrition & Wellness Educator, for a timely session on home food preservation. You will go home with recipes and handouts plus the chance to sample some home preserved foods. This is also a good time to get your pressure canner gauge tested which needs to be done once a year for accuracy. If you have a gauge that needs testing, please bring it to the session.


Introduction to Medicinal Herbs

Tina Hope

This presentation introduces a variety of medicinal herbs that can be locally cultivated or wildcrafted in our area. Learn how to work with these plants for healing and nourishment. Bring a cup to sample one of Tina's locally grown herbal tea blends.



Session Four - 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Choose One



Pathway Perfection: People and Pollinators

Carey Boehm-Corrie

Your yard has never been more important. Learn how your yard can host many species of beneficial insects, and be welcoming to people as well. We will discuss design elements, plant materials to use (and to stay away from) maintenance realities, and the benefits of a pathway perspective.


New Plants for the 2018 Growing Season

Jeff Johnson

Join the Owner and Head Grower at Sunnyfield Greenhouse and Garden Center as he covers new annuals, perennials, vegetable and nursery stock for the 2017 growing season.


Growing Lavender: From Field to Fragrance

Steve Harlin

I have often heard from our customers, I love lavender, but every time I plant it, they never grow back. Steven Harlin of Purple Prairie Lavender Farm, LLC will cover some of the in and outs of growing lavender. From selecting the right kind of lavender, soil preparation, watering needs and trimming, all which play a key role in the survival of your lavender. And, if you're adventurous, try distilling for essential oils and cooking with lavender.


Make-n-Take Succulent Workshop (SOLD OUT!)

Kim Clayton-Bush

Growing succulents with ease and tips on caring for them in containers. We will be planting containers for participants to take home. Each person will receive some baby succulents with which to learn and grow. This session costs an additional $20 for the succulents you will take home.




Four Dirty Boys Soap: With local, handmade soaps

Better Earth Compost: Selling compost.

Sweet Briar Corner Market: With a selection of plants and information about their market.

Hart's Nursery: Selling plants and garden center wares.

Boehm's Nursery: Selling plants and garden center wares.

Garden Art by Carrol: Selling brightly embellished garden stones.

Purple Prairie Lavender: Selling lavender bath and body products.

Marks Woodpile: selling birdhouses, feeders, garden boxes, and more.

Tina's Botanicals: Selling salves, moisturizers, herbal oils, lip balms, soaps, and teas.

M, M, & M Farm: Selling seasonal vegetable shares from their local farm.

Master Gardener's Booth: With educational materials, books, and Spear Head Shovels