Gardenfest - Ready, Set, Grow

Saturday, April 9, 2022, from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Event fee: $45
Location: Luecht Auditorium

Explore the latest gardening trends, techniques, and tools during this series of seminars for gardeners of every skill level. Choose from five breakout presentations under each session presented by industry experts. 

How to Register

Please indicate your first and second choice for each session. See breakout presentation descriptions
Submit a registration form for each person attending. The $45 fee includes lunch. No registrations will be accepted by phone.

The downloadable registration form will be available below on February 14.

Download Registration Form

Registration Deadline: March 25, 2022* (no refunds after this date)

__ $45 Registration fee (NCC S61 001)

__ $25 MCC Horticulture students (NCC S61 002)

*After this date, registration is only accepted the day of the conference for an additional $5 fee (space limited)

If you need an accommodation or a sign language interpreter, contact Access and Disability Services at (815) 455-8766 or


7:30–8 a.m. | Registration and exhibitors

8–8:15 a.m. | Welcome

8:15–9:15 a.m. | Morning Keynote Speaker
Nina Koziol—The Gardener as Artist

9:15–10 a.m. | Exhibitors

10–11 a.m. | Session I

  • Improving Your Garden Soil—Rich Tobiasz
  • All About Tea Gardens—Kristina Rank
  • Covering Ground: Preventing Weeds with Living Mulch—Ken Williams
  • Unexpected Edibles—Heather Moister
  • Container Gardens—Michael Fedoran

11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m. | Session II

  • Pests and Disease in the Garden—Rich Tobiasz
  • All About Dahlias—Nicola Birch
  • You Can Grow it From Seed!—Christine Nye
  • Vegetable Gardening in Small Spaces—Michael Fedoran
  • Native Landscaping for Winter Beauty—Sarah Michehl

12:15–1:15 p.m. | Lunch and exhibitors

1:15–1:30 p.m. | Afternoon Welcome

1:30–2:30 p.m | Afternoon Keynote Speaker
Chris Benda—Botanical Humor: You Never Knew Plants Were So Funny

2:45–3:45 p.m. | Session III

  • MCC Greenhouse Tour—Rich Tobiasz (limit 25)
  • Weed Management in Vegetable Gardens—Sarah Farley
  • Growing Mushrooms in Your Backyard—Garrett Beier
  • Dragons and Damsels: The Amazing World of Odonata—Marla Garrison

3:45–4 p.m. | Pick up door prizes!


For more information, call (815) 479-7570 or email

University of Illinois Extension