Season’s Standout Plants In South Dakota

To celebrate our last garden season, we’d like to share names of flowers and vegetables that South Dakota gardeners say grew best in 2015. Thanks to some South Dakota Master Gardeners, garden club members, and others who are willing to comment on their standout flowers and vegetables from the past season. These plants performed well … Continue reading

Rain Makes All The Difference

Welcome to Plant Exchange! We’re glad you’re here! We post weekly and besides that you’ll find lots of other plant topics from our region on the right column. Do come back. Thanks for all the “Likes” and loyal “Followers.” Enough rain makes all the difference. This region has had drought in the past, so we … Continue reading

Mothers Day And Plants

Mothers (and Fathers) Day and plants go together. Intricacies of an unfurling fern, or a fragile new leaf, or a flawless flower petal are like the connections we strive for with our parents and others that mean so much to us. I can’t pass the fragrance and buzz around lilacs without the mental picture of … Continue reading

Dibbles & Bits

Welcome to Plant Exchange. Thanks for your visit. Today we have several short plant topics. You may choose special ornamentation such as an art object to set your yard apart. Even the cement or natural hardscape that gives your yard and flowerbeds boundaries, in fact, may contribute beauty. Below you will see examples from the … Continue reading

Wildflowers: More Than A Pretty Face

Welcome to Plant Exchange Blog. We’ glad you chose now to visit. Here we share about plants of the USDA Zone 4 – 5a region and the people who grow them. Our stories center on South Dakota and Nebraska, but do venture further sometimes. We post weekly, often on Friday. Many topics are found by … Continue reading

A Bittersweet Tale

Mary Ann King is a South Dakota Master Gardener who enjoys finding out more about plants that grow locally such as the native vine bittersweet. Bittersweet vine, which is not an invasive species in this area, can be cultivated for its winter display of red berries. Thanks to Mary Ann King for sharing with Plant … Continue reading

Share What You Have Learned Gardening With Others

Pasque Garden Club of the Wakonda, Gayville, and Yankton area share about their favorite plants from last season. Lea Gustad, president of the group, shares about this long-standing club and their activities. Daylilies like the one below are mentioned among the favorites. See the link to their story and come back to enjoy more topics … Continue reading

Tips On Caring For Your Christmas Cactus Plant

Jay Gurney of Yankton Nurseries enjoys growing cacti, succulents, and cactus-like plants such as the Christmas cactus. He notes that Schlumbergera is the genus for Christmas and Thanksgiving cacti, but they are different species with different bloom times. Note the rounded lobes of the modified stems of this plant, unlike the pointed edges of the … Continue reading

A Whimsical Garden

Donna Anstine of Yankton of the Yankton Town & Country Garden Club has combined her plant interests with talent in turning glass objects into garden art. In a corner of her yard that she wanted to re-focus, she expressed her playful side with objects she displayed. The stacked glass is her specialty. She has begun … Continue reading

Lots To Inspire Gardeners At Lauritzen Gardens

Gardening ideas are everywhere at Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, Nebraska. The new conservatory and indoor winter displays add a fourth season to enjoy their plants. I visited the gardens in mid fall and found these outdoor gardening inspirations. Growth timing to stage asters and mums at peak maturity is a nursery art. Plants grown from … Continue reading

Brown Is Beautiful

Brown is a color often removed from a garden, not valued. By the time flowers turn brown they are called refuse, and the spent plants are sanitized out the flowerbed. Some trim flowerbeds nearly to their crowns in fall cleanup. It makes sense to get rid of diseased plant material, but healthy brown plants in … Continue reading

Yankton Community Garden Organizers Yankton Community Garden soil is resting from 219 plots that will be ready for next season, thanks to Healthy Yankton organizers. Sister Julie Peak of Sacred Heart Monastery shared highlights about the season at the gardens, the volunteers that made it happen, and plans to be announced.     Members of Healthy Yankton include … Continue reading

Everything–A Season

It is said, “to everything, a season”. Sun no longer warms our plastic cover greenhouse enough for plants to grow without a heater at night. The cycle is over. The extended season is over. Carrots and Swiss chard are harvested from the row cover outside. Indoor plants that summered under the trees and transitioned to … Continue reading

Last Fall Reminders

Thanks to Diane Dickes of Diane’s Greenhouse in Fordyce, NE who reminds us of the last tasks of fall to get plants ready for winter. If you’re a last minute gardener as I can be at times, perhaps have a short checklist will help us focus on the last outdoor gardening item or help us … Continue reading

South Dakota Master Gardeners Standout Plants

Sue W. White of the Northern Hills Master Gardeners enjoys her heirloom Abyssinian gladiolus (bottom white with dark center and pointed petals) that originated in Ethiopia in 1844. Thanks to her for sharing the photo. Season Standout Flowers and Vegetables South Dakota Master Gardeners met in Yankton in September for their annual update and were … Continue reading

South Dakota Master Gardeners Standout Plants

  Kim Marie Weimer of Pennington County Master Gardeners is a fan of water-wise ‘Sunset Hyssop’ Agastache, a late season bloomer that is tolerant of many soil conditions. Thanks to her for her photo. Season Standout Flowers and Vegetables  South Dakota Master Gardeners met in Yankton in September for their annual update and were asked … Continue reading

Camellias Bloom in Winter

I’m a fan of the camellia, also called the rose of winter. Blooms appear between September and May according to the species and cultivar. Pictured is Camellia japonica, a common species. Flowers can be pink, white, or red. Flowers and leaves may be variegated. Blooms form along the branches of the woody shrub. Leaves stay … Continue reading

Camellias, A Favorite Winter Flower

Camellia shrubs are grown outdoors at least two USDA zones away but can be grown in containers to bloom indoors. Native to Japan, they’re one of the few plants that naturally bloom in fall to spring. When they bloom depends on species and variety. Bloom time lasts at least two weeks with lots of blooms. … Continue reading

First Asian Garden For Starters

Lisa Newland of Yankton is a master gardener and local garden club member. In her work life she is a professor and researcher in Human Development and Education Psychology at University of South Dakota. Her work took her to Taiwan last winter and she refers to the time she spent there  as a ‘life changing … Continue reading

First Asian Garden For Starters

Lisa Newland of Yankton has incorporated ways of gardening that she saw in Taiwan in her Midwestern garden. One of her last areas of lawn that she turned into garden is an area beside her house. Besides pathway to get to a meditation area in the distance and the back yard, Newland decided to create … Continue reading

First Asian Garden For Starters

Lisa Newland of Yankton had a ‘life changing  experience’ when she worked in Taiwan for several weeks last winter. She began a walking meditation to get to breakfast and keep warm and experience the culture she saw around her. Back home she has incorporated a meditation area into her yard as a place for quiet. … Continue reading

First Asian Garden For Starters

Lisa Newland created her all season cottage garden with a plan for color and patience as she added plants from many sources including her gardening friends over time. At her entrance the honeysuckle vine drapes over the wrought iron arbor, welcoming all with cone flowers. Soon her front yard garden-instead-of-lawn will turn into a “haunted … Continue reading

Meet Chef Staci

Chef Staci Stengle of Yankton works and presents classes at Hy-Vee in Yankton. Trained at the Culinary Institute of America in New York, she has a wide range of experience in the food industry. Enjoy the story about her at the link below. We hope you will find several topics you like at Plant Exchange … Continue reading

Fresh From The Garden

  What does a chef do with fresh summer produce?  Chef Staci Stengle of Yankton Hy-Vee shares several ways to combine fresh tomatoes, zucchini, and eggplants.  Trained at the Culinary Institute of America in New York, Chef Staci also shares some of  her recipes in the article you can link to below. In the photos … Continue reading

Winners Announced In Annual Flower, Vegetable Show

Best turnout of entries ever, in twelve years of the annual Yankton Flower / Vegetable Show, according to Betts Pulkrabek, one of the show organizers. Town and Country Garden Garden Club sponsored the 2014 July 26th event at the Yankton Community Library. The 179 entries included many new show participants. Participants and about a hundred … Continue reading

Winners Announced In Annual Flower, Vegetable Show

“Funky Fruits and Vegetables” was a category in the 2014 Yankton Town & Country Garden Club Flower / Vegetable Show. Among the entries are a Loch Ness Gourd from Karen Kostel-Rassmussen, a bad hair day watermelon from Linda Roberts, and some vegetable critters from Donna Anstine. See more flower and vegetable show results here and … Continue reading

Winners Announced In Annual Flower, Vegetable Show

A few of many Horticulture entries in annual Yankton Town and Country Garden Club Flower / Vegetable Show are shown here. Spinach vine was submitted by Sarala Somepalie. Amazing number of daylilies on one stem was submitted by Suzanne Preszler. Cucumbers were an entry in the Junior Division by Tori Weiland. Thanks for your visit … Continue reading

Rescued From The Brome

Spirit Mound National Historic Site north of Vermillion South Dakota along Highway 19 has had wildflower and native grass restoration underway for more than a decade. Smooth brome in the seed bank has been a challenge, especially with cool springtimes that give this competitor an edge to the warm season grasses and wildflowers. A six acre … Continue reading

Rescued From The Brome

Eric VanderStouwe of South Dakota Game Fish & Parks disperses wildflower seed at the Spirit Mound 6 acre plot last fall. Dr. James Heisinger of Spirit Mound Trust hand dispersed large sunflower seed. Before the re-seeding, invasive smooth brome was killed and then the brome thatch was burned for better new seed germination. Thank you … Continue reading

Rescued From The Brome

Time will tell if the management practices and weather work together for wildflowers to be re-established on this six acre plot of the Spirit Mound National Historic Site. Go to Spirit Mound this season and see the results for yourself. The historic and natural site is about ten miles north of Vermillion SD on Highway … Continue reading

Against All Odds

Sometimes I’m drawn to plants that I find hard to grow. I work hard to find the right method for growing pansies from seed, for example. Once the few that make it to transplant survive, the purples and yellows die back in the heat of summer. This season I tried “Penny All Season Mix (F-1) … Continue reading

Favorite Garden Weeding Tools

On pleasant mornings or evenings, these favorite weeding tools help make the work easier. The hoe is shaped like a triangle with long sides, folded slightly down the apex. This forms a point for close weeding. The sides can be used as scrapers that remove weeds at ground level instead of digging into the soil. … Continue reading

Water-Wise Tips That Enhance Decor

In this Tucson area yard, agave and cactuses are positioned apart as specimen plant in a bed with water supplied by drip irrigation. Plants are light-colored and reflect summer heat. Pea gravel mulch retains moisture. Natural stones enhance the bed with shape, color, and texture. Number of plants in this bed are modest, compared to … Continue reading

Water-Wise Tips That Enhance Decor

Besides privacy in this Tucson area backyard, the wall enclosure protects plants from drying winds and provides some shad on hot summer days. A raised bed with irrigation is in use. Tropical plants that typically require extra water are confined to containers in an area where they may be easily watered. See more items. This … Continue reading

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Triebal House Gardens use the garden plans of 1759 for its gardens in Old Salem where daily life of that period is re-enacted in period buildings of the settlement in Winston Salem, North Carolina. For gardeners of today, we use some methods that gardeners of centuries before found worthwhile. For an article on garden methods … Continue reading

How Does Your Garden Grow?

In early October at Old Triebal House Gardens in Winston Salem, North Carolina, these last succession planting of beans grow in raised, borderless beds. Multiple plants grow in the beds instead of single plants in rows. Garden methods seen here in this garden planted from 1759 plans are also the basis for “square foot” gardening … Continue reading

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Notice the branches for fall peas to climb. This is current “natural” garden tip is a technique used in the 1759 Triebal House garden plans in Winston Salem, North Carolina. See the article that tells more about garden methods passed down through time and gardener experiences. Please comment if you wish and see other topics … Continue reading

Grow Just Enough And Avoid The Waste

Growing tomatoes for the conditions where you live is the topic Beth Preheim of Yankton talks about in the article below. For her it’s all about what tomato variety you select and then try again if pleased, and how you plant and care for the tomato. Whether your tomatoes are ready to bloom or you … Continue reading

Gardeners And Munching Critters

In the abundance of Spring, it’s a bit easier to live in harmony with rabbits, deer and other mammals that have plenty of food. Of course, these mammals also have their favorite delicacies that can be our favorites too. If fencing out critters is not an option and you know what plants these critters generally … Continue reading

Summer Every Day

One of the growers that supplies some garden centers in the larger region is Mensch Greenhouse, INC. of Avon, South Dakota. Korey Mensch, co-owner with his father Lyle, gives tips for growing better plants. He shows you the grower’s point of view for annuals you may select for your garden. Although many parts of growers’ … Continue reading

Summer Every Day

A grower that supplies plants for independent greenhouses in the South Dakota, Nebraska, and North Dakota region is Mensch Greenhouse, INC of Avon, South Dakota. Watering baskets is automated with a horizontal “chair lift” system that supplies correct amount of water to two levels of different size pots. See the article and comment if you … Continue reading

‘Tried and True’ Flowers, Vegetables

Garden club members from the region share their favorites at the link below. Thanks to the Pasque Garden Club of the Wakonda, Irene, Gayville, Mechling area and the Yankton area Town and Country Garden Club. You’re invited to share comments or your favorite annuals and perennial flowers and your vegetables here. Thanks for your visit … Continue reading

Row Covers Are Versatile

In my experience, the row cover excludes deer, rabbits, and other mammals that eat vegetables because the crop is out of sight. The cover can shield against harsh wind and extend the season due to the greenhouse effect within the covered space. Light is filtered, dependent on thickness of the cover. Lettuce is an example … Continue reading

Plant Tips To Involve Children In Gardening

Angie Luken and Julie Manning from the Kopetsky’s Ace Hardware Greenhouse in Yankton share tips that encourage children to have fun gardening. These marigolds are easy to plant and grow from seed this season. Add your ideas in the Comment section if you wish. Thanks for your visit. See lots of plant topics in our … Continue reading

‘An Easy Way To Garden’

Ruth Ann Grimm of Crofton, Nebraska, makes use of an easy reach garden wand to water her raised bed garden. Vegetables are at eye level whether she stands or sits to work. See her tips that help her continue to enjoy gardening. Thanks for your comments if you wish. Be sure to see other Plant … Continue reading

‘An Easy Way To Garden’

Ruth Ann Grimm of Crofton Nebraska uses principles of square foot gardening and simple solutions for productive raised bed gardens. Here she found that hog gates secured with steel fence posts added the climbing area she needed to maximize garden space. See her story and share your comments if you wish. Visit other Plant Exchange … Continue reading

Regional Plant-Related Event

South Dakota Local Foods Conference Highland Conference Center Mitchell, SD November 3rd – 5th Topics such as cooking with indigenous foods, chefs’ panel, seed saving, food hub activity More information:

End of Summer Plant Tips

Welcome to Plant Exchange Blog. We share weekly about plants of the greater region and people who grow them. One of our fall favorites in our region is the perennial aster. Pollinators like these plants too. This year asters began blooming in August instead of September. We’re sure we have more summer left, but some … Continue reading

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Welcome to our weekly Plant Exchange Blog where we share about plants of the region and people who grow them. We learn a lot from observing our plants as they grow but with so many factors impacting the plant, it gets complicated. Farmers follow soil temperature changes like rain forecasts. As gardeners, it is easy … Continue reading

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day September 15th

Welcome to Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. Here in South Dakota, USDA Zone 4-5a, it has been rainy, but the sun is finally out! We appreciate the good rain. Because they are so important for pollen transfer, here at Plant Exchange we’re featuring a few of the plants in bloom that attract pollinators. If you have … Continue reading

Flower and Garden Show Results 2016

Welcome to this week’s Plant Exchange Blog. We hope you will enjoy this display of beautiful plants of the Yankton area and evident skills of flower and garden show entrants. Town and Country Garden Club of the Yankton area held their annual “Flower and Vegetable Show” at the Yankton Community Library earlier this summer. All … Continue reading

Gardening-All in the Family

Welcome to our weekly Plant Exchange Blog where we share about plants that grow in USDA Zone 4-5a on the Northern Plains and the people who grow them. Gardening is more than a pastime to some people. Bruce Fisher of Yankton is a garden advocate at work and home. His children and now grandchildren are … Continue reading

Sustainable Agriculture-Georgia Style

We like the landscaping projects we have worked on to last. We want to enjoy the results. We hope the project solves growing issues we tried to address. We’d like our garden to be sustainable and the environment surrounding the garden to be sustainable. University of South Dakota has a multi-discipline course of study just … Continue reading

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day August 15th

Welcome to Plant Exchange on August 15th “Garden Bloggers Bloom Day” in South Dakota. On the Northern Plains we have lots of sunshine and welcome the rain. Join us to celebrate what’s in bloom and happening in our gardens. For annuals such as petunias, it’s the moment of the summer when they need to be … Continue reading