Not Just Another Lowly Plant

Some plants around us aren’t featured these days in greenhouses. Wind and birds may propagate them in vacant lots. We may consider them as weeds. In their understory way, they may contribute their part in ecology and sometimes have attributes that become beneficial. Amur maple may be pruned as a shrub or grow naturally as … Continue reading

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day–October 15th

Welcome to Plant Exchange blog on the Northern Plains (USDA Zone 4b-5a). Temperatures are 59 to predicted 37 degrees F today and trending downwards, but we have enjoyed a mild beginning to Fall—no killing frost yet, but soon.  Now we take in the colors of Autumn. The photo near the Lewis & Clark Recreation Area entrance … Continue reading

Midwest Plant Breeder Hans Hansen

Flowers and foliage in yards and public spaces have been beautiful this season! Where do the new bright colors and variety of leaf patterns originate?  At Plant Exchange, we’ll focus on one plant breeder who may have introduced a yellow False Indigo, Hosta, coral Monarda, pink Phlox, or red hibiscus you have seen growing nearby. … Continue reading

A Few Extra Days of Fall

While this Northern Plains region can have mild fall days, weeks in a row has been a treat. These are rare days to enjoy the change of season before the first hard frost frenzy. Deer often like our garden variety in their vegetarian diets, and at least one has a zinnia craving–just the flowers and terminal … Continue reading

Regional Plant-Related Event

South Dakota Specialty Producers Association 2021 S.D. Local Foods Conference Yankton, S.D.- The annual South Dakota Local Foods Conference (SDLFC) is scheduled for Nov. 4-6, 2021. This year’s SDLFC is a three day, virtual event celebrating local food production and use in South Dakota. All supporters of local food are invited to attend, listen to, and discuss … Continue reading

Is Gardening Worth It?

Celebrating Fall and letting go of the garden is a part of the season’s transition. Seeing for yourself a positive balance of rewards to risks makes gardening for flowers, food, and fun worthwhile. Let’s look at the evidence today that held this writer’s interest. Rudbeckia transplanted in late summer drought have healthy leaves and appear … Continue reading

Transition for Flowers and Vegetables

Mid-September is a weather transition in this region, with high temperatures bouncing from 70 – 80 degrees F. with cool evenings and a few windy or hot days. Tree leaves mostly haven’t begun to turn yet. Movable container plants for color have been versatile and easy to maintain in this drought.  Cardinal vine on the … Continue reading

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day–September 15th

Welcome to Plant Exchange Blog on the Northern Plains. Our region is USDA Zone 4a-5b with lots of prairie breeze. Drought conditions and days exceeding 90 degrees F. have challenged gardeners to maintain annuals, perennials, trees, and shrubs. By mid-September, the produce harvest has reached heights and declines near the first frost in about a … Continue reading

A Pollinator Question

On this mild 81-degree F. day in early September, the significant needs of viable plants in our yards and gardens are being met. Let’s consider a topic that may impact harvest. Vines of cucumbers and squash in the home garden have had many flowers this season and unusually few vegetables. Are there enough pollinators? Mosquitos … Continue reading

More About Container Sunflowers

Sunflowers are known for the sterile yellow, red, orange, or purple ray flowers and the seed and pollen-producing disc flowers.  Helianthus annuus, in bloom as fall approaches in this region, is found in vacant lots and along road rights-of-way. Most sunflowers are annuals that may re-seed.  Sunflowers are native to the North and South American … Continue reading