Filed under Dibbles And Bits

Where Do Tomatoes Originate?

Welcome to a couple of “Dibbles and Bits” at Plant Exchange blog. The first is about the origin of tomatoes, followed by what influences the Ginkgo tree to live so long. The quest for the tastiest and then largest tomato is part of the garden season lore.  Finding the “roots” of tomatoes may help in … Continue reading

Would You Like to Try a Garden Cover?

Spring is here!  The first naturalized daffodil to bloom! The weather beckons to start the garden season on the Northern Plains. Likely ahead, at least a month, is unsettled weather with gusty winds, roller coaster temperatures, and grab-a-book-and read-outside days. Maybe you’d like to consider a garden cover for some root vegetables in early spring. Garden … Continue reading

Dibbles and Bits

Today at Plant Exchange, we’re featuring bits about a flower’s nectar supply, thoughts before planting, and plant pests from the USA. How soon does a flower visited by pollinators replace its nectar? Nectar attracts pollinators to the flower and then helps the plant by moving pollen to other flowers.  Natalie Hamilton for Smithsonian magazine, December 2020, responded … Continue reading

Monarch Milkweed a Crop?

After a recent Plant Exchange Monarch butterfly feature, tidbits from Kate-Lyn Bunney’s blog related to her nonprofit MonarchJointVenture.org came to light.  She featured an article about some of the Monarch’s favorite food and habitat, milkweed.   Milkweed grows foliage and blooms in this region near the end of June when some migrating Monarchs might be headed north, … Continue reading

Chill Outside

In winter on the Northern Plains, everything pauses in layers of snow.  Nature highlights what is hidden.  Favorite plants around us receive ornaments. In our suspended animation, tree buds swell in the promise of coming spring.  We are so fortunate to see it.

Dibbles and Bits

It’s a reflective time of year. Even bunnies are pausing a moment as they find today’s path. Plant lovers thinking about next gardening season have all the seed catalogs a table can hold and plenty online besides. At Plant Exchange, garden magazines are a hit for reading and reflection now. Articles in the January/February 2021 … Continue reading

Three Easy-Care Houseplants

Adequate quality light in winter is necessary for healthy houseplants. In this USDA 4-5a growing zone on the Northern Plains, lack of satisfactory light quality indoors can be a problem. Choosing plants with a tolerance to lower light increases the chance they can adapt to the indirect winter sunlight they receive.  These houseplants can be … Continue reading

Almost Missed It

In the middle of the growing season, when container sunflowers on the deck look as beautiful as these, it would be easy to miss a not-so-showy failsafe of Nature.  When we think of a flower’s role in plant longevity, producing seeds come to mind. Then we look for friendly pollinators that help make that happen.  … Continue reading

A Little Myth Dispelled about Ants

Because people sometimes find common ants on a bouquet of peonies, a mythical explanation is that peonies need ants to bloom. Not true. Ants and peonies do help each other. Ants eat the sweet nectar on peony blooms, and the pugnacious ants discourage some other floral-feeding insects, to the ant and peony mutual benefit.  Ants don’t … Continue reading

How Does a Winter-Flowering Plant Make Seed?

Camellias are introduced plants from Japan and nearby Asian countries that have adapted well in the Southeast United States for more than a hundred years. In the south, camellias bloom in the fall or winter or early spring, sometimes before bulb plants. In nature, not many plants bloom at this time. Camellias are shrubs with … Continue reading