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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

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

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

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

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day–August 15th

Welcome to Plant Exchange Blog on the Northern Plains. Drought is a challenge this growing season. Plants in a few raised beds, such as these ‘Prairie Sun’ Rudbeckia, are easier to provide adequate moisture in dry conditions. They are quite the sun catchers en masse. The plants were started from seed this season as perennials. Most native … Continue reading

See Some Sunflowers!

Sunflowers are blooming on our deck in containers. Since young plants are often deer candy, another option is growing them in a fenced flowerbed.  Three kinds of dwarf sunflowers are chosen to grow in 17-inch diameter re-cycled plastic pots with plenty of potting medium for hot summer days. Dwarf plants are compact and suited proportionally … Continue reading

Raised Bed Garden Tour

On a summer day, visiting a garden is a way to see some familiar favorite plants. Native Echinacea and cultivars grow well in this region. Pollinators like them too. Deer and rabbits, not so much. It’s also fun to see less typical flowers like this Gaillardia, grown from seed. Sometimes it’s fun to see a … Continue reading

Deck or Porch Gardening

Choosing container plants and gardening on the deck or porch is one way to care for some plants you like. It has these advantages that you may see on the short video.  —In the Plant Exchange region, some gardeners prefer to garden away from deer and rabbits. Fencing is an option, but this is another … Continue reading

Flowers in Hot Weather

We can hardly wait for spring in our Northern Plains region! It’s not uncommon to have lots of cool and erratic temperatures during spring, this year included. Now, as summer begins, the unseasonal sweltering days with little rain stress perennial vines like clematis. Its roots flourish with supplemental soil watering and mulch to slow moisture … Continue reading