Filed under Vegetables and Fruits

Garden Start Up Notes

The garden start up can require extra time and energy. We’re considering ways that help gardening year to year. For example, some community gardeners learn that reserving last year’s well-weeded garden plot again may result in less weeding time this season. A Fall to Spring cover for the vegetable garden may hold the topsoil in … Continue reading

Are We There Yet?

Are we ready to plant transplants this start-stop spring? By the calendar, for sure. This is a view of our flower plants that will grow outdoors soon.  In this USDA Hardiness 4-5a region, the air temperatures have been in the low 70’s F. most days. Still, the soil temperatures are lagging as expected. The transition … Continue reading

Plants Adjust to Spring

Plants are adjusting to spring all around us. Multi-taskers (like humans), many trees, shrubs, and perennials are forming leaves and flowering.  As many plants begin spring activity after dormancy, they need startup energy. Leaves use sunlight to make food. Extra energy is also required for flowering to start procreation. Plants like daffodils and tulips use … Continue reading

Seeds of Value

Seeds hold the plant’s potential to become a standout vegetable crop or an ornamental that attracts many pollinators. Many people value, protect, and seek to preserve seeds, including those in seed libraries, seed banks, and with an international seed vault. Seed libraries in this region may show how gardeners can save open-pollinated seeds from plants … Continue reading

When Do We Plant the Garden?

With delayed spring weather this year, soil temperatures must be warmer to germinate most seeds. To find the approximate soil temperature in our area, the Mesonet at shows current soil readings for select locations around South Dakota. At Beresford, today’s bare soil temperature is 34 to 44 degrees F. The soil warms more slowly than average … Continue reading

Dibbles and Bits

Butterflies and bees are nowhere in sight on this snowy day in March. Still, the flowers and vegetables that we consider for spring depend on pollinators. Today’s features include thinking bees, Monarchs, and native plants that draw pollinators. Thinking Bee:  From the first bees we see on fruit trees, to summer zinnias, to cucumbers in the … Continue reading

Before the Spring “Last Frost” Date

Even with snow cover, the pre-spring gardening tempo is beginning to accelerate. An hour longer daylight in the evening makes it harder to ignore the past holiday plants, seed catalogs, and winter is over soon stack of books. These are some gardening thoughts here at Plant Exchange Blog.  1.   This local region’s average last-killing frost is … Continue reading

Citrus Winter Treat

Where’s the fun on this snowy winter day? For local turkeys, the birdfeeders are empty, so they keep on looking for something new.  At Plant Exchange blog in the dead of winter, we crave the stored sunshine and Vitamin C of citrus fruits and like discovering more about them. Sumo Mandarin is a special treat, … Continue reading

Palms From the Land of Milk and Honey

Palms are trees that grow in the full sun of warm and dry or humid climates, such as the Middle East, northern Africa, the European Mediterranean, Mexico, California, Florida, and Arizona. Not here on the Northern Plains. Waving palm fronds at a Palm Sunday church service and eating dates in a Christmas fruitcake is a … Continue reading

Precious Water Resource

This week, a news story aired about the nearest large city exploring additional sources of drinking water. Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in the middle of the United States, has experienced the second year of drought, and aquifers need to be recharged. Water is a precious resource for humans, plants, and animals.  Also this week, a … Continue reading