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

Find the Right Place

Now is the time in the summer to consider trying a new spot for in-ground perennials. Ones that get too much or not enough sun or are unsuitable for the site.  Plants that are moved need to establish and begin to grow more roots before the ground freezes. Around the end of August gives the … Continue reading

Garden Notes

The impact of several ninety-degree days and the earlier dark of the evening are hard to miss as you walk through the garden. Pollinators are busy early and late, resting in the heat of the day. Joe Pye Weed, a four-foot back-of-the-garden perennial, draws a variety of pollinators.  Few Monarch pollinators are around so far … 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