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WELCOME

Welcome. The little ones are busy with books and pencils and rulers, while the big ones find solitary moments preparing for the post-harvest garden. The call of freedom. Family nutrition couldn't be better.  Some cooler days mean putting up stove-wood for the hardy, northern nights ahead. Gardeners radiate a sense of restfulness, proof of more periods spent outdoors, escaping at times the artificial confines of air-conditioned life within walls. Wild creatures offer us free tutorials about what needs to get done. 

Questions or comments are always welcome.  We'll try to get back to you right away.  Email us, Cathie Draine and Brad Morgan at gardeners@blackhillsgarden.com

Let's face it, we all like happy endings...most gardeners I know who love and grow the heirlooms are passionate about the history these plants carry, their toughness, their value to the horticultural industry and their place in history. Promoting the Sylvestris tulip brings me no closer to Thomas Jefferson who grew these tulips at Monticello, but it does give me membership in the generations of growers who have loved this little plant since the 1500s.  Plant some history this fall. Be thrilled in the spring.  more

   9/16/2017 -- After dividing, I have several tall bearded iris plants that were dug this fall, about 2 weeks ago, that I will give away.  There are multiple colors, but they are not sorted.  Beautiful iris from Schreiners.  If you would like some, give me a call at 605-718-8715.  more classifieds

No-Till Gardening -- If You Love Your Soil, Ditch the Tiller. Tillers seem to be that go-to tool we’ve always used for what it was made 

to do - break up the earth. We till 

to clear a plot to start a garden, 

turn weeds under, or just mix up the soil.  more

 

For all practical purposes growing for the season is wrapping up and harvesting and evaluating the garden has begun. Our new garden has provided generously for us – all the summer squash, zucchini, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, chard, kale and lettuce our hearts could desire. The pollinator garden thrived and is reseeding for next year. more

 

The summer has delivered brain-boiling heat followed by sanity restoring coolness with 48-degree mornings. But what we still feel is heat. That’s HEAT. We have had it in blistering amounts and one can find dire pronouncements that 2017 will be the hottest year on record. That is at least since planet Earth was a bubbling molten mass. more

Growing healthy soil for our new garden over the winter and spring for a functioning summer garden took trust in what I knew, faith in the process and a lot of interesting help…from earthworms, compost , fungi, woodchips and some hungry birds.  I admit in moments of irrational desperation I considered chemically killing the sod on the 40 x 50 foot proposed garden.  more

The South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) is encouraging residents to check any newly purchased nursery stock for Japanese beetle.  The adult Japanese beetle is under one-half of an inch long and has a shiny, metallic-green body with bronze-colored outer wings. more

Gardening in Spearfish also means a Farmers Market as well as small farms and produce outlets now using online technology to promote community awareness, including Lookout Gardens, Moonrise Mountain Ranch, and Good Earth Natural Foods.    more

An updated guide to "Growing Tomatoes in South Dakota" is now available for download.  "Few vegetables inspire us more than home-grown tomatoes, bursting with vine-ripe flavor. Tomatoes are easy to grow in containers or in the ground, and are excellent sources of vitamins A and C, as well as cancer-fighting lycopenes."

Black Hills Guide to Landscaping with Deer Resistant Plants.  As gardeners, we all know what it’s like to feel protective of our plants. For that matter, we all share a desire for keeping animals out of the garden bed. In the Black Hills region of western South Dakota, there’s a handful of native wildlife to be found throughout the region, occasionally rummaging through the contents of your garden. Although coyotes, rabbits, mountain goats, and mountain lions all report regular sightings throughout the season, the biggest threat to your garden is mostly likely the whitetail and mule deer.  More

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September garden tips.  One tip is to “Allow plants to finish the summer growth cycle in a normal manner. Never encourage growth with heavy applications of fertilizer or excessive pruning at this time. Plants will delay their dormancy process that has already begun in anticipation of winter in the months ahead. New growth can be injured by an early freeze.”more

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The September garden is a perfect opportunity to take up the pencil or watercolor brush, even for the first time. Keeping a journal fixes ideas almost permanently.  We're reminded that we draw (in words or art) what we want to remember--but take photos of what we want to forget.
   

News

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Root cellars are making a comeback! Having fresh food without electricity has great advantages for those interested in food security. We’ve had so many power outages where we live (the electricity lines going through forest trees) that having food on hand that isn’t dependent on electricity is a major bonus. Although I’m trying to grow food year-round and have awesome fall and winter gardening (even with northern winters & snow!) there is a point that the snow becomes too deep and crops are harvested and stored in root cellars.