Welcome. Spring has sprung. Celestial forces earlier steered us toward the spring equinox on March 20, and we continue to enjoy green hues overtaking grasses in the Black Hills. Snow storms are more like squalls, mixed with sunny cool periods, coffee alfresco, and the sudden emergence of hardy flower pioneers. This is a busy time for all creatures, gardeners included. The industrious dip into canned and frozen vegetables from long-gone summers. Our lives are now preoccupied with seeds. We can occasionally smell the warm earth, and the planting renaissance that awaits.
Latest information on 2017 Master Gardener training to be held this summer...
Here is the Garden Planting Calendar for the Black Hills and Rapid City. Plan your spring planting of vegetables by dates now with this free guide.
Frost and cold tolerances of fruits and vegetables. Tips for helping with survival. more
Happy fifth day of spring! Many of us are waiting for the stirring of the actinomycetes bacteria in the soil to release their sweet smell of spring. Others of us, myself included, perform the spring search and stoop. more
Here’s a question for gardeners: “What is the NRCS and what does it do?” and the answer is not “Why should I care?” The NRCS is the National Resources Conservation Service and is “…the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s principal agency for providing conservation technical assistance to private landowners, conservation districts, tribes and other organizations.” more
Alfred, Lord Tennyson (English poet, 1809-1892) was probably correct when he observed in his painfully long “Locksley Hall” that “In the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love…” But we gardeners are experiencing a pseudo spring; just warm enough to drive us mad as we search for signs of returning plant life in the garden. more
Winter sowing. If you speak those words one could ask, “Who can plant in the snow?” or “Mending? Sewing? I need a blizzard to do that.” more
This is a garden column I never believed I would write. Its topic is the helpfulness of computers for gardeners. Many years ago – almost twenty, I started writing the Digs column. I thought my computer might be a great help to me because of the statements, at that time, that computers were to be considered as research libraries. more
“Name-dropping” is conversational one-upmanship to impress about business associates or hint at great wealth or life experience. It’s also considered tactless and an exercise of bad manners.
This is emphatically NOT the case when discussing the wonderful history of the “Scarlet” runner bean. Many years ago I noticed (and then forgot) its beautiful deep red sweet pea-like flowers. I also forgot its vigor and its attraction for bees, butterflies and birds as well as small children who love to play in a tipi covered in the vines. more