Welcome. Cool nights and sunny days allow us to watch the coming harvest in the throes of being born. Windy days are mixed with now frequent sounds of lawn-mowing engines, coffee alfresco, and the sudden emergence of long-absent bird species. Alert gardeners keep a wary eye out for ticks and early rattlesnakes. Gardeners radiate a sense of tranquility, proof of more time spent outdoors. Our lives are now preoccupied with fecundity. We can smell the warm earth, and the planting renaissance that is underway.  

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

I had to check Wikipedia to get a solid description of the increasingly popular and loved garden broadfork. Local broadfork user, Piedmont gardener Brenda Pates lovingly calls her 28 pound, all metal 4-tined broadfork from Meadow Creature “the bomb.”  more

Warming days and slowly warming nights have every gardener I know eager, almost desperate to get his or her hands in the soil. And some are eagerly preparing  for an annual beginning of the gardening season event – tilling the garden.  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

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

The handplant tree order form from the Pennington County Soil Conservation District is now available online.  Most trees and shrubs now cost $2.  A Rapid City phone number will answer questions and sign you up for the printed "District News" newsletter.  more
May gardening tip.  See May on green tab above. One tip will soon become more important: "Newly transplanted vegetable plants should be protected from cutworms with collars. Cut strips of cardboard two inches wide by eight inches long, staple them into circles and place them around the plants. Press the collar about one inch into the soil. These collars will fence out the cutworms and protect the stems of the vegetable plants."  more




The 8 Seeds That Can Store At Least 5 Years

While storage methods have a big impact on seed longevity, the type of cultivar also makes a difference. Some of the longest-lasting seeds are members of the cabbage family (Brassicaceae), but there are eight different types of vegetable seeds that will remain viable for about five years, even if not frozen:

  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Muskmelons
  • Spinach
  • Radishes
  • Lettuce

more such survival gardening from Off the Grid News