Welcome. Colder ground approachingThanksgiving means that the attentive gardener will plant fall bulbs if the soil isn't frozen. Family harvests have been taken into root cellars or stored via canning, freezing, or dehydration. Stove-wood has been laid aside for the certain snowy, northern nights ahead. Gardeners radiate a sense of energy, still seeking refreshing periods in the brisk November air.  

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

In mere hours most of America will be seated to enjoy an anticipated and traditional Thanksgiving meal. Another tradition is offering heartfelt thanks for the abundance of food as well as for our families, friends, and intangibles like happiness, good health and peace.  more

As garden articles speak of winter care for tools, I want to stress the importance of timely maintenance and appropriate care of the gardener...As I garden now, I remind myself I was born in the last century, or put more gently, am over the age of 21.  I have become the target of anxious glances as the cautionary words “…a person of your age…” come my way. more
We who enjoy our gardens know there is a season for all things. We anticipate and then lament the natural rhythm of the gardening year as spring with its catalogs and warming seed beds gives way to productive plants and the harvest and then, as days cool, to making a new compost pile and spreading the old one.  And then we read.  more

This abandoned root cellar in Philip, South Dakota, was once a hub of family food preparation and storage activity.  Today the families are returning again, thanks to the historical preservation of this Prairie Homestead site.  more

Why leave the large, upturned clods of soil in vegetable and annual beds that are replanted every spring, rather than breaking them up? more

 Preserve the Harvest  When fall approaches, that could mean only one thing—harvest! If you’re like us, you have more than you can eat in a week. So we’ve been thinking about all the ways we can preserve our harvest to enjoy in the months to come.  more

Recently I picked up a copy of  “Boomers” magazine, Volume 1 issue 1, and found to my delight a timely discussion of how we can help save pollinators written by Master Gardener, Louise Hespen Engelstad.   more

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

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

High Mountain Gardening. To escape stress-filled days of work in Rapid City, my husband and I endure a daily 50-mile round-trip commute to our home on a mile-high mountaintop near Seth Bullock Peak in the central Black Hills. We value our peace and privacy. Neighbors include chipmunks, deer, elk, coyotes, Ponderosa pines and sky. We call our acreage "Southern Exposure." The sun shines here when it shines nowhere else. And the wind blows, sometimes as a gentle Chinook, sometimes as a blizzard whirlwind.  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 means 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

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


"We had a big garden when the children were young and we were young and strong. We raised virtually everything we ate. We had poultry and two milk cows, and we fattened two meat hogs every year, and a calf, and grew the big garden. It’s extremely gratifying to sit down to a meal you’ve grown every bit of."  more


November garden tips.  One tip is to “Be sure not to store apples or pears with vegetables. The fruits give off ethylene gas which speeds up the breakdown of vegetables and will cause them to develop off flavors.more


Gardening along a creek or narrow river can always provide a source of free emergency water if the dominant systems go down. Fish and other game tend to be available if grocery stores have to be closed for days or weeks on end.

     Sure, the garden area might get flooded now and then, but only rarely.  Some people landscape right down to the water's edge--a unique eco-zone--others put in their canoe or kayak or rubber raft on a hot day, sometimes with an umbrella, to dreamily float by other gardens downstream.  This November scene might even turn to deep ice for skating.



Completely, 100 Percent Off-Grid: 9 Essential Foods You Should Grow

Read now


Are you ready to feed your family by what you grow and raise? If you want to reduce your dependency on the commercial food supply, you better start now. It is important to develop a functional homestead capable of producing enough food to live on before you need it.






Winter squash