These lush green July days remind us of the gardening joys of summer immersion. Click on Upcoming Events under the Welcome tab. And remember to check the site frequently for additional and updated information!
Midsummer weeds and events. I feel that time slows in the garden the last week of July and the first of August. Few of the dearly desired vegetables and fruits are ripe yet. Some late-arriving blister beetles have gnawed a few leaves but care for the garden seems manageable. That is until I take a serious look at the weeds. Yowza! What a year for weeds! more
Here's a quick question....are you being bugged by bugs? More specifically, the seriously irritating dusty millers (correctly named Miller moths)? They are currently appearing in the evenings around both indoor and outdoor lights. The Miller moths, according to sources, are the adult form of the army cutworm. In the fall the moths will return from the Rockies where they have been feeding to the plains and lay eggs in and near alfalfa and small grains fields.
After a few weeks the eggs hatch into cutworm caterpillars to spend the winter. In the spring the caterpillars burrow into the ground to emerge later as moths. All is not paradise for many of the moths feeding in the high meadows of the Rockies.They attract grizzly bears that enjoy eating them. There are many fascinating facts to be learned about these mid-summer irritations. Google 'Miller moths' for more information.
Gardening in the community. There are many Master Gardeners in western South Dakota. Many took the training to further their own garden interests. Others of us volunteer in community projects and community outreach events. We are surely not invisible, but some of the projects might be lesser known. more
Mulberries wanted. Do you know of someone that has mulberries or an excess of them here in the Rapid City area that I could contact and ask if I would be welcome to come and pick some? Christal Krein
Bothersome wasps? This video will show you how to use paper bags from the grocery store to set up a rival wasp nest. This solution is simple, quick, no cost, and chemical free. Tender-hearted gardeners will appreciate the fact that wasps aren't really "destroyed," only made to feel unwelcome. Of course, the same benefit can accrue to back-deck loungers, roofers, and others working on house-repair projects.
Into a Wet, Wet Summer. The summer solstice, June 21, ushered in what must be called “the 2014 Black Hills monsoon season.” Many of us gardeners feel that we must choose between going into the garden equipped with swim fins and a snorkel or else consider raising rice this year. Not that I am complaining – paradise for me is walking through pastures of almost waist high grass – a gift of the rain. more
I once had a friend who wrote a humor column. We asked how he always had something funny to write about. He answered that everything that he saw, heard or read he ran through a “humor filter” in his mind that captured funny bits. I confess to employing the same filtering process. It causes me to quote poetry, dredge up pieces of obscure history and make possibly vague connections between gardening and some event or person. more
Good news! Bugs are finally getting good press. Or, to put it another way: insects are vital to worldwide food production. Bees, as we know, are acknowledged to be a keystone species whose reduction or removal from the habitat would be devastating. more
James Madison, American Gardener. Exactly 196 years and 10 days ago on May 12, 1818, James Madison, barely out of office as the fourth President of the United States delivered an address to the Agricultural Society of Albemarle, Virginia on the occasion of his accepting the presidency of that organization. mor
July gardening tips: For fall harvest of lettuce, radish, carrots, beets, turnips, kale and spinach, sow seeds in late July to early August. Continue to make successive plantings of crops like beans and sweet corn to provide a continuous harvest until fall. A small garden will produce a large quantity of vegetables if replanting is done throughout the summer. more
Garden standoff: Creeping Jenny. I hand weed and pull the jenny from the two problem gardens. This gets me close to the beds to see what’s going on. It also allows me to continuously deprive the jenny of its vigor. Further, I know that there is beneficial soil bacterial action around those roots and air and water are moving in the spaces roots create. I buy nothing. I spend a couple of hours a week on jenny control, knowing that on my team I have eight fungi, 10 arthropods and an understanding of the plant to aid me in the battle. more
Do you wonder how to recognize GMO produce in the fresh food section of the grocery store? Click on the Foods tab for information to give meaning to the ID numbers