Where do I Start?..................

Even though it is increasingly possible to purchase commercially grown native plants (flowers, grasses and shrubs) in reputable nurseries, they cannot be thought of as 6-packs of petunias or pleasant pots of geraniums. Pennington County Master Gardener and native plant authority, Louise Engelstad,lists some reference books that are helpful guides and indicates her favorites in parenthesis. (All books are available from Amazon.com or other online sources.)

 Growing trees on the Great Plains. Brazell, Margaret. Fulcrum Publishing, 1992. (one of my favorites) Even though this book is out of print, thankfully it is still available from on-line vendors. This is to "go-to" book for establishing and growing trees in the demanding Great Plains setting.

Denver Water. Xeriscape plant guide: 100 water-wise plants for gardens and landscapes. Fulcrum Publishing, 1996. (one of my favorites)

The American meadow garden: creating a natural alternative to the traditional lawn.By John Greenlee and Saxon Holt. Photographs by Saxon Holt. Timber press, 2009. (one of my favorites)

Ornamental grasses for western gardens. Raff, Marilyn. Johnson Books, 2005. (one of my favorites)

Natural landscaping: gardening with nature to create a backyard paradise
.  Sally Roth. Rodale Press, 1997. (one of my favorites)

Sunset Western garden book. 8th edition. Sunset Publishing, 2007. (one of my favorites)

Best perennials for the Rocky mountains and High Plains. Tannehill, Celia and James Klett.Bulletin 573A. Colorado State University, 2002.

Gardening with prairie plants: how to create beautiful native landscapes
.Wasowski, Sally. University of Minnesota Press, 2002.

Creating the prairie xeriscape: low-maintenance, water-efficient gardening. Williams, Sara. University of Saskatchewan, 1997.



How To Store Potatoes For 20-Plus Years

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If 20 years sounds like a long time to store potatoes, then it might surprise you to know that “fresh” potatoes in the grocery store are often 11 months old when you buy them. Modern developments in commercial food storage allow growers to store produce with a chemical (1-methylcyclopropene), which extends the shelf life of vegetables.


Of course, fresh potatoes won’t last 20 years, but you can dehydrate them to get that kind of long-term shelf life while maintaining nutritional value.

Now save carrots for 20 years with a dehydrator