Bring on the pumpkins, the apple cider, the falling and blowing leaves. This is a busy time for  man and beast. Final harvest in the garden  is exciting...with, perhaps a wistful memory of summer. And, as we can or freeze our harvest or dry herbs and flowers, we remember the pleasures of being in the summer garden and the social and family pleasure that will bring us as we enter the season of sharing meals and gratitude.

Questions or comments are always welcome.  We'll try to get right back to you.  

Email us, Cathie Draine and Brad Morgan, at gardeners@blackhillsgarden.com



Save the date!!! March 7th is Spring Fever. Watch for more information!!

Winter dreams and garden impermanence.  Our “weather memories” are often short term and inaccurate which allows all of us, including me, to redefine “autumn.” Beautiful foliage and bountiful harvests aside for the moment, I think of autumn primarily as a time of CHANGE.  more

Autumn gold shines in the Black Hills.  Word association for most of us is a fun game along the lines of “What comes to your mind when you hear this word?” I was playing that game with myself and happened to glance at the unbelievable beauty of every tree in Rapid City clad in leaves of gold.  more

Seriously Strange Growing Season. Most gardeners are quite willing to say, “I don’t know” when faced with a question or situation that they don’t understand. It’s a fine answer. It’s truthful.  

            However, for many of us, this truthful admission of bewilderment or ignorance was pilloried time and time again by this seriously strange growing season. more

Gardening Is Doorway to Mindfulness.  Fall is the time of gathering-in, of vegetables, of seeds, or of ideas. It was those latter that I gathered in during the recent annual state-wide Master Gardener Update in Yankton. more

Gardening in the Fall.  I take little pleasure that the recent foul and garden devastating weather set records. I tried to practice philosophical acceptance: seasons change, (tomato) plants mature and die; uncontrollable weather happens. That barely works to raise my spirits as I pull blacked and limp stems from my vegetable pots…Aha! Pots. There were some real successes so let’s begin there.  more

Autumnal Equinox.  So what if the first day of autumn, astrologically speaking is September 21? 

In this season of almost daily monsoonal torrents, cucurbits covered with virtual pelts of mold, gray rather than blue skies and weeds that rival Jack’s beanstalk, we struggle on to the harvest. Does it matter that meteorologically speaking, the first day of autumn was September 1?

           I’d say, “Not really,” and join the phenologists who cannily determine seasonal change by the behavior of plants and animals. Our sybaritic cat called the season by shifting from active predator of voles to the stationary comfort of my bed pillows. It’s autumn, for sure. The cat said somore

The handplant tree order form from the Pennington County Soil Conservation District is now available online.  Most trees and shrubs cost $1.  A Rapid City phone number will answer questions and sign you up for the printed "District News" newsletter.  more


November gardening tip.  If you don't have turkeys to clean things up, "Remove all mummified fruit from fruit trees and rake up and destroy those on the ground. Also, rake and dispose of apple and cherry leaves. Good sanitation practices reduce reinfestation of insects and diseases the following season." more

BLOSSOM END ROT (watch video) is a black blemish on the underside of the fruit, caused by irregular watering, insufficient water and also lack of calcium. Liming an acid soil helps avoid this disorder.   Video will show how to use one Tums tablet (calcium carbonate) in gallon of water to make a quick spray.   more

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.  

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

The Region November by Wallace Stevens