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bunches of Aronia berries still on a bush

What is This Fruit… And is it Edible?

In mid- to late-summer, we often get the questions: “What kind of fruit is this?” and “Is it edible?” To identify a fruit, it is helpful to know both plant and fruit characteristics: Woody or herbaceous plant? Vining or upright? Do the leaves attach to the stem opposite each other (i.e., paired), or do they alternate from one side of the stem to the other? What size and color are the fruit? Is each fruit’s stem attached directly to the twig, or are they in a cluster that attaches to the twig? And, one question I find often helpful in distinguishing among smaller fruits, does it have a single pit, or are there several seed in each fruit?

A lush, green cluster of garden peas with several pods developed.

Peas: How to Grow It

The most common type of pea in American gardens is the shelling pea, also called the “garden pea” or “English pea.” Tender, sweet peas are removed from thin, tough pods before eating.

A group of black heifer calves in a feedlot.

Using Feedlot Manure as a Crop Nutrient Source

Factsheet that reviews the steps to obtain a manure application rate based on crop need, soil and manure testing.

Green beans growing a garden.

Green Beans: How to Grow It

Snap beans, also called “green beans” or “string beans” (although most modern varieties do not have strings) are harvested when the pods contain immature seeds, and the pods are still succulent.

Two dandelions side by side. The left has a bee foraging on it. The right has a hover fly foraging on it..

Why Those Dandelions in Your Yard Aren’t So Bad

While research has shown that pollinators, specifically honey bees, can’t survive on dandelion pollen alone, this doesn’t mean that the dandelions aren’t still important for pollinators.

A white and gray, mold-like growth on an ear of sweet corn.

What's Bugging Your Garden? Smut on Sweet Corn

Smut is a fungal disease that can attack the leaves, stalks, tassels, silks and cobs. While many fungal diseases cause spots on the leaves or stems, smut is much more flamboyant.

a close up of buckthorn berries

Woody Weeds: Common Buckthorn

When considering weed control in tree plantings, the focus is generally placed on the control of herbaceous vegetation (grasses and forbs), particularly during the establishment phase. This focus is appropriate since control of herbaceous weeds is generally critical to establish a successful planting. As these plantings mature, providing perching sites for birds, another weed problem develops – the establishment of competing woody vegetation. These woody weeds are often left unchecked for many years because they look “natural” in a windbreak or other area of trees.

Green beetle larvae with a white stripe running down its body.

Alfalfa Weevil Activity Prediction Update: June 1, 2020

Activity of alfalfa weevils has been documented in many areas of South Dakota during the last week. At this time, the entire state has accumulated enough degree days for alfalfa weevils to be active.

Two photos of alfalfa weevils during different lifecycle stages. The left is the larva stage and has a longate, green larvae that looks like a caterpillar with white stripe running down the body and brown h

It’s Time to Scout for Alfalfa Weevils

The 2018 and 2019 alfalfa weevil populations were relatively low, and as a result, we didn’t receive very many calls regarding this pest during those years. However, 2020 has been quite a bit different, and alfalfa weevil populations seem to be much higher.

Cucumbers growing on a vine in a garden.

Cucumbers: How to Grow It

Some cucumber varieties form long vines that may ramble or be trellised. Others are bush types that fit more easily into a small garden or even a large container.