Many South Dakotans are dealing with flood issues following recent blizzards and record-breaking rain.
The early spring weather has vegetable gardeners ready to proceed with caution into planting the first round of vegetables in South Dakota. Cool season vegetables are those that prefer cool growing temperatures between 60 degrees to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and lose quality in hot weather.
I have been in lots of public places and in some homes, too, where I have seen plants that have just gotten too big for their location. In fact, the large building that I used to work in often ended up as a sanctuary or in some cases dumping ground for those plants that just got too big or too tall. Some of those plants are still in that large space but a few were moved on to the compost pile too because they had pest or disease problems on top of being too big.
Fire blight is a disease that can infect apples, pears, and certain ornamental species including crabapples, cotoneaster, and mountain ash. Occasionally it may also appear on cherries, plums, Juneberry (also called Serviceberry or Saskatoon), and raspberry. This disease, caused by the bacteria Erwinia amylovora, can damage blossoms, fruit, leaves, shoots, and branches. If it is not controlled, fire blight may kill the entire tree or shrub. Infected tissue cannot be cured, but will need to be removed from the tree to prevent further spread.
Coleus have long been a great plant for gardens, generally grown as foliage plants that offer a huge diversity of foliage colors, and can be grown in a diversity of soils, in part shade to sun. In recognition of this important garden plant, the National Public Garden Bureau has declared 2015 the Year of the Coleus.
Fall is a busy time for farmers in the northern Great Plains, harvesting thousands of acres of corn and soybeans. Not too far away, in central and northern Wisconsin the harvest was in full swing too, but the crop they are harvesting is a small fruit called the cranberry. Wisconsin is the leading state in cranberry production, growing 60% of all of the cranberries consumed in the United States.