Official Newspaper of Eddy County since 1883

Articles written by Tom Kalb

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  • Dakota Gardener: How to plant potatoes

    Tom Kalb|Apr 22, 2024

    Gardeners in North Dakota love to grow and eat potatoes. The average North Dakotan eats over 100 pounds of spuds per year, making it our favorite vegetable. The planting season for potatoes is coming. Here are some quick tips on how to get your crop off to a great start. Get your potato seed from garden centers or seed companies. This seed is certified to be free of diseases. Do not use potatoes from the grocery store or stored from last year's crop. These potatoes may have diseases in them....

  • Dakota Gardener: Growing backyard berries

    Tom Kalb|Aug 14, 2023

    There are only two seasons in the Dakotas: winter and construction season. The temps are currently in the 90s and orange traffic cones are all over our roads. It must be construction season. Let's make a detour away from the veggies in our gardens and focus on strawberry patch construction. No jackhammers are needed but a tiller can be helpful. For those of you without a strawberry patch, get ready for a new construction project. Start by selecting a sunny spot. Next, kill the existing weeds...

  • Dakota Gardener: Watch out for grasshoppers

    Tom Kalb|Jul 17, 2023

    Grasshoppers were devastating in Dakota gardens last year. They devoured many plants from top to bottom. Now the pests are coming back again. What caused this? The weather during the past two years has been perfect for grasshoppers. First, grasshoppers love a long, warm summer. This gives the insects plenty of time to eat, mate and lay lots of eggs. Last summer was long and warm. We had huge swarms of grasshoppers to begin with, and they feasted and laid a tremendous number of eggs. One female...

  • Dakota Gardener: Do not buy ladybugs

    Tom Kalb, NDSU Extension horticulturist|Jun 19, 2023

    The ladybug is a gardener's best friend. This beneficial insect is like the sheriff in our gardens, protecting our plants from aphids and other bad bugs. Ladybugs have voracious appetites, too. One ladybug can eat 50 aphids a day and over 5,000 aphids in its lifetime. Although ladybugs are our friends, don't buy them for your garden. You will be wasting your money. There are dozens of different species of ladybugs (more properly called lady beetles) in the Dakotas. The most commonly sold lady be...

  • Dakota Gardener: Growing sweet potatoes in the North

    Tom Kalb|Mar 28, 2022

    Do you like sweet potatoes? I love them. Sweet potatoes are a favorite food for Thanksgiving, and my kids love sweet potato fries. Can we grow sweet potatoes in North Dakota? It’s not easy. Sweet potatoes are from the tropics. They need a long growing season, a lot of heat and moist soil. That does not suit us well in North Dakota. We have one of the shortest, coldest and driest growing seasons in the U.S. Many sweet potatoes harvested in North Dakota are scrawny and yields are low. Don’t be...