BROOKINGS — For nearly 30 years, Garden Line was South Dakota’s source for lawn-and-garden advice. Produced by South Dakota State University (SDSU) Extension and broadcast through the South Dakota Public Broadcasting network, Garden Line featured Extension educators and specialists in horticulture, entomology, soil science, weed management, forestry, wildlife and more. Each week throughout the growing season, viewers could tune into the live show to ask questions and get expert advice.
“Garden Line captured the hearts of many South Dakotans for many years, providing timely information on all things gardening, while providing listeners a direct connection with SDSU experts to answer questions ranging from when to plant and what to plant, to how to maintain those plants throughout the growing season,” says Rhoda Burrows, SDSU Extension Horticulturist. “Video clips and real-life samples — and occasionally live creatures — served as illustrations and sometimes unintentional entertainment for the audience.”
While Garden Line was canceled in 2011 due to budget cuts, the spirit behind the program has lived on through SDSU Extension. This May, the horticulture team is excited to announce the launch of a new virtual program, Garden Hour.
Every Tuesday from 7 to 8 p.m. CST, South Dakotans are invited to join the online discussion as SDSU Extension horticulture specialists tackle the latest gardening and landscaping questions from across the state. The program will kick off May 4, with the final session slated for Sept. 28.
Garden Hour will be hosted by Burrows, along with John Ball, Professor, SDSU Extension Forestry Specialist and South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (SDDANR) Forest Health Specialist.
“Garden Hour will include many features of Garden Line, including SDSU experts on hand to answer gardening questions live, video clips and timely advice through the growing year,” Burrows says. “There will also be guest experts throughout the season to add expertise in topics, such as lawn care and pest-and-weed control for homeowners.”
Garden Hour will be recorded for viewing convenience and published on the SDSU Extension YouTube channel, however Burrows encourages participants to join the live Zoom to submit questions during the program.
There is no fee to attend, but participants will need to register for the weekly webinars on the SDSU Extension Events page. Confirmation Zoom links and reminders will be emailed to attendees.
In addition to Garden Hour, the SDSU Extension Garden Hotline staff will be available to help South Dakota citizens with their gardening questions this growing season. The service is free to South Dakota home gardeners.
Local horticulture assistants respond to calls and email inquiries throughout the spring, summer and fall. Participants can expect to receive individualized and research-based solutions on topics, such as plants, lawns, trees, insects and other horticulture questions.
The contact information for the three SDSU Extension Garden Hotlines are:
• Aberdeen (open year-round): email@example.com; 605-626-2876
• Sioux Falls (open mid-March-Oct.): firstname.lastname@example.org; 605-782-3298
• Rapid City (open mid-March-Oct.): email@example.com; 605-394-6814
Citizens are welcome to contact any location if they do not live near a garden hotline center.
To receive regular updates and the latest resources on gardening and landscaping, South Dakotans are also encouraged to subscribe to Extension’s new bi-weekly Garden and Yard newsletter.
South Dakotans are also welcome to visit the SDSU Extension Garden and Yard Problems and Solutions page for additional resources and contact information.