Nurseryman and author Eric Bergeson is touring North Dakota to promote good gardening, tree planting and fruit growing practices in the harsh conditions and alkaline soils of the northern prairie.
"I plan to visit 50 of North Dakota's largest cities," he said, "plus Zap."
Bergeson's seventh book, "Successful Gardening on the Northern Prairie," is in its third printing and has sold over 13,000 copies since it was published in 2017.
Bergeson will speak at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 8, at McElroy Park in Jamestown.
"My goal is to encourage people to keep it simple," he said, adding that the long days of summer sunshine in the north mean people can grow bigger vegetables and more vigorous annuals than points south.
"We have to get the soil right first," he said. "Once that is taken care of, we can have a lot of fun."
Bergeson said he wrote his book because the information given by the national gardening media does not address the unique conditions on the northern prairie.
"Our cold is an obvious issue," he said, "but our heavy, alkaline soils make us truly unique."
Addressing the issue of soil is not difficult, he said, but even experienced gardeners too often neglect the task.
Bergeson advocates tree planting on the prairie, but said one must choose varieties carefully.
"With trees, there is little room to experiment," he said, adding that one doesn't want to waste years on varieties which perish in the next hard winter.
"But with veggies, annuals and even perennials, people can try new varieties without losing their shirt."
For 17 years, Bergeson owned Bergeson Nursery in Fertile, Momm/, a business started by his grandfather Melvin Bergeson in 1936, before recently selling to his brother, Joe, and sister-in- law, Kae.
"I have been in the business since I was 5," he said, adding that helping people beautify their yards and raise their own food has been "fun and rewarding."