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Ted Heeren “Flowerman” and Tom Hurlbert “Oil Can” host Rock Garden Tour Radio on their new Sioux Falls-based internet station, KRGT.
Jay Pickthorn – Argus Leader

Ever considered using paper mache to deter garden pests?

Or wondered if wiener dogs are the natural predator of striped gophers?

The hosts of Rock Garden Tour Radio are asking the serious questions on their new Sioux Falls-based internet station, KRGT.

Ted Heeren, also known by his stage name Flowerman, has been writing and producing a version of Rock Garden Tour Radio since 2000, when he was a student at South Dakota State. Heeren describes his brainchild as “extreme southeast South Dakota’s most interesting rock and gardening show,” celebrating the state along the way.

Tune in and you’ll hear his signature catch phrase: “Keep it rural.”

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Over the years, the show has aired on South Dakota Public Broadcasting and has been performed in front of live audiences.

The next live show will be Saturday in Watertown at the Goss Opera House to benefit 2 Sides of the Same Coin, a local non-profit that helps female entrepreneurs in Uganda.

Heeren, with his sidekick Tom Hurlbert, also known as Oil Can, has held shows all over the state, including one at the base of Mount Rushmore. 

Though the show is running on a new radio station, fans can expect the same old jokes and sound effects from the quirky duo, plus songs from genres as varied as garage, indie, punk, alt country, folk, soul and gospel.

“You take what the rock garden gives you,” said Heeren when discussing how he finds topics for the show.

This week the “garden” gave Flowerman striped gophers. Their tidy holes dot the landscaping in front of his home studio, where the basement serves as command center.

Between songs, Flowerman and Oil Can’s discussion regarding the gophers bounced from the possibility of using a paper mache wiener dog to deter the rodents to planting noxious weeds near their holes in the hopes they would feed on the poisonous plants.

Combining rock music and gardening might seem like a peculiar exercise, but Heeren and Hurlbert feel a variety of citizens in our rural-based region enjoy gardening. Those people also like good music.

With gardening as a platform, much can be discussed. Rock Garden Tour makes an effort to include local people and places in the stories they cover. This emphasis on home and authenticity makes the station unique in an era of consolidation and commercialization.

Heeren and Hurlbert love how personal radio is. When a listener connects with the hosts while discussing an issue, it feels as if the show is just for them.

KRGT is a 24/7 internet radio station that can be found at rockgardentour.com.

Heeren aims to host a live show every other week,…