Why would an Alaskan want to read a Master Gardener Handbook written for California? This California Master Gardener Handbook is very well written. It is a comprehensive work written by twenty-five different authors who have both vast knowledge and experience in all aspects of how to successfully grow all kinds of plants. In addition to the authors there are eight collaborators all of whom are experts in their respective fields. The book was rigorously peer reviewed and completely scrutinized. This book was an enormous and complex project the scope of which is unprecedented. This book is currently the gold standard written for the benefit of the layperson: however, it was also pointed out to me that the “Alaska’s Sustainable Gardening Handbook” has been updated and contains a wealth of information relevant to the State of Alaska. So you may want to acquire that one, first.
California grows a lot of crops and other plants, shrubs and trees. California feeds tens of million of people. And chances are that even many Alaskans eat something that was grown in California. The state has a wide and varied climate. So the takeaway for an Alaskan regarding the aforementioned handbook is that plant biology, soil science, water management and other key aspects of growing a garden are the same in California as they are in Alaska; therefore, you can use this handbook as a valuable reference guide.
A Peek Inside
One of my favorite chapters is “Soil and Fertilizer Management”, Chapter 3. Good soil management is one of the most important aspects of becoming a successful gardener no matter where you live. And this chapter is just great!
Another great chapter covers “home vegetable gardening”. Reading it can really jump start your way of thinking and how you plan and manage a home garden.
By the time you get to chapter 21 you should feel like you have the knowledge to become a master gardener. The Handbook offers a lot of troubleshooting tips and methods to diagnose problems yourself and where to seek help when you need it.
In conclusion I’d like to simply reiterate that this book is a winner!