Naked Mojitos, Purple Flowers, and Fancy Hot Chocolate

After having the pleasure of trying my hand at growing and using a few different cultivars, my sweet tooth ultimately tipped the scales in favor of chocolate mint. This species is readily available at nurseries, grocery stores, and other large home improvement convenience stores. It is a strong grower, and in my humble opinion, the best of the frequently available mint varieties to make mojitos with.  Chocolate mint is a peppermint that is a cross between watermint and spearmint (mentha x piperita). It has a USDA hardiness rating of 5 Read More …

Top 10 Gardening Tips- EVER

Hello everyone! Its #GardenerIsShe2020, and I just wanted to present the Top 10 Gardening Tips- EVER for beginning and advanced gardeners. Weather you’ve never gardened and want to know how to do it hassle-free or of you’ve been gardening for years and are wondering what you’re missing, to enhance your garden- these are the hands down best tips for all gardeners: 1. Go it small– starting off small one can get the groove of gardening without having to stress about mass production. However, don’t under-do it or you may not Read More …

Alaska Botanical Garden Info

Hello everyone, Its #GardenIsShe2020, and I just wanted to share some information about The Alaska Botanical Garden, located in Anchorage, Alaska! The Alaska Botanical Garden is a living museum- meaning it showcases gardens and natural Alaskan landscapes in a educational and sustainable way. They grow botanical gardens, showcase ice sculptures and workshops, natural artist opportunities, garden journalism workshops, gardening conferences, membership and donation opportunities, children’s gardening summer camps, distance and in-person learning, botanical trails, horticulture, volunteer opportunities, beginners gardening programs, online shops, weekly guides, and moose and bears awareness, along Read More …

So, We Garden… What does that mean?

Hi everyone! Its #GardenIsShe2020- I just wanted to present this statement, “We garden.” What exactly does this mean? When someone hears the word ‘garden’ or ‘gardener’ what comes to mind? Is it Grandma hoeing her flower garden or the public school planting in the community garden? Stereotypes conflict around gardening- homesteaders, grandmothers, and preservationists, are just a few of the most common. So, what does it mean by definition to garden? The definition of garden is “a plot of ground where herbs, fruits, flowers, or vegetables are cultivated“, (Merriam-Webster). Thus Read More …

A Passion For Growing Potatoes in Alaska

Consider the humble potato. It’s not much to look at, yet millions of people have relied on it as a significant food source for thousands of years. One only has to look at Ireland to see the importance of the potato: In 1845, when a fungus-like infestation decimated the potato crop there, nearly a million people starved, and another million were forced to emigrate to escape starvation. Scholars believe the potato originated in the Andes Mountains of South America, and an estimated 5,000 varieties of potato now exist worldwide. Today, Read More …

Southcentral Gardening Thoughts Amid COVID-19 Reopening

As the zombie apocalypse known as COVID-19 recedes into a not so distant and unpleasant memory, we make our way into spring and early summer.   This year, I am armed with a modified toolkit due to the Alaska Master Gardener Online Course last fall.   So, how have things gone so far? Goals I had several goals this spring in no particular order.   These include Prune gooseberries, blueberries, and birch trees in the yard See if I can recover growable yacon from corms stored over the winter Change Read More …

Vermiculture With the Worm Factory 360

One of the science projects I’ve managed to get myself into is vermiculture. Using a Worm Factory 360 in my heated garage, my worms manufacture compost throughout the winter for my spring starts.   It has nothing to do with wanting to recycle, for environmental reasons.   Rather, I simply do it to have enough compost / mulch in the house to for starts in the spring.   Like I said, an experiment. After a little bit of research, I decided that the Worm Factory 360, a rotating set of Read More …

Gooseberries – Paying Attention to Pruning

This post is more or less an object lesson in pruning (or the lack thereof). In some ways, a cautionary tale, as I have some (a bunch) work to do after breakup next spring. I got interested in gooseberries perhaps a decade ago, once again based on Jeff Lowenfels former radio show. We ordered four of them that seemed to be robust in the gardens of south Anchorage from a nursery in the Lower 48 and put them into the garden–two Hinnomaki Red and two Hinnomaki Yellow gooseberries. The Alaska Read More …

Crop Rotation

Table of content What is crop rotation? What are the benefits of crop rotation? An example crop rotation schedule How to make your own crop rotation plan What is crop rotation? Crop rotation is when each year a different plant is grown in a spot, for example if a farmer were to grow wheat in a field one year and field peas and a field the next year. What are benefits of crop rotation? Rotating crops from one year to the next between different varieties increases yields by 10% to Read More …