Destroyers of the Garden Universe: Aphids

Creepy, crawly, and sometimes slimy, insects can destroy a garden. While some gardeners have great luck and have not had to fight pests extensively, others have not been so fortunate. I was among the previous group until this summer. Although I did not have to engage in all out battle with the pests. While deadheading my Nicotiana  sanderae plants, I noticed fuzzy white patches on the leaves and a lot of white spots on the petals. I quickly swished all the white fuzzy bugs on the leaves. I was not Read More …

Quirky Alaska Greenhouse Tomatoes

I have to admit, I didn’t like tomatoes before my husband built a greenhouse for me 6 years ago. He grew up on the sweet tomatoes his father grew in California and compared all others to those. I planted them initially for him, then I tasted my first homegrown cherry tomato and I was hooked. My unheated greenhouse is an 8×8 structure with clear Tuftex corrugated polycarbonate roof panels. My husband wanted panels that wouldn’t yellow and would allow the most light possible to pass. There is a 70 CFM Read More …

Got Pests!? Identifying and Controlling Pests in Alaska using Integrated Pest Management Techniques

By Glenna Gannon, Alaska Master Gardener Teaching Assistant Have you ever planted your beautifully pampered seedlings only to wake the next day and find them riddled with holes? This year that is exactly what happened to me. I noticed a smattering of holes all over my pak choi especially, and arugula to a lesser extent. Step 1: Identify your pest    When we find that our precious vegetables starts that we have nursed along through the Alaskan spring are attacked before they have a chance to thrive, it is easy Read More …

Good vs. Bad Bugs in the Alaskan Garden

A Lesson Plan for Gardening in the Classroom in Alaska, By Shawna Sastamoinen, an Alaskan Master Gardener Subject Area: Science  Grade Level: 3rd  Ideal Season: Fall or Late Spring  Time to complete lesson: About 3 to 4 hours. Additional time will be needed to complete the Curricular Connections/Extension Activities.  Suggested Materials: Specific materials from the Cooperative Extension website are suggested for use in each section where they apply. See bibliography for more pictures and ideas.  Goal and Outcomes: After completing this lesson, students should be able to identify good and Read More …