Putting into Practice What I learned in the Alaska Master Gardener Online Class–What Worked and What Didn’t?

This piece will hopefully capture a bit of how the 2020 summer gardening season went.  This time around, we went into the season armed with information from the Master Gardener Course taken online at UAF in 2019.  What good is new knowledge if you don’t use it?  Better yet, if you try something new, it is always useful to actually observe and write down what you did and how it worked out. As of today, the only thing still in the ground here in Anchorage is a 37-gallon trash can Read More …

Crop Rotation in Raised Beds

One of the fallouts from the Alaska Master Gardener Online course has been an appreciation of crop rotation, yet another thing I haven’t been doing.   This is a bit of a planning / thought piece on how to set up a workable system.   What better time to do this than in the dead of winter? Raised Beds Many years ago, I constructed three raised beds in the lowest, wettest part of the yard, affectionately referred to as ‘the swamp’.   The goal was to productively use this part Read More …

Why I Enrolled In The Master Gardener Online Course – And Why You Should,Too.

Why Did I Enroll? I’m a retired and very successful farmer, yet I still took the Master Gardener Course Online. And do you know what?   It was well worth my time. Yes, I already knew a lot about subjects such as edaphology, plant biology, agronomy and entomology; however, it’s important to keep up to date on the latest developments. And the Master Gardener Course got me up to speed on some important aspects of gardening/farming. For example, how to access weather data online. The course has some really amazing Read More …

What’s the Challange: A Report on Anchorage’s Mountian View Climate

Mountain View, Anchorage: Garden Climactic Zone Intro Growing in Anchorage has been simple this summer mainly. In the micro-climate of Mountain View (Zone 4b), the most significant challenges resident gardeners have observed consist of locating the right spot to grow, due to the amount to buildings which block the sunlight from reaching plants. Some residents choose to use containers that make for easy transport and weeding should the chosen location not work out for that year, as seen in figures 1,2, and 3. Furthermore, there have been challenges with the Read More …

Not All Weeds Are the Same

By:   Troy Weiss, Alaska Master Gardening Student, UAF On-Line, Fall 2017 Description I enjoy gardening because I get satisfaction in watching things grow after I plant it.   However, quite often the weeds grow much faster and thicker than my desired plants.   In my garden, some common weeds include:   1) horse tail, 2) chickweed, 3) fireweed, 4) shepherds purse, and 5) pineapple weed. This blog shares research and some management tips associated with common weeds found in my Anchorage garden (Southcentral Alaska). This blog covers the common Read More …

City Girl Gone–How I Became an Alaska Gardener

RAISED BY CITY PEOPLE Raised by Amsterdam Dutch parents in Seattle, I grew up in a landscape surrounded by flowers. My family bought food fresh and in small quantities from the local market, bakeries and butchers. Quality bread, produce, meats and cheeses were a must. My father prepared gourmet meals for a family of six, complete with garnishments. Dinner was a semi-formal family affair. Semi-formal meaning we were expected to use proper table etiquette. We ate as a family around a solid oak table and the conversation was always fun Read More …

A Gardener Wears Many Hats: Entomology In The Garden

A Good Defense Someone recently said to me, “A gardener wears many hats.”   I thought of this when I was doing some reading for a quiz for the Alaska Master Gardener Online Course.   A good defense against pests is to learn as much as you can about all insects, harmful and beneficial alike.   This calls for our entomology hats! Getting to Know Bugs Did you know female aphids give live birth to pregnant females?   This is how you can end up with a real problem before Read More …

Opportunity of a Lifetime: How I Came to be the Manager of a School District Greenhouse in Tok, Alaska

Looking For Direction and Purpose We’ve all heard of people obtaining their dream job, but finding and getting my own seemed a long shot.  Over the course of my adult life thoughts of a dream job often came to mind, especially on those days I dreaded going to work at all, those days I forced myself to get up and show up.   When my co-worker said to my sister-in-law, “She just shows up, does her job, and leaves,” I knew it was time to change the mindset I had Read More …

Taking the Master Gardener Course

By Charmaine Smith & Kristi Acuff, Master Gardeners-to-be! We really “just happened” upon the Master Gardener course.  Yet, when we took it, we found it so full of helpful information that we wanted to spread the word. Charmaine:   Kristi was retiring, and I, Mom Charmaine, was looking for a retirement gift for her.   Someone had suggested the Master Gardening class as a good gift.   So, guess what, we bought her a gift certificate to Bell’s Nursery instead! But in the process of deciding on what to get Read More …