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 …

Bees are cool…but in my garden?

I was not ready for a garden this season. My life is in a state of transition and I am without gardening space of my own. In spite of that, when some generous friends offered up the use of a lovely, but long neglected, overgrown raised bed near where I live, the longing to work the soil and grow things to feed my small family overrode my uncertainty. In early June–late to start weeding and prepping garden space even by Alaska standards–I began. After a busy weekend of pulling weeds Read More …

Marigolds: Edible, Beneficial, and Beautiful

By Mary Hinkley, an Alaska Master Gardener in Tok, Alaska   I believe in marigolds.  Though marigold’s pest resistant qualities are mentioned on many of their seed packets, I feel they’re under rated. Most of my raised beds have a marigold border. This serves two purposes; the garden is beautiful and it’s safe from pest invasion. Early this season I went to the local nursery to get some for my greenhouse and found that it was too early for their marigold crop, so I bought some seeds, went home, and Read More …

Pollinators in Alaska

A Lesson Plan for Gardening in the Classroom in Alaska, by Jessica Mulvey, an Alaska Master Gardener “If the bee disappears from the surface of the Earth, man would have no more than four years left to live.’…. The above quote has been falsely been attributed to Albert Einstein but is the spirit of the quote true? Pollinators, bees particularly, have been in the news over the past decade due to dramatic & devastating population declines. Debates over pesticides and their effects on pollinators are currently being heard in the 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 …