The search for local knowledge: the Homer Garden Club publications

A slow start Last spring I moved to the Homer area with my family. It was late June by the time I got a chance to start a garden. I knew I was going to have a late start, but I have always had a garden, and I knew I could grow something in what was left of the season. I knew the season was going to be short, so I decided to focus my efforts in the greenhouse. I planted some beans and squash in six inch deep boxes, Read More …

Book Review: “Alaska Gardening Guide Volume 1” by Ann D. Roberts

When we bought our first house in Fairbanks nearly 20 years ago, I wanted to have a garden but really had no idea what would grow successfully, or how to grow vegetables in our climate. I was moving from the Pacific Northwest and was looking for information specific to growing in the Interior, at a time when accessing information on the Internet was not as easy as today, and was still dial-up at the time. Somewhere in town I picked up the  Alaska Gardening Guide, Volume 1, Alaska Vegetables for Read More …

Confessions of a Gardener

As a gardener, I have many things to confess.  The ideal image of a person bending over neat rows with gloves, apron, hat and trowel, with that odd tiny rake sitting off to the side ready to be used (does anyone ever actually use that thing?) is not me.  Not even close.     Confession number 1: Clothes don’t make the gardener.   I am the person who gets out of their car after work to “quickly’ go check on a plant that has been on my mind, and is Read More …

Crops in Pots – A Book Review

Are you limited in available space to plant a garden, but still want to grow your own fresh veggies, fruits, and herbs? This book can help. Crops in Pots by Bob Purnell, describes how to plan, plant, and grow vegetables, fruits, and herbs in easy-care containers. Book Overview The book is broken into three main sections: starters, main courses, and desserts.   In all, it presents 50 specific project ideas describing how to grow fruit, vegetables, and herbs in various containers.   Each of these 50 projects includes a list Read More …

Importance of hardening off plants and soil testing prior to planting

By Natalie Jo Cossette, an Alaska Master Gardener. The month of May rolled around and I was chomping at the bit to get into the garden. I tried to satisfy my urges with starting seeds in the garage under lights but it wasn’t enough. The beautiful weather called to me and I knew better than to put my plants outside before the last weekend in May. But the raised bed I’d constructed last year was ready and I hadn’t been able to have a garden for four seasons, so I Read More …

Alan Jackson was right, it is okay to be “Little Bitty’: A small garden plot in Alaska

By Andrea Hood, an Alaska Master Gardener This has been a growing season of revised expectations, and you know what? It has turned out just fine! Finding a great spot to garden can sometimes be a challenge. For those of us with the gardening bug, winter time is for dreaming of glorious spaces filled with fruiting vines, flower laden bushes, and vegetable patches overflowing with zucchini and tomatoes. In the spring, we receive or catalogs and make lists. All of those plans were shot earlier this year with news of Read More …

Gardening North of the Arctic Circle

by Jennifer Dillard, An Alaska Master Gardener North of the Arctic Circle! New to Alaska, my husband and I moved to Bettles Field, a remote Interior Alaska community, ready to embrace a new way of living. Having lived in Wisconsin and Illinois where I had my own garden and participated in a community garden, I felt confident in my gardening skills but translating these skills into Arctic conditions was a completely new and challenging journey for me. Fully aware that I lacked even the basic knowledge of how to garden Read More …

Starting an Alaskan Garden

by Evan Sterling, An Alaska Master Gardener in Ester, Alaska   Background Well, this is my very first posting on the Alaska Master Gardener blog, but I certainly hope it won’t be my last. I’m a newly minted Master Gardener working on completing my volunteer hours, and to tell you the truth, I do not feel like much of a “Master!’ Yet, anyway. I’m 28, almost 29, and just starting out with my partner, Shannon, on our own piece of land in Ester, Alaska. We don’t have any plans of Read More …