To Pull or Not To Pull? Is It Native or Invasive?

To Pull Or Not To Pull?   Is It Native or Invasive Invasive plants affect all areas of Alaska and need to be addressed by all Alaskans.   Learning to identify invasive plants, animal and species can help reduce, if not eliminate, the negative effects such as complete elimination of native species.   A great example is the chokecherry trees which are not native to Alaska.   These can be found in yards, parks and along roadways demonstrating how aggressive the plant is.   Three common species found in the Read More …

Weeds can be Wonderful

Introduction: For this post, I wanted to give a different perspective on weeds compared to most other gardeners I hear from.   Many of the classic ‘weeds’   that are dubbed lawn and garden pests such as dandelions, clover, and yarrow might not be as bad as some people think, though this is subject to what you are trying to do with your land.   We actually let these run rampant in our yard (which I suppose we are lucky to have extra space that we are trying to make Read More …

Hunting the Hawk(weed)

Upon purchasing our land, our terra-knowledgeable neighbor informed us that he has Hieracium aurantiacum, aka Orange Hawkweed, growing on his property so it’s likely we do as well.   Not knowing what Hieracium aurantiacum was, I wasn’t sure if I should be excited, relieved, or worried.   I promptly went home, searched the internet, and found a deep orange flower that I thought would add color to our landscape.   I opted for excited. After further reading, I learned that Orange Hawkweed has secured a spot on Alaska’s Invasive Species Read More …

Invasive Plants of Alaska

A Lesson Plan for Gardening the Classroom in Alaska, by Heidi Doudna, an Alaska Master Gardener Goal and outcomes:        Students will be able to list at least 6 noxious weeds commonly found in Interior Alaska Students will identify and collect sample edible noxious weeds Students will demonstrate recognition by creating booklets and matching samples found Subject Area: Science Grade Levels: 4-6Ideal season for lesson: Summer Time to complete lesson: 1 hour Materials Required: Invasive Plants Profiles Don’t Plant a Problem Fairbanks Invasive Weed Rack Cards Pencil on strings attached to Read More …

In Defense of Weeds

by Laura Emerson, an Alaskan Master Gardener    Chickweed overtakes this garden. Photo by Heidi Rader. Weeds get a bad rap.  But for the observant gardener, weeds can be a wonderful resource.     Many offer clues to the condition of the soil before you buy that expensive plant that will not do well where you want it.     Many deliver minerals to the vicinity of their growth or to your compost pile or to your pets and livestock or to you, if you choose to eat them.    Many have Read More …