Gardening in Alaska presents big challenges, whether it's the extra effort in finding plants tough enough to survive our Zone 2-4 climate, communicating with like-minded Alaska gardeners, or keeping up with the latest trends, issues and solutions. We'll try to help with that. We'll also tour gardens from Homer to Anchorage to Wasilla to Willow whenever we get the chance, and post the best garden photos around. Presenting a forum about cold-weather gardening and for cold-weather gardeners is what we are all about. We hope you'll join us on the Talk Dirt garden blog.
Photographer and gardener Fran Durner (email@example.com) writes the blog.
February Garden Calendar - 1/29/2010 9:28 am
UA Anchorage recognized as a Tree Campus USA - 1/27/2010 10:36 am
Stone walls provide beauty and exercise - 1/26/2010 8:43 am
USDA program for high tunnels offered - 1/25/2010 8:08 pm
Worms could eat your garbage too - 1/24/2010 8:01 pm
Wildflower Garden Club offers annual scholarship - 1/21/2010 1:08 pm
Where did you find inspiration last year? - 1/19/2010 3:57 pm
Zaumseils say farewell for now - 1/18/2010 3:57 pm
Posted: September 28, 2009 - 2:26 pm
Join TREErific for a fall color tree tour led by Pat Leary, UAA Landscaping Horticulture Manager and certified arborist, on the UAA campus on Wednesday, September 30 at 6PM.
Posted: September 24, 2009 - 4:09 pm
Ellen Vande Visse, organic gardening goddess and compost queen, has been up to her usual tricks this summer helping to get two community gardens going in the Mat-Su. She's been working with students and volunteers at the Mat-Su College, Palmer Veteran & Pioneer Home and UAF’s Matanuska Experiment Farm to learn to garden organically.
Posted: September 23, 2009 - 4:52 pm
Frost finally arrived last night but I haven't been home since I scraped the ice off my windshield this morning so I don't know how things have fared. Luckily, I did cut what was left of the dahlia flowers and brought them in. Tonight, will try to bring in more herbs for drying and also to chop fresh to mix up with butter blends. They'll go in the freezer.
Posted: September 22, 2009 - 4:04 pm
The timing was perfect for a berry picking expedition to the Kenai Peninsula last Friday. Word from area friends was that the lingonberries - low bush cranberries - were ready, and so were we. The sun was out and warm, the ground was dry and I was with a friend who got down to business as seriously as I did after we had scouted out a few spots and settled into a promising area near Kelly and Peterson Lakes. The take - about three quarts for the freezer. The reward - a cup of salmon chowder and a piece of orange spice pumpkin pie with whip at Gwins on the way back home.
Posted: September 17, 2009 - 8:41 pm
So don't tell me that with all the gorgeous weather, you haven't been taking oodles of photos of your garden. Don't try to wiggle out of it, I know you've got photos, I know you do.
And where better to show them off, I ask you, than in the Garden Gallery?
Posted: September 16, 2009 - 8:47 am
Since I posted the blog about mushrooms, interest grew so much that the Alaska Botanical Garden was overwhelmed at their scheduled mushroom walk led by Diane Pleninger last week. So they have added on two more, this time led by visiting naturalist Dominique Collet from the Kenai Peninsula. Don't delay if you wish to go; they want your reservations by noon tomorrow, Thursday, 9/17.
Posted: September 15, 2009 - 10:43 am
Last night was incredibly bittersweet as those of us in the ADN newsroom who planted a garden around the patio spent the evening pulling it out. It was a team effort this year - planting, watering, weeding and deadheading - and the effort paid off in abundant and prolific blooms, lettuce, vegetables and herbs.
Posted: September 13, 2009 - 6:41 pm
In the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (Sunday) is a story about the abundant apple crop grown at the UAF Experiment Farm this summer.
Posted: September 10, 2009 - 2:27 pm
It's been a strange year for carrots in my garden.
Let me back up a bit and make a disclaimer: I've spent most of the summer working on the house and totally neglecting the garden. I planted late and didn't water as much as I should have. Despite this, most things have done all right. Go figure.
Posted: September 9, 2009 - 4:39 pm
The Alaska Botanical Garden needs your leaves! If you don't mow yours into the lawn or use them for mulch - don't throw them away! Bag 'em and bring them to the ABG.
Posted: September 7, 2009 - 7:20 pm
Local mushroom expert Diane Pleninger will lead a mushroom walk at the Alaska Botanical Garden on Thursday, September 10 at 6:30. Meet at Shop-in-the-Garden. Cost $5 for non-ABG members.
A reader emailed me recently with photos of these tiny watermelon-pink fungi-like fingers that were sticking up in her lawn. She wondered if I knew what they were. I didn't but said I'd find out.
Posted: September 6, 2009 - 6:49 pm
Looks like the weather may hold if you are planning to visit the State Fair in Palmer on it's very last day. Go early, first thing if you can, to avoid the crowds.
Posted: September 6, 2009 - 4:18 pm
Just catching up after being out of the office for a few days... It's been quite a week at the State Fair in Palmer with world records dropping by the wayside. As you know, Steve Hubacek of Wasilla brought in a whopper green cabbage to second crops entry on Wednesday to beat the record held for twenty years by a Welsh gardener.
Posted: September 2, 2009 - 8:28 pm
This just in from Wednesday's second crops entry at the State Fair:
World record green cabbage by Steve Hubacek from Wasilla - 125.9 pounds.
The previous world record, of 124 pounds, was set in 1989 in Wales, United Kingdom by Dr. Bernard Lavery, in his garden at Llanharry.
The state record had been held for nine years by Barb Everingham of Wasilla who brought in a 105.60 green cabbage in 2000.
Friday night is the 14th Annual Giant Cabbage Weigh-Off at 6 p.m. You can bet another record breaker will be entered.
Posted: September 2, 2009 - 7:45 pm
Posted: September 1, 2009 - 6:25 pm
The competitors lay within feet of each other, squat and fat and bulging in the middle. Their skin was smooth on the one and heavily scarred on the other. During the middle of the summer, they put on weight at an average of fifteen pounds a day. Even now, they were still gaining weight daily, maybe five pounds a day. Neither would be able to move without the help of many people and heavy equipment. Both were absolutely beautiful.
Posted: August 31, 2009 - 3:38 pm
Through September 2, Wednesdays, 6pm–7pm. Storytime in the Garden at the Alaska Botanical Garden. Nature stories for kids ages 3-5 with a caregiver. Meet in the Lower Perennial Garden, 4601 Campbell Airstrip Road. Cancelled if raining.
Posted: August 30, 2009 - 7:37 pm
Alaska State Fair head gardener Becky Myrvold and her crew deserve praise year after year for the marvelous display of blooms and color that grace the beds and baskets around the fairgrounds. Hot colors and black flowers and plants are especially evident this year from corner to corner.
Posted: August 27, 2009 - 4:24 pm
Posted: August 26, 2009 - 11:36 am
A success story of a sort played out on Tuesday afternoon this week along the Chester Creek Nature Trail. The sun came out as 10 adults dressed in hip waders, most from area agencies, purposely explored the shores and islands in the creek near Westchester Lagoon. They were searching for purple loosestrife and another invasive weed - reed canarygrass - that have been trying to secure a roothold in the area. Both species are wetland invaders and have become problems across the Pacific Northwest. This was the last weed pull of the season for the Citizen Weed Warriors group.