Talk Dirt To Me

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 (fdurner@adn.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

More winners added to 2010 All-America Selections

January Garden Calendar
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Echinacea purpurea ‘PowWow Wild Berry’ is hardy to USDA Hardiness Zone 3. Deep rose-purple 3 to 4 inch flowers retain color on the plant longer. This first year flowering perennial will flower approximately 20 weeks after sowing and has a basal branching habit resulting in more flowers per plant. Reaching a height of 20 to 24 inches in the full sun garden, it will bloom continually without deadheading. Seed should be sown before the end of January for the most prolific and uniform flowering in the first year. U.S. Utility Patent Applied For. Bred by PanAmerican Seed Co.Echinacea purpurea ‘PowWow Wild Berry’ is hardy to USDA Hardiness Zone 3. Deep rose-purple 3 to 4 inch flowers retain color on the plant longer. This first year flowering perennial will flower approximately 20 weeks after sowing and has a basal branching habit resulting in more flowers per plant. Reaching a height of 20 to 24 inches in the full sun garden, it will bloom continually without deadheading. Seed should be sown before the end of January for the most prolific and uniform flowering in the first year. U.S. Utility Patent Applied For. Bred by PanAmerican Seed Co. All-America Selections has added five more plants to the 2010 winners and changed the way they are introduced to the public. Effective immediately, seeds for all winners are available from seed suppliers and plants will be available in the spring.

Click here to see the first of the 2010 AAS winners

Large 2 ½ inch, fully double flowers crown disease resistant Zinnia ‘Double Zahara Fire’ which has proven leaf spot and mildew resistance. Plants will continue to bloom from spring to the end of the growing season, with little garden maintenance. Mature plants will be about 14 inches tall and spread 12 inches. Will perform best in full sun and thrive on summer heat. ‘Double Zahara Fire’ was bred by PanAmerican Seed Company.Large 2 ½ inch, fully double flowers crown disease resistant Zinnia ‘Double Zahara Fire’ which has proven leaf spot and mildew resistance. Plants will continue to bloom from spring to the end of the growing season, with little garden maintenance. Mature plants will be about 14 inches tall and spread 12 inches. Will perform best in full sun and thrive on summer heat. ‘Double Zahara Fire’ was bred by PanAmerican Seed Company.
Marigold F1 Hybrid African ‘Moonsong Deep Orange’ has fade-resistant orange flowers that make others look more golden than orange. This unique color is one of three desirable, improved traits. Plants are vigorous, tolerating stress such as heat or drought. In the full sun garden, the erect plants will reach about 12-15 inches tall. Over the summer, the old blooms will be covered with green foliage, which keeps the plants looking fresh throughout the growing season. Bred by Syngenta Flowers.Marigold F1 Hybrid African ‘Moonsong Deep Orange’ has fade-resistant orange flowers that make others look more golden than orange. This unique color is one of three desirable, improved traits. Plants are vigorous, tolerating stress such as heat or drought. In the full sun garden, the erect plants will reach about 12-15 inches tall. Over the summer, the old blooms will be covered with green foliage, which keeps the plants looking fresh throughout the growing season. Bred by Syngenta Flowers.
Early to bloom in about 8 - 10 weeks, Zinnia ‘Double Zahara Cherry’ has dependable resistance to leaf spot and mildew diseases. Recommended for 4-inch pots or larger, the handsome symmetrical dark green plants produce fully double 2 ½ inch blooms. Growing in a full-sun garden, this AAS Winner will mature at about 12 inches tall and wide. Heat tolerant in the garden, ‘Double Zahara Cherry’ can be perfectly matched with other sun loving annuals for container plantings. Bred by PanAmerican Seed Company.Early to bloom in about 8 - 10 weeks, Zinnia ‘Double Zahara Cherry’ has dependable resistance to leaf spot and mildew diseases. Recommended for 4-inch pots or larger, the handsome symmetrical dark green plants produce fully double 2 ½ inch blooms. Growing in a full-sun garden, this AAS Winner will mature at about 12 inches tall and wide. Heat tolerant in the garden, ‘Double Zahara Cherry’ can be perfectly matched with other sun loving annuals for container plantings. Bred by PanAmerican Seed Company.
Watermelon F1 Hybrid ‘Shiny Boy’. A red fleshed melon with dark seeds; this globe-shaped melon weighed about 20 pounds, some larger. The hybrid plants are vigorous; vines can grow up to 12 feet. 'Shiny Boy' can be grown vertically so that a large yard for a vegetable garden is not needed. At 75 days from transplanting for mature fruit, 'Shiny Boy' is earlier than other varieties. This AAS Winner can be grown successfully in any geographic region with warm summer growing conditions. It was bred by Known-You Seed Company.Watermelon F1 Hybrid ‘Shiny Boy’. A red fleshed melon with dark seeds; this globe-shaped melon weighed about 20 pounds, some larger. The hybrid plants are vigorous; vines can grow up to 12 feet. 'Shiny Boy' can be grown vertically so that a large yard for a vegetable garden is not needed. At 75 days from transplanting for mature fruit, 'Shiny Boy' is earlier than other varieties. This AAS Winner can be grown successfully in any geographic region with warm summer growing conditions. It was bred by Known-You Seed Company.

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