Tuesday Feb 2nd meeting and speaker

Happy New Year gardeners!  For me, this time of year is fairly quiet.  I’m beginning to use up crops from last year’s garden, I’m occasionally remembering to check on the dahlia and begonia tubers I am trying (again) to overwinter, and I’m stockpiling seed catalogs.

The Master Gardeners historically have not met in January, but we are now mere days away from February.  And do you know what that means, ladies and gentlemen?  Our first MG meeting of 2016!  We are going to start off the year with a bang.  Terry Reichardt, long-time local gardening guru, is coming to speak with us!  Some of you may have taken Terry’s multi-week Vegetable Gardening class and received one of her coveted “Terry’s Recommended Varieties” seed list.  She is going to share some “Facts You May Not Know About Vegetables,” and I’m sure we can beg a few recommendations for veggies as well.

And speaking of recommendations for varieties for Interior Alaska, our Master Gardeners have decided that WE need to be our own local experts.  While we do have access to folks like Terry with decades of experience, and we have historical info from the Georgeson Botanical Gardens and the Cooperative Extension, it is sometimes hard to find this info, especially for new gardeners or for those of us interested in trying something new.  Have you SEEN how many cherry tomato varieties are out there?  If you want one for a south-facing deck, how do you decide?

I know that among our member and among our gardening friends, we have a vast pool of experience and expertise.  So, we would like to work on compiling this information, and sharing it with Alaskan gardeners.  Karen and the MG board, as well as many of you who have attended some meetings last year, have been working on a simple, easy-to-fill-out form, so we can start collecting your recommended varieties.  How about a small dahlia that’s easy to start from seed, has striped flowers and FILLS a pot? (Fireworks mix, from Pinetree Garden Seeds).  A yellow cherry tomato that has produced ripe tomatoes for me outdoors every year, even in 2014? (Gold Nugget cherry tomato, multiple sources).  My new favorite potato, with foliage that keeps growing even down to 26 degrees? (Alaska Frostless, from Kurt Wold of Pingo Farms locally).

Do you have varieties to recommend?  Do you have a neighbor who tries 20 different lettuces every year to find the perfect butterhead?  Are you adventurous with annuals or persistent in trying perennials?  Share with us, so we can share with our fellow gardeners.  Follow this link to a simple easy form.  Fill in as much or as little info as you want.

Varieties Recommended by Members Survey

So, ladies and gentlemen, catch up on your rest, ’cause spring is coming!!

Feb 2nd:  MG meeting.  At the Fairbanks Food Bank building on 26th Ave.
6 pm social time, 6:30 Terry Reichardt.
Agenda will include our varieties list and the upcoming Spring Garden Workshop.

Mar 1st:  MG meeting.  Tentative speaker will be Kurt Wold from Pingo Farms

Apr 2nd:  Spring Garden Workshop.  More details soon.

Apr 16th:  Alaska Master Gardeners Conference in Anchorage.  Details soon.

Hope to see you soon!  –Emily


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