Rob Goldberg joins Mardell on the show to share information about planting fruit trees in the Upper Lynn Canal.



Mardell and Kerry discuss garden expansion.



Susie and Mardell talk about Microgreens!



Melissa and Mardell discuss gardening that can still be done during late fall and into the winter.



Melissa and Michelle discuss storing and winterizing veggies, herbs and bulbs, composting systems, recordkeeping and “gardening by the fire” over the winter.









Mardell and Melissa joined Joanie on a beautiful autumn morning to answer this week’s batch of listener questions.

  • Clover and Hawkweed: How worthwhile is it to weed out clover/hawkweed this time of year as opposed to spring? (Very!) Methods for weeding without herbicides.
  • Carrots!: What causes carrots to split down the side? Carrot trivia, eating carrot thinnings, what makes a carrot sweet, and why some carrot roots are hairy.



Betsy and Mardell discuss listener questions about:

  • Fermentation: How do you make your own fermented veggies? The ins and outs of fermentation. Mardell recommends books by Sandor Katz: Wild Fermentation, and The Art of Fermentation
  • Record Keeping: Betsy and Mardell talk about the importance of garden maps and documentation (including photographs)
  • Frost!: It’s happening. Moving plants into the greenhouse, and from the greenhouse into your house. Strategies for protecting your plants from frost for a few more weeks.


9-22-16: “If you read in the books, they say: ‘Leave them in the garden in the sunshine for a few days’… that doesn’t happen here!”

Mardell and Melissa join Joanie to answer listener questions about:

  • Harvesting and storing onions: tips for harvesting, places you can store your onions (including the freezer!), and strategies for storing them.
  • How to handle a fruit fly infestation in a non-toxic way: and how to prevent fruit fly infestations in the first place!
  • Leeks! And what to do with them.



It’s a cozy day to sit indoors and talk about gardens. Jerry and Mardell discuss a listener question about potato scab. Is a potato with scab safe to eat? They discuss some ways to get rid of scab, and better yet: avoid getting it in your garden in the first place. They also talk about how to evaluate your soil, discussing pH tests, liming, and crop rotation.



Jerry and Jean talk with Joanie about porcupines, potatoes, kale, and strategies for improving soil.


9-1-16: “Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes.”

Jerry and Melissa discuss slugs, garlic and flower bulbs, garden record keeping, and woolly bear caterpillars.

wooly bear caterpillar cropped

A photo of a woolly bear caterpillar outside the Chilkat Center in Haines (Janine Allen)












Does seaweed promote slugs? How do you deal with porcupines eating raspberry leaves, strawberry fruit, porch rails, etc? What’s happening to porcupines anyway — why are there fewer of them around lately? When do you hand pollinate a zucchini, if at all? Mardell and Liz bring up a listener response to the Garden Conversation’s portrayal of slugs as gross and slimy, and answer listener questions.


8-18-16: “Till or no till? And Jerry has one opinion, and I have one opinion […], and I would say: we have different experiences.” Mardell invites you to submit your experiences with tilling in Alaska. E-mail garden@khns.org!

Jerry and Mardell cover a whole plethora of garden topics. They revisited the root maggot issue discussed a few weeks back… is tilling a good solution to that problem? (To till or not to till in Alaska?). They answered listener questions about overwintering kale (and while on the subject of kale, discussed blanching versus freezing kale), a stressed dill plant, what to do about a clover infestation in a strawberry bed, and ideas for a listener whose white dahlias are infested with fripps.


8-11-16: “It’s so important to get kids involved with these things and let them see what the process is: from the composting to the planting, to the harvesting, to the eating. That’s a great loop.”

Melissa and Meredith talk with Joanie about the Starvin’ Marvin garden programs, and discuss listener questions about slugs (including invasive black slugs new to the area), poisonous fruit on potato plants, and the beginning of Fall/Winter garden preparation, including what plants you can overwinter, and how.


Listener-provided photo (Dena Selby): See the borage fruit to the right of the exclamation points

Listener-provided photo of the poisonous potato fruit (to the left of the red exclamation points). (photos Dena Selby)





Up close on the poisonous potato borage fruit. (Listener provided photo: Dena Selby).





8-4-16: “Larvae is a nice word for maggot.”

Mardell and Melissa answer listener questions about carrots not germinating, greenhouse veggies taking a long time to ripen, fungus gnats in houseplants, and rhubarb with spindly stalks.


7-28-16: “I say, drink the beer!”

Jerry and Mardell address listener questions about root maggots and brassicas, powdery mildew, and methods for ridding your garden of slugs.


7-21-16: “Gardening is different for everyone.”

Mardell and Melissa introduce the show and discuss a listener question about dryness and gardening in the Upper Lynn Canal this summer. Topics in this episode: different ways of gardening (for production versus for a summer garden, etc.), Experienced Learner gardeners instead of “master gardeners,” drip irrigation systems, upcoming Southeast Alaska State Fair garden tour and composting demonstration, and slugs.