Tempted to start your garden? Experts say "patience"

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) After a little rain over the weekend coupled with some sunshine to start the work week, it's tempting to want to get out and work in the garden.

Traditionally, in Anchorage and the Valleys, it wasn't safe to plant outside until after Memorial Day. The past two years have been very warm, but experts say to have some patience.

"Even though the warmer days have been going backwards and backwards for the last few years," says Stephen Brown, professor of Agriculture for the UAF Cooperative Extension. "We still think it's best to play it safe. Plan it for a Memorial Day activity."

Steph Daniels, a horticulturist at Bell's Nursery, agrees. "It is not safe to plant outside yet," Daniels says "Lately we've been having some amazing summers and fantastic springs and it's a little deceiving because the day times have been in the fifties. The night times are still too cold."

Brown says the growing season has expanded with approximately 20 days added to the length of the season. That gives the possibility of different crops in Alaska.

"In fact we're getting near the point where the university is beginning to think about experimenting with growing wheat in Alaska," says Brown. "If we could grow wheat in Alaska, that would be a game changer."

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