Soil is made up of both organic and inorganic materials. Its formation is determined by climate, topography, the age of the land, and human activity, among other factors. Alaska’s organic soil tends to be higher in nutrients with fewer contaminants than soil in more industrialized states—but why? Alaska Farm & Garden in Anchorage are gardening, farming, and soil experts, and here they’ll explain what makes Alaskan earth so unique.
Humus is the organic material in soil that forms when plant and animal matter decay. Alaskan humus is unique due to the land’s vast and diverse number of microbiological species. This diversity, along with the long Alaskan winters and the long summer days, creates a fertile soil that is free from the chemicals, fertilizers and bacteria found in commercial compost.
Alaska’s glaciers also play a large role in the soil’s singular and fertile nature. As glaciers move, they crush the bedrock and transport it along their slow-but-steady route. The sediment then mixes with organic matter, creating the rich soil the state is known for. Sediment beneath glaciers is extremely fertile, and, when mixed with nutrient-infused organic material, helps create a richer soil. This organic soil allows for the growth of lush, large plants and trees such as the Sitka spruce, one of the largest old growth trees in Alaska. Its trunks are often as large as 8 feet across, and these trees can live over 500 years!
If you live in the Anchorage area and want to start a garden or landscaping endeavor of your own, call Alaska Farm & Garden to learn how Alaska’s rich, organic soil and humus will be an asset to you. You can reach them at (907) 562-7777. For more on all their products, including LED and grow lights, or to order online, visit their website.