Crop Rotation

Table of content What is crop rotation? What are the benefits of crop rotation? An example crop rotation schedule How to make your own crop rotation plan What is crop rotation? Crop rotation is when each year a different plant is grown in a spot, for example if a farmer were to grow wheat in a field one year and field peas and a field the next year. What are benefits of crop rotation? Rotating crops from one year to the next between different varieties increases yields by 10% to Read More …

Water conservation in the garden

Table of content Garden bed design Soil Planted varieties How you water How you water: With the hose How you water: Drip irrigation How you water: Let the rain do it Garden bed design Different designs of garden beds have different levels of water conservation. Though hugelkultur mounds have lasting fertility they are open allowing for loss of water to evaporation so when trying to conserve water dig a hole to build your hugelkultur beds in to reduce evaporation. When building garden beds on a hill build a large berm Read More …

Cover crops

Table of content What does a cover crop do? Where should a cover crop be used? What are some good cover crops? Buckwheat Turnips Field peas What does a cover crop do? A cover crop has several uses, the first of which is to suppress weeds in a plot of land not used to grow something else. Cover crops are also used to add nutrients and organic matter to the soil. Another use for cover crops is for animal fodder sometimes even during the winter. Where should a cover crop Read More …

How to cultivate and harvest summer and winter squash in Southcentral Alaska

Table of content Where to grow Greenhouse and hoop house bed preparation Garden bed preparation How to grow Starting seedlings Planting Maintaining plants How to harvest Storage Seed saving Where to grow If a you have greenhouse or hoop house that is best for winter squash. If you do not have a greenhouse or hoop house a garden bed with rich well drained soil and full sun will have to do for winter squash, and is preferable for summer squash. It is best if the greenhouse, hoop house, or garden Read More …

Gardening with Wildlife in Chugiak, Alaska

All the Perks As with many communities in Alaska, gardening in Chugiak has many upsides and downsides. Compared to many other areas of the state we have considerably moderate temperatures that can extend our growing season with the help of picking appropriate varieties of plants to grow and the use of a greenhouse or season extender. According to the USDA Plant Hardiness Map, Chugiak is in Zone 4b. When compared to many other Alaskan communities, Chugiak has relatively mild weather extremes. Another upside to my community is that I live Read More …

Short and Sweet–Gardening in Interior Alaska

It may seem that growing a garden in Interior Alaska is very challenging given the extremes in our temperatures. However with the proper varieties of plants and gardening techniques, combined with our long days of sunlight and warm summer temperatures, gardens thrive. The USDA growing zone in my north Fairbanks area is Zone 2b, it is a short season, so any techniques to lengthen the season and warm the soil can make a huge difference. Although we have long days of sunlight here, I do struggle with getting enough sun Read More …

Farming in the Rain: Sitka, Alaska

Sitka’s climate Gardening in Sitka’s climate presents several challenges. I would have to say too much rain and a lack of sunlight would have to be at the top of the list. We get a lot of rain in Sitka, some growing seasons more than others. Overcast days are plentiful throughout the growing season as well. Overcast days help to give plants a chance to recover after a stretch of constant rain. It’s important to give the soil a chance to dry out and become more stable and easier to Read More …

Forging Friendships: Review of Jessica Walliser’s Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden

Have you every wondered if that unknown insect scuttling around in your garden is a threat to your carefully nurtured plants? Or how to keep ladybugs in your garden and decimate the aphids that cropped up in your ornamental flower bed? Have you ever felt overwhelmed by an onslaught of garden pests, but have been reluctant to rely on chemical pesticides? If you’ve needed an answer to any of these questions or have been seeking an introduction to alternative pest control methods, then Jessica Walliser’s Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Read More …

Book Review: “Alaska Gardening Guide Volume 1” by Ann D. Roberts

When we bought our first house in Fairbanks nearly 20 years ago, I wanted to have a garden but really had no idea what would grow successfully, or how to grow vegetables in our climate. I was moving from the Pacific Northwest and was looking for information specific to growing in the Interior, at a time when accessing information on the Internet was not as easy as today, and was still dial-up at the time. Somewhere in town I picked up the  Alaska Gardening Guide, Volume 1, Alaska Vegetables for Read More …