Starting bare root strawberries

This summer I received 2500 bare root strawberry starts. With that, one must ask themselves what to do with that amount of starts and how to approach what to do with them all. These starts in particular come from a commercial variety called ‘Tribute’. This variety is particularly desirable because of the large yields of sweet delicious berries and are hardy enough to survive cold wet winters.This hybrid strawberry was developed by the University of Maryland for large crops with good disease tolerance.   I began by pulling all the Read More …

National Wildlife Federation’s ® Attracting Birds, Butterflies, and Other Backyard Wildlife  by  David Mizejewski  

This beautifully illustrated book provides an introductory overview on how to design a garden that is good for people, animals, plants, and the Earth. Chock-full of useful information, it helps gardeners understand the value of native plants over invasive exotics, the importance of achieving an ecological balance in your garden or backyard, and how providing for wildlife’s basic needs (food, water, cover, and places to raise young) can be an extremely rewarding experience for the gardener turned backyard naturalist. Mizejewski’s holistic approach includes educational, fun, and easy steps to make Read More …

Gardening When You Don’t Have a Garden

I really struggled to find a topic for this blog post. I wanted it to be something personal and relevant to my own gardening experiences. And that’s when I realized why it was so difficult for me to find a topic: I don’t have a garden and I am not a gardener. Not in the traditional sense. I live in an apartment in south-central Anchorage and my only slices of “land’ are my east-facing deck and the counter space in my kitchen. I also travel extensively for work during the Read More …

From Rubbish To Radishes

Growing up in rural Missouri, I never imagined myself ever living in rural Alaska and though there are plenty of differences, my childhood experiences have certainly prepared me for, even made me well-suited to, living off the Alaska road system.  I am the product of a Depression-era father and an East German Communist escapee mother which made for an interesting combination of conservatism and organic lifestyle that many long for these days.  We reduced, reused and recycled out of necessity before it came into fashion and we were taught it Read More …

Elevated Bed Revision

It seems the 2X2 cross pieces for the elevated beds in post 1, 2, and 3 were not quite enough to support the weight of a cubic yard of soil. I noticed that one was sagging badly on July 17th. I thought that I would have to look into that on Sunday afternoon when I got back to the church. Well by Sunday afternoon all of the squash plants were either buried under the soil that pushed out the bottom of the box or were sitting on top of the Read More …

Building an Elevated Bed (off the ground) Part 3 of 3

Safety Tip: Always wear safety glasses when working with tools that could make something “fly’ around. That actually means anytime your are using tools whether hand or power. You only have one set of eyes, protect them. Next finish setting the 2×2 attached to the ends of the box. Drill three pilot holes on each end of the box into the 2×2. One in the center and approximately 1/3 of the way to each end. Complete the attachment by fastening with 3’ screws through each pilot hole. Now you need Read More …

Crops in Pots – A Book Review

Are you limited in available space to plant a garden, but still want to grow your own fresh veggies, fruits, and herbs? This book can help. Crops in Pots by Bob Purnell, describes how to plan, plant, and grow vegetables, fruits, and herbs in easy-care containers. Book Overview The book is broken into three main sections: starters, main courses, and desserts.   In all, it presents 50 specific project ideas describing how to grow fruit, vegetables, and herbs in various containers.   Each of these 50 projects includes a list Read More …

“Outside the Box” Gardening

Some summers are meant for gardens that only a long Alaskan winter can inspire.   They are well planned beauties that encompass every bit of space your yard (and sometimes the neighbor’s) can sustain.   If you are like me and have just moved and are spending every waking moment working like a mad woman to get the inside of your home in order before the fish come in and the berries are on, smaller scale gardening is a must.   The home we are in does not have any Read More …