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 …

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 …

There’s a Moose in My Garden by Brenda C. Adams

There’s a Moose in My Garden by Brenda C. Adams The book I chose is one of my favorites for several reasons including the information is laid out in a manner allowing you to find the topic you are looking for easily, the beautiful pictures, various tips given throughout the pages and it was a gift from my husband who has always supported my gardening. With the information provided in this book I have been able to redesign areas and improve others throughout my garden. The book is broken into Read More …

Confessions of a Gardener

As a gardener, I have many things to confess.  The ideal image of a person bending over neat rows with gloves, apron, hat and trowel, with that odd tiny rake sitting off to the side ready to be used (does anyone ever actually use that thing?) is not me.  Not even close.     Confession number 1: Clothes don’t make the gardener.   I am the person who gets out of their car after work to “quickly’ go check on a plant that has been on my mind, and is Read More …

Seed Starting for Beginners Part 2

Time to light it up! The little plants are pushing their shoulders out of the soil.   Within hours, they will be pushing skyward in a life saving race to find the sun.   It is very important to put the light on them quickly so that they do not get too leggy in their sun worshiping pursuit. I like to purchase the fluorescent lights at the local hardware store.   They are typical “shop lights” and come with a plug.   Unless you are an electrician, be careful not Read More …

Seed starting for Beginners Part 1

Its that time!   It is the time of year – time to appease our need for the smell of soil and the love of nurturing green life. Many people spend a fortune in plants at the box stores and green houses. Good for them, there is nothing wrong with that. However, paying $2-3 per cabbage plant makes me wonder why they don’t just buy cabbage at the grocery store. Not only is it expensive, but missing the seed starting is missing one of the best parts! Watching and nurturing Read More …

High Bush Cranberries

High bush cranberries are harder to make use of than their low bush cousins. They have a pit inside of them that makes them less appealing to throw in a batch of muffins or over the morning granola and are, at least to my tastebuds, tarter. Despite these limitations they are all over our neighborhood. Most people won’t reveal their super secret berry picking spots, but for high bush cranberries you can walk along many power-line cuts in Fairbanks for easy access to prime berry picking. In just under 30 Read More …