Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 24

Thread: Let's pretend..

  1. #1

    Default Let's pretend..

    That I know nothing about gardening. However I just acquired a log cabin with a greenhouse for starters and a decent garden in the back that used to feed a family of four. I'm heading up to AK in 14 days from Connecticut. What grows good and when do I start the seeds for things? If this is too general let me know and I'll be more specific on what I would grow and eat. I would prefer things that grow and reproduce every year (like berries), but also am game for one time things too. I know these are perennials and annuals.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Palmer, AK.
    Posts
    4,112

    Default

    Potatoes, broccoli, lettuce, peas, cauliflower, cabbage, all outside at our place.
    In the greenhouse we grow, beans, peppers, and we try tomatoes but the cherry variety are the ones that do really well.

    Lots of info if you do a little search in this section.
    BK

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bkmail View Post
    Potatoes, broccoli, lettuce, peas, cauliflower, cabbage, all outside at our place.
    In the greenhouse we grow, beans, peppers, and we try tomatoes but the cherry variety are the ones that do really well.

    Lots of info if you do a little search in this section.
    BK
    Thanks for the reply! I plan on doing a lot of research! I am so excited!

  4. #4
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Tanana Valley AK
    Posts
    7,214

    Default

    Depends on where in Alaska you are. We have a great diversity of climate.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It
    #Resist

  5. #5
    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Palmer, AK.
    Posts
    4,112

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    Depends on where in Alaska you are. We have a great diversity of climate.
    Her signature says Wasilla area.

  6. #6
    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    1,481

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MountainGirl View Post
    That I know nothing about gardening. However I just acquired a log cabin with a greenhouse for starters and a decent garden in the back that used to feed a family of four. I'm heading up to AK in 14 days from Connecticut. What grows good and when do I start the seeds for things? If this is too general let me know and I'll be more specific on what I would grow and eat. I would prefer things that grow and reproduce every year (like berries), but also am game for one time things too. I know these are perennials and annuals.

    Thanks!
    in our little outside garden we grow: snap beans; peas; beets; carrots; lettuce; onions; radish; and turnips.
    in the little green house we attempt to grow tomatoes and cucumbers.
    We live in the Wasilla area.

  7. #7
    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    1,481

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Old John View Post
    in our little outside garden we grow: snap beans; peas; beets; carrots; lettuce; onions; radish; and turnips.
    in the little green house we attempt to grow tomatoes and cucumbers.
    We live in the Wasilla area.
    I forgot to mention we also grow cabbages; cauliflower; broccoli; and brussel sprouts.
    we have a decent strawberry bed, and a nice patch of Raspberries.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Old John View Post
    I forgot to mention we also grow cabbages; cauliflower; broccoli; and brussel sprouts.
    we have a decent strawberry bed, and a nice patch of Raspberries.
    That sounds like a nice little garden. What about composting? I know that there are moose everywhere near my house. I am assuming that means bears. Is it safe to compost? In New York where there are bears abundant they have to keep the garbage inside or have steel barriers around the dumpsters. I'm not sure how to interact safely with wildlife and don't want to make any mistakes.

  9. #9
    Member JOAT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Soldotna, ALASKA since '78
    Posts
    3,720

    Default

    Tomatoes and cucumbers are your best greenhouse items. You can also get some good batches of strawberries in hanging pots and if you have extra room, some large flats of beans do great in a greenhouse.

    Outside you'll want to get some potatoes going. I'd highly recommend that you look at using potato boxes and go vertical. You can grow a ton o taters on 16 square feet of ground.

    Other outdoor stuff that works well up here include peas, radishes, carrots, lettuce... basically all your cool weather short term crops. Just realize that our growing season is short and the "days to harvest" on the back of the seed packets are termed for warmer climates. They always take longer in Alaska.

    Composting isn't a problem. If you're running kitchen scraps into your compost, you'd have more concern about a moose tearing it up as opposed to a bear. Moose are your garden's biggest enemy up here. One moose can devour your entire garden in mere minutes.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

  10. #10
    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    1,481

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MountainGirl View Post
    That sounds like a nice little garden. What about composting? I know that there are moose everywhere near my house. I am assuming that means bears. Is it safe to compost? In New York where there are bears abundant they have to keep the garbage inside or have steel barriers around the dumpsters. I'm not sure how to interact safely with wildlife and don't want to make any mistakes.
    MG
    composting isn't any problem, or at least it never has been for me. However, as others have already said, moose will be your biggest headache. Mudbuddy, on this Gardening forum has spelled out and posted pictures on an excellent composting process for this part of Alaska. Look around when you get to your cabin, odds are good you already have some wild raspberries growing nearby. There is a possibility that you could already have some domestic raspberries growing there as well. If not I'd suggest you get a good domestic strain started. Raspberries do very well in this area. Strawberries are a little different story. Some years they do great, and some years not so great. There are nearby places with public access, in this area that have nice crops of wild berries. There are a few different varieties, Blue berry and Moss Berry being the more popular. Enjoy your trip

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Old John View Post
    MG
    composting isn't any problem, or at least it never has been for me. However, as others have already said, moose will be your biggest headache. Mudbuddy, on this Gardening forum has spelled out and posted pictures on an excellent composting process for this part of Alaska. Look around when you get to your cabin, odds are good you already have some wild raspberries growing nearby. There is a possibility that you could already have some domestic raspberries growing there as well. If not I'd suggest you get a good domestic strain started. Raspberries do very well in this area. Strawberries are a little different story. Some years they do great, and some years not so great. There are nearby places with public access, in this area that have nice crops of wild berries. There are a few different varieties, Blue berry and Moss Berry being the more popular. Enjoy your trip
    I've also heard slugs are pretty bad too! Any suggestions to try and keep moose away? I know I have a lot of moose in my yard/area.

  12. #12
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    13,390

    Default

    Jeff Lowenfels (a local organic gardening writer) recommends a product called Plantskyd, which is basically blood that you spray on the base of plants. I haven't put it on my garden, but I did use it on some trees this year and thus far it seems to be effective. Nothing is better than a very large fence or an electric fence, though. I'm three years in to my gardening experiment and have yet to lose anything to moose, but I did learn this year that snowshoe hares absolutely LOVE beet greens. They didn't touch anything else, but grazed every single beet right down to the ground a couple of weeks after they sprouted. I'll be trying Plantskyd on those this year.

    As a new, inexperienced gardener I found immediate success with kale, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, lettuce, bok choy, spinach, and potatoes. This next year we'll be adding brussel sprouts, chard, and kohlrabi. We added a big addition late last year that was going to be devoted to peas and raspberries, but our youngest son was diagnosed with a nickel allergy and both of those are very high in nickel...so we'll likely be experimenting with something yet to be determined. I start my kale, lettuce, broccoli, bok choy, and cauliflower in mid April. Some start them earlier, but I find that they do better if planted outside at a fairly small size. Spinach, carrots, chard, beets, and potatoes are sown directly into the ground. Outdoor seeds can be started in mid-May, with indoor-grown starts being transplanted in late May after a few days of hardening them off (as soon as the birch leaves are the size of a squirrel's ear, as Lowenfels suggests).

  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Jeff Lowenfels (a local organic gardening writer) recommends a product called Plantskyd, which is basically blood that you spray on the base of plants. I haven't put it on my garden, but I did use it on some trees this year and thus far it seems to be effective. Nothing is better than a very large fence or an electric fence, though. I'm three years in to my gardening experiment and have yet to lose anything to moose, but I did learn this year that snowshoe hares absolutely LOVE beet greens. They didn't touch anything else, but grazed every single beet right down to the ground a couple of weeks after they sprouted. I'll be trying Plantskyd on those this year.

    As a new, inexperienced gardener I found immediate success with kale, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, lettuce, bok choy, spinach, and potatoes. This next year we'll be adding brussel sprouts, chard, and kohlrabi. We added a big addition late last year that was going to be devoted to peas and raspberries, but our youngest son was diagnosed with a nickel allergy and both of those are very high in nickel...so we'll likely be experimenting with something yet to be determined. I start my kale, lettuce, broccoli, bok choy, and cauliflower in mid April. Some start them earlier, but I find that they do better if planted outside at a fairly small size. Spinach, carrots, chard, beets, and potatoes are sown directly into the ground. Outdoor seeds can be started in mid-May, with indoor-grown starts being transplanted in late May after a few days of hardening them off (as soon as the birch leaves are the size of a squirrel's ear, as Lowenfels suggests).
    Thanks for the advice. I also found this site: Wasilla Alaska Garden Adventures http://chateau-listeur.blogspot.com/...1_archive.html I've been following it for a bit, but thought it might be better to really dive into it once I am moved in and settled. I really appreciate the help and can't wait to start this adventure! 3 days to go!

  14. #14
    Member power drifter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Down wind of 2 Glaciers
    Posts
    1,088

    Default

    MG I have a greenhouse about like the one you will have soon. I find that with the green house you can gain about 1 month in the spring and 1 month in the fall. For me it's just not cost effective beyond that to heat it. I like to start my seeds in doors under 4 ft lights where it's nice and warm. Than they get moved out to the green house for awhile before going outside.You will also want to not only think of vegs. Flowers grow so well here and a few love to grow in the green house. Your going to have lots of fun here when spring hits.

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Two Rivers, AK
    Posts
    745

    Default

    To be honest, I think that if I hadn't gardened before and I was moving to a new climate I would probably give serious consideration to commercial transplants my first year. On the positive side, at least you won't be bringing your expectations about how to garden to Alaska, because boy, things are different here. I'm in the interior and while I expected the growing season to be extremely short I did not expect the soil to be as poor as it is.

    The greenhouse is (or will be) an important part of your growing strategy (and I think power drifter's advice is spot on) but I think the first priority should be amend, amend, amend, and improve the soil quality. Build relationships with people who've got livestock, and offer to take their poop (uh, herbivore poop) off their hands.

    The amazing thing about moose is that they'll mostly leave your garden alone until the night before you're planning to harvest.

  16. #16
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Tanana Valley AK
    Posts
    7,214

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mlshore View Post
    The amazing thing about moose is that they'll mostly leave your garden alone until the night before you're planning to harvest.
    And you can take that to the bank!
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It
    #Resist

  17. #17
    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    1,481

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mlshore View Post

    The amazing thing about moose is that they'll mostly leave your garden alone until the night before you're planning to harvest.
    That is the Ultimate truth. That has happened so many times !

  18. #18
    Member Ak Bird Brain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Sterling, AK
    Posts
    359

    Default

    Check out this group on facebook

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/AKFarm/?ref=ts&fref=ts

    They can help answer alot of your gardening questions.
    Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day,
    Teach a man to fish and he'll also learn to drink, lie, and avoid the honey do list.

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    282

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mlshore View Post
    The amazing thing about moose is that they'll mostly leave your garden alone until the night before you're planning to harvest.
    No kidding, I lost all the broccoli and cauliflower in my garden right before I planned on picking it. They even mowed my peas down flush with the metal fencing I had them growing on.

  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    6,031

    Default moose talent: finding the best food

    We are mostly recreational users of the garden. The moose do their thing at the subsistence level.

    Subsistence needs trump recreational needs. Besides that, finding the best eats is one thing that moose excel at; they do this stuff for a living...

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •