Alaskan's Life

Alaskan

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Things have been slowly melting, I can see some small spots of dirt in the parking lot! :weee

And, photos from kid 2 from his trip to the dump.

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Alaskan

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I'm very fortunate to live in a Sandhill Crane area.
I LOVE them... but there is so much snow still that they are down in the marshes, not up by my house.

So, I haven't seen or heard them, people at lower elevations have said they are here.

I HAVE, for almost a week now, heard the varied thrush!!!

:ya :weee


It is always the first one back at my house, and comes when there is still bunches of snow. It shows up as soon as there has been just a tiny bit of melt at the tree and bush bases.
 

Alaskan

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First, Alaska is HUGE, there are some areas (mostly away from the coast) that get quality heat, as in even 80s, 90s, etc.

I am 15 minutes (driving slowly, mostly 30 miles an hour) from the beach.

And, I am at about 1,300 feet elevation, so about 6 weeks (or even longer) more winter than the people at a lower elevation.

My snow free season is in the 40s and 50s. 60s equal summer heat for us.

So, when can you typically get into your garden to plant,

May 1 to May 15.

what do you do in your garden for improved micro climate, or season extenders

As soon as the snow starts to melt, spread a thin layer of ash on the snow, the black helps the snow melt faster.

Once you see dirt, cover it all with clear (or mostly clear) plastic, or fogged windows.

As soon as weeds sprout, hoe out weeds, plant seeds, replace plastic or windows until the sprouts are almost touching the plastic.

When you remove the plastic, if the sparrow population is high, put remay over all plants most especially peas. Once sprouts are no longer young and tender the sparrows tend to leave them alone. However, they love my peas at all times, so I tend to keep the peas fully covered and only remove the cover when they need to be pollinated.

The south side of my garden, which is where the wind comes from, has plastic panels along the fence to block the wind. Blocking the wind greatly increases the warmth.

Also, good fence is needed to keep out moose, they love veggies, but will usually not eat potatoes.

So... potatoes don't have to be fenced, unless the moose are crazy hungry.

Also, anything that can be started indoors in pots and then transplanted is the way to go.

what does your growing season look like,

Short and cold and windy.


what crops or varieties do best for you


All cool season crops.

Focus on the shortest season possible. Bolt resistant is good. Lettuces bred for hot states work well because they are super bolt resistant.

All of the leafy greens love it, and all kohl crops, peas, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots and potatoes.

Things that need heat need a greenhouse, or high tunnels... or... some other help.

There is someone at 200 feet elevation that grows corn outside, he has walled his entire garden with clear plastic.

I have managed to grow pumpkins outside, I tried them the one year we had a super hot summer and just barely managed. But, I started them inside, etc.

At lower elevations people grow asparagus, and buckets of raspberries.

I am just a tad too high to keep asparagus happy, I have managed to get garlic to be slightly successful a time or 2.

My raspberries can manage to produce a crop some years, and in other years the first frost comes too soon. Somehow, I no longer have raspberries.... I think the goats must have finished them off.

Strawberries do well at my house.

With difficulty I managed to keep an apple-crab alive for years, and it produced a few apples... but... the goats ate the tree.

Cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and basil all go in the greenhouse.

Even in the greenhouse I need super fast varieties and it helps if they are far along before planting. Smaller kinds of tomatoes do well as summer only house plants.

My nightly lows tend to be low... so some years, even if I have done everything "right" I have a hard time getting the tomatoes to ripen since they do not like cold nights. So yes, some years I have a bucket of green tomatoes, and no red ones.

What CAN'T you grow

Well... with a fancy heated greenhouse....

There is someone in town, so close to sea-level, that has a greenhouse full of fruit trees and grapes.

My neighbor managed to grow some artichokes, not sure how he managed... I do know he used black plastic on the ground.

It is important to not use mulch, it grows slugs and keeps the soil cold.

But I prefer to not work that hard, so I mostly focus on stuff that likes growing here.

I tend to grow LOTS of chives (perennial, close to zero work, everyone in the house eats them) they love growing at my house and spread nicely.

I try to grow enough nasturtiums every year. They also love the weather. I grow them as an annual, but as soon as you get them started they grow like crazy, and most of the family likes to eat them. Also, since they are a flower you can grow them in pots and hanging baskets which means they start to grow in their forever home in warm soil... huge plus.

Also, I will on occasion try heading lettuces, and last year I did have a great crop of cabbages... but non-heading greens are less work. Non-heading and you can just grab them whenever you want them... or one leaf from this one, one leaf from that... :idunno
 

Lazy Gardener

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I love this. With your permission, I would like to start a new thread, and copy your post into the thread... or you can copy it into the thread, and embellish. It's fun to see what folks in different climates do. So, I'll set up the thread sometime within the next few days, with a standardized list of questions. thanks. You've presented some awesome ideas that I may implement.
 

Alaskan

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I love this. With your permission, I would like to start a new thread, and copy your post into the thread... or you can copy it into the thread, and embellish. It's fun to see what folks in different climates do. So, I'll set up the thread sometime within the next few days, with a standardized list of questions. thanks. You've presented some awesome ideas that I may implement.
How about you start the thread... and if your questions are any different, maybe I will rewrite and tweak the post.


Glad you liked it.
 

Britesea

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@Alaskan, have you tried alpine strawberries? I only have a 90 day season, and they produced beautifully for me. I'm also trying a leek this year that they claim is ready in 75 days. We'll see...
 

Alaskan

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@Alaskan, have you tried alpine strawberries? I only have a 90 day season, and they produced beautifully for me. I'm also trying a leek this year that they claim is ready in 75 days. We'll see...
The strawberries i have were gifts from neighbors.

They do great, but I have no idea what variety they are.

They are ripe at a not quite bright red... more pink.

They do great.
 
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