Welcome to gardening in Alaska!
Where the sun never goes down in the summertime.
Where cabbages grow as big as beach balls.
Summer has come and gone. It has been a very short and raining one. All the leaves have turned and are falling off the trees. Now is the time to clean up and harvest what is left before the snow. Time to take notes on what grew excellent and what didn't do so well.
People up here go flower crazy. After looking at white landscape for so long we crave for some color!!! Many types of flowers grow very well here. We now even have roses! Wow! We now have our local seed company online!! The Denali Seed Company is the place to get the tried and true tested vegetables and flowers for short season cool weather growing!
Our biggest pest is the moose. There have been many mornings when I would have to run out in my robe and chase moose out of my garden. They can eat every vegetable you've grown in a matter of minutes. Especially if they bring all their relatives!! One morning I was chasing a moose out when the moose decided to chase me. All that hard work just to feed the moose!!!!!!
One great resource for Alaskan gardening is the Alaska Cooperative Extension Service. They are under construction at this time but will soon have a very good library of information. In Fairbanks is a site that has very good articles on gardening in Alaska. Although Fairbanks has warmer summers than on the Kenai Peninsula it is worth a visit to Gardening in the Cabbage Patch.
One thing about living and gardening in Alaska is we are in the woods. I have learned to exist with the wild! My weeding also consists of tree seedlings that are always invading my flower beds. There are many fine gardening sites. Weekend Gardener is a great place for information. They even have a gardening Bulletin Board where we can post questions and hopefully get some help!
Harvesting wild berries is a favorite pass time. There is many varieties. Blueberries and raspberries are some of my favorites. Jelly can be made out of Highbush cranberries. Jam out of rose hips. I have also picked rose petals and made jelly, which is has the most delicate flavor!! One thing you have to be careful of are the bears. It is always good to have a friend with you or a very loud dog!!! Where there are berries there are bears.
Some suggested books on gardening in Alaska are: Cold-Climate Gardening: How to Extend Your Growing Season by at Least 30 Days. We can use all the help we can get! Usually we don't plant our vegetables until June 1st. So, we are limited on what we grow. Another book, The Harrowsmith New Northern Gardener This book is has great information for gardening and has several examples of gardens here in Alaska. And for those who want to try some Herbs for Northern Gardeners this book will give you some great information.
If you have any interesting stories on Alaska gardening
or just want to talk gardening
If you know of any internet sites that
are about cool weather short seasons
gardening be sure to send me a link!