Friday, July 22, 2011
Alaska Gardening Tips
Gardening is all about being flexible with your ideas and intentions. Drawing up a plan and seeing that plan realized often involves factors not within our control. During my 30+ years of gardening, here are some lessons I've learned along the way:
1. It's good to have A plan, and a Plan B is better yet!
2. Local nurseries and box stores dictate supplies, unless you plant your own seeds or mail order.
3. A packet of seeds = a LOT of plants. :)
4. Garden season is short here, but the days are long.
5. Weather is relentlessly unpredictable in Alaska.
6. Choose the right plants for the right conditions.
7. Replace the dead & dying... Life is short. (see #4)
8. Rethink and re-purpose containers for gardening.
9. Add colorful yard art with a wow factor.
10. 90% perennials, 10% annuals defrays annual costs.
11. Provide healthy soil, ample water and fertilize!
12. Water hanging baskets every other day until the water flows through, fertilize every 2 or 3 weeks.
13. Dead heading promotes flowering and improves the overall appearance of your garden investment.
14. Photo journal your garden annually; use as a reference during winter months preseason planning.
15. Connect with other gardeners to learn from and possibly share or trade plants with.
16. Photograph local public gardens for ideas.
17. Online: Google Images for plant identification.
18. Garden catalogs are free educational resources.
19. Inspect your gardens for pests and murder them!
20. Learn when and how to prune for ideal growth.
In no way is this all I've learned about gardening. Undoubtedly I have much to learn with each passing season. I consider myself as growing right alongside my plants. The challenges and joy continue to blossom from year to year.