Wasilla Alaska Garden Adventures

Wasilla Alaska Garden Adventures - learning about gardening up north.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Spring in Wasilla

My Front Yard - Sunday, March 30, 2013
The shortest day, in my location, is about 5 1/2 hours on December 21 and we do consider it a very special day to remember as most people look forward to the time when the days start to get longer again - even if it is only psychological - it is worth toasting with a mug or two of grog.

On our longest day we get almost 20 hours of sun on June 21. The extra daylight is like adding almost 20 extra frost free days to our growing season. This is great for flowers and Anchorage is known as the hanging flower basket capital of the world - but it can also be too much light for some plants and cause some vegetables to bolt or go to seed before they are ready.

Remember this is official daylight and does not count dawn or dusk when the sun is down - but it is not dark yet. In June it really doesn't get completely dark all night. In December it is light past the official sunrise and sunset times. We are past 12 hours of sun right now and it is 40 degrees outside. That is plenty of light to grow plants - but the ground is still covered with snow and will remain frozen until May and our average last frost date is May 20. In reality - soil warmth in Alaska is more important than daylight for gardeners.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

PRODUCT ALERT for Alaska Grow Buckets !

PRODUCT ALERT !!! Good News for people that are making Alaska Grow Buckets. I found a great source for the perfect Plastic Colander that fits nicely inside a 5 Gal. bucket without handles that stick out and must be trimmed off. 

On the BuyTheCase.net web site you can purchase 12 Arrow brand 4 Qt. Plastic Colanders for only $31.08 which is $2.59 each (plus shipping) ...just ignore the photo on their product page as it is not correct. I checked with this supplier and they are selling the newer model that I recommend.

Arrow model #289 4 Qt Plastic Colander

Monday, March 18, 2013

Seed Starting In Wasilla

Here in Wasilla timing is very important. The last week in May is usually the time we can safely move cold sensitive plants outside - and you can't be late or they may not have time to produce in our short summer. You don't want to be too early either - or you end up with large plants that take over your house and are just too big to easily move and transplant without damage.

I am trying many shorter bush or dwarf varieties to try and maximize my space inside my greenhouse and shorter hoop tunnels.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Indoor Tomato Update

Just a quick update on my indoor Dwarf Tomato progress, The fruit is finally ripening and I tried my first fresh tomato last week. The taste was spectacular, especially when compared to the tasteless hot-house tomatoes available in local supermarkets.

Micro Tom Dwarf Tomatoes

The Micro Tom Dwarf Tomatoes are loaded with fruit and continue to develop blossoms. I am anxious to see just how long they will continue to bare fruit. They are growing near a window that gets intense morning sunlight and under four 24" T5 Florescent bulbs set for 16 hours per day. The fruit is about 1" cherry tomato size and the plants are about 12" tall and growing in 8" pots. I think they would also do well in hanging baskets.

Red Robin Dwarf Tomatoes

The Red Robin tomatoes are a little larger plants. They are about 18" tall growing in 12" two gallon pots under six T12 Florescent bulbs. The fruit is just turning ripe and seems to be about 1.5 - 2" in size. There is a little browning of the lower leaves and may be due to poor light penetration or inconsistent watering cycles. I an growing in Peat based Pro-Mix and bottom watering.

This is my first year with indoor tomatoes during our Alaska winter and I will be doing this again,. Why Not ?