Wasilla Alaska Garden Adventures

Wasilla Alaska Garden Adventures - learning about gardening up north.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Starting Seeds for 2016 in Wasilla

Getting a jump on the growing season up here is the secret to a successful garden in Alaska. That means starting seeds indoors while there is still snow on the ground. For some reason Mother Nature has decided to skip Winter this year and move directly into a very early Spring thaw. We have had very little snow, out here in my neighborhood. Although I can't complain, it would still be very foolish to expect this mild weather to last without some freezing nights. So you stick with your normal planting schedule and keep your seedlings indoors until all danger of a killing frost are over. Most of March has had daytime high temperatures in the 40's and even a few sunny 50 degree days, but nighttime lows can vary from the 20's to mid 30's.


I use a large wire shelf system for starting seeds indoors under florescent lights. The shelf racks are 48" wide by 18" deep  and come with 5 shelves that you can customize to your preference.

4 Light Heavy Duty Shoplight


The light system I prefer is the Lithonia Lighting 4 Light Heavy Duty Shoplight with 4 Phillips 32 watt T8 6500 degree daylight florescent bulbs at 2750 Lumens each for a total output of 11,000 Lumens.


I start my tomatoes around the first of March. I am trying Bush Early Girl Hybrid tomato this year that is supposed to be resistant to fungal disease and less prone to cracking than the Extreme Bush Tomato that I have been growing. I prefer the shorter bush tomato varieties as they do not grow too tall inside my greenhouse. I have been very happy with my Bio-Dome seedling trays that use foam grow plugs in a floating Styrofoam base. These are sold by Park Seed Company. Unfortunately they charge extra for shipping to Alaska.

http://astore.amazon.com/mygardenproducts-20/detail/B003ST9WQI

This year I found a similar tray system on Amazon and it is working very well. The Hydrofarm Smart Smart Float Grow Tray with plugs is a good option for starting seeds indoors.


These are my bell pepper seedlings in my new Smart Float Grow Tray. I am growing North Star hybrid, King of the North, Sibirskiy Knyaz, Miniature Red Bell, and Zolotistiy Yellow.


This is a tray of eggplant seedlings and I am trying Patio Hybrid and Satin Moon Hybrid - both are shorter container varieties that should do well in my Alaska Grow Buckets.

I also have broccoli, kale, and several herbs started indoors.  Follow along as I get ready for another Alaska garden season using my Alaska Grow Buckets self-watering garden system.