Wasilla Alaska Garden Adventures

Wasilla Alaska Garden Adventures - learning about gardening up north.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

4th of July - Garden Update

Yesterday was the 4th of July and the weather has been about as good as you could ask for. Plenty of sunshine with just enough rain mixed in to keep everything green. It is amazing how fast everything grows in the short Alaska summer. Hard to imagine that a little over a month ago we were still keeping an eye open for any late spring frosts and the ground was just barley warm enough to set out tender plants without protection. Twenty hours of daylight can work magic with the right temperature and adequate water. A hot day in Wasilla is anywhere above 75 degrees. On a sunny day temperatures now average in the high 60's to low 70's and you usually get a cool breeze in the afternoon. Nighttime lows now are around 50 degrees. If the day is overcast or rainy you can drop 10 degrees and stay below 65 and tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants like it a little warmer to set fruit and do better inside a greenhouse. They don't seem to be bothered by high indoor temperature in the 85-95 degree range. Ventilation is still important for greenhouses and plastic hoop tunnels as humidity can build up promoting fungal disease and it can easily reach above 100 in a closed greenhouse on a sunny day.

Greenhouse tomatoes one month ago and today.
All of the tomatoes are setting fruit and I will be checking for any signs of blossom end rot indicating watering stress.

I added a 35 gallon trash can reservoir to keep the plants watered as they grow larger and start to set fruit. It is amazing just how much water the plants can absorb.

My new Grow Bucket test plants seem to be doing very well also and I need to build a trellis for the cucumber and set up a wire cage for the tomato.


The green beans are looking good and the raised row system seems to be helping. I have had good results with Purple Pod beans that turn green after cooking. They are much easier to find when picking as the purple beans stand out against the green foliage.

The hoop tunnels are holding up well also and the eggplant and peppers are looking good so far. Several peppers have set fruit and the eggplants are blooming but haven't seen any new fruit yet. I had an attack of aphids on my hoop tunnel tomatoes but that seems to have past and the tomatoes look okay.

I am fighting a bad infestation of root maggots and had to throw out the last of my radish crop. They are now attacking my onions and I picked up some predatory nematodes at the Far North Garden Supply today and we shall see if they help. I will have to to move my onions and any other root crops to a different garden bed next year.


  1. Are you doing something special to get your eggplant blooming? I can't ever get them to bloom until the daylight hours get shorter, and then they never have time to set fruit. I have read that they need hours of dark every night.

  2. I usually get lots of blooms - but not a lot of fruit - if it turns cool too early. They like it hot. I grow Millionaire variety in my greenhouse or in a hoop tunnel under plastic mulch to warm the soil. The warmer the better. Last few summers were cool and cloudy - bad for eggplants.

  3. Nice garden! Those tomato plants sure look great. They do take an awful lot of water. I've been using wood ashes on the root maggots. Not a lot - just a sprinkle and blow it around with the lid of my coffee can. Them grow buckets look like a great idea.