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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Whats going on in the garden

When I first started our compost this year, I just wanted good fertilizer. Now I just want it to help with my crappy swamp top soil. The potatoes love the high acidic soil, but other plants aren’t so happy with it.

So how did I start my compost? Well I grabbed 2 bags of grass from my in town house that the landscaping guys were going to toss. We have been throwing coffee grounds, old or bad vegetables and fruit in it. I also put in some soaked moose nuggets, lime and oh course our swamp dirt.

What is swamp dirt? Well, when we ordered topsoil for our new garden we put in last year, we didn’t realize it was coming out of a swamp area north of Willow, Alaska. I now have these weeds (not sure what they are) coming up and they are deeply rooted, and you only see them in swampy loess soil around the State. They remind me of little trees.

At the start of the thawing season I limed the heck out of my raised galvanized beds. All 9 of them have at least 7 cups of lime each in them and tilled the soil with my own hands and little plant shovel. It took a couple hours but it was worth it.

I made sure to put egg shells in the areas I know my tomatoes were going to be put in for the calcium and nitrates they needed and then fertilized with normal fertilizer, the rest of the garden. The end of this season I plan on putting a bag perilite each, in each raised bed as I have noticed the soil takes on a sandy/muddy consistency and the perilite will help with the drainage.

As of right now, I know the garden is doing better this year then last year. The one bed I didn’t do much with was the potato bed… as I said, they like acidic dirt. I will hopefully be going up on Friday to check on my little guys and seeing how much they have grown. I haven’t checked on them since Memorial day weekend and actually had tomatoes on the vine, little peppers on the vice and so much more growing fast and furious.

The only issues I have been having were my squashes. Everything I started from seed died for some reason. BUT as a precaution as I think subconsciously they would die, I planted a bunch of squash and zuke seeds and they were huge seedlings when I left to go subsistence fishing.

As of right now I have:

1 bed of potatoes, Alaska golden
1 bed of red and white onions that were about 6 inches tall when we left.
1 bed of arctic variety strawberries that HAD green strawberries on them when I left.
6 broccoli
6 cabbage
6 cauliflower
A nice couple of rows of carrots and radishes
2 rows of kohlrabi
2 rows of brussel sprouts
Lots of red lettuce but wishing I had grown romaine
Celery all over
Over 7 different varieties of tomatoes, 3/4th of them I start from seed.
Over 9 different varieties of peppers that are hot to sweet and over ½ of them I started from seed.
All sorts of herbs
Not sure how many tomatillo’s I have now.

I know I have more, but I can’t remember.

How are you guys doing?  Pictures.. soon, I promise.

Oh did I mention I am growing wild cucumbers for the berries.  AKA Watermelon Berries that you can foriage for.

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Jamie @ Woodside Gardens said...

Watermelon berries are wild cucumber?

upinak said...

Jaime, you know I said the same dang thing. I have a foraging book that states that Alaska wild cukes are also the bearer of watermelon berries.

I wish I could say otherwise, but my book is at the cabin and I amin the city so I can't tell you what the name of the book is.

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