Presentation on theme: "Summer Gardening Workshop Building raised beds and growing healthy plants in interior Alaska Sponsored by Solitude Springs Farm."— Presentation transcript:
Summer Gardening Workshop Building raised beds and growing healthy plants in interior Alaska Sponsored by Solitude Springs Farm
Why plant a garden? Fun and rewarding Peace and quiet Time for relaxation and meditation
Is gardening in Alaska difficult Alaska presents its unique set of challenges to the gardener: – Climate: cold winters/short, cool summers – Soils: cold, acidic, poor drainage? – Pests: few, but include moose, rodents, aphids – Weeds: fireweed, swamp marigolds, lambs quarters, siberian pea (introduced), horsetail, vetch, native grass – Diseases: few, but include mildews (host specific), ?
Alaskan Benefits Long summer days – Beneficial except for plants prone to bolting Cool temperatures – Promotes beautiful flowers (Holland) – Root crops are sweeter – Leafy vegetables are sweeter Summer rain – Reduces watering requirements
Popular plants Flowers – most annuals and many perennials Vegetables – Outside: carrots, potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, beets, lettuce & other greens, spinach, onions – Greenhouse: cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant Plants take longer to mature than indicated on seed packets!!!!
Overcoming difficulties Long days and bolting: plant early and again late in season Cold/acidic soils: plant in raised beds Cool summers: use a greenhouse Moose: electric fence or a dog Diseases: mildews – sulfur spray or 1 tbsp each baking soda, vegetable oil, dish soap – Preventative
Raised Bed Construction Use pressure treated lumber, redwood, or cedar for long life Can also use untreated wood, logs, stone, bricks Other ideas: – How to build raised beds final_Nov08.pdf How to build raised beds final_Nov08.pdf
Raised Bed Construction Using 4x4 end posts and 2x6 side boards Height > 12 inches, Width =< 3ft, Length = any – Most plants require about 12 inches for proper root growth – Widths greater that 3 ft make access to center difficult – Length: remember you have to fill the thing!! – End posts should extend at least 4 inches below to anchor bed in position, ?? Extend above??
Raised Bed Construction Materials: 1 – 4”x4”x8’ pressure treated lumber – Cut into four equal pieces 6 – 2”x6”x?’ pressure treated lumber 2 – 2”x6”x10’ pressure treated lumber – Cut into six-3 ft long pieces 1 – 2”x4”x8’ pressure treated lumber – Cut into two 24 inch long pieces Deck screws, drill, ⅛” drill bit, screwdriver, shovel, 4’ wide weed cloth, soil, compost/manure
Raised Bed Construction For beds > 8ft long: attach vertical pieces of 2x6 in center of long sides from top of top board to 8 inches below bottom board (stabilizers) Drill pilot holes to avoid splitting wood Use coated screws for long life Lay weed cloth under bed to prevent grass/weeds from growing up into bed Hardware cloth (optional) for burrowing animals
Raised Bed Construction Use square to orient side boards to 4x4s Build long sides and then attach with short sides. Place bed upside down in final location and mark perimeter Move bed and dig holes for end posts, center stabilizers (beds > 8 ft long and (optional) trenches for side boards
Raised Bed Construction Place weed cloth and (optional) hardware cloth where bed will sit Place bed right side up in final location and fill around end posts and stabilizers with dirt – Be sure to cover weed cloth with dirt to prevent decay and damage Fill bed with mix of soil, potting mix, and compost/manure in roughly equal proportions – 10’x3’x12” bed will require 30 cubic feet (1.1 cubic yards) of material
Planting and Care Raised bed frame should be maintenance free for years Contents require annual addition of organic matter – to maintain 12 inch depth Annual weeding and fertilizer applications – Can use synthetic or organic fertilizers – Weeding just has to be done! – Weekly watering during dry periods (or more often, depending on soil used)
Planting and Care Enjoy the plants you grow in your new raised bed!!!!!!