Presentation on theme: "Summer Gardening Workshop"— Presentation transcript:
1 Summer Gardening Workshop Building raised beds and growing healthy plants in interior AlaskaSponsored by Solitude Springs Farm
2 Why plant a garden? Fun and rewarding Peace and quiet Time for relaxation and meditation
3 Is gardening in Alaska difficult Alaska presents its unique set of challenges to the gardener:Climate: cold winters/short, cool summersSoils: cold, acidic, poor drainage?Pests: few, but include moose, rodents, aphidsWeeds: fireweed, swamp marigolds, lambs quarters, siberian pea (introduced), horsetail, vetch, native grassDiseases: few, but include mildews (host specific), ?
4 Alaskan Benefits Long summer days Cool temperatures Summer rain Beneficial except for plants prone to boltingCool temperaturesPromotes beautiful flowers (Holland)Root crops are sweeterLeafy vegetables are sweeterSummer rainReduces watering requirements
5 Popular plants Flowers – most annuals and many perennials Vegetables Outside: carrots, potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, beets, lettuce & other greens, spinach, onionsGreenhouse: cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, eggplantPlants take longer to mature than indicated on seed packets!!!!
6 Overcoming difficulties Long days and bolting: plant early and again late in seasonCold/acidic soils: plant in raised bedsCool summers: use a greenhouseMoose: electric fence or a dogDiseases: mildews – sulfur spray or 1 tbsp each baking soda, vegetable oil, dish soapPreventative
9 Raised Bed Construction Use pressure treated lumber, redwood, or cedar for long lifeCan also use untreated wood, logs, stone, bricksOther ideas:to build raised beds final_Nov08.pdf
10 Raised Bed Construction Using 4x4 end posts and 2x6 side boardsHeight > 12 inches, Width =< 3ft, Length = anyMost plants require about 12 inches for proper root growthWidths greater that 3 ft make access to center difficultLength: remember you have to fill the thing!!End posts should extend at least 4 inches below to anchor bed in position, ?? Extend above??
11 Raised Bed Construction Materials:1 – 4”x4”x8’ pressure treated lumberCut into four equal pieces6 – 2”x6”x?’ pressure treated lumber2 – 2”x6”x10’ pressure treated lumberCut into six-3 ft long pieces1 – 2”x4”x8’ pressure treated lumberCut into two 24 inch long piecesDeck screws, drill, ⅛” drill bit, screwdriver, shovel, 4’ wide weed cloth, soil, compost/manure
12 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 woodUse coated screws for long lifeLay weed cloth under bed to prevent grass/weeds from growing up into bedHardware cloth (optional) for burrowing animals
13 Raised Bed Construction Use square to orient side boards to 4x4sBuild long sides and then attach with short sides.Place bed upside down in final location and mark perimeterMove bed and dig holes for end posts, center stabilizers (beds > 8 ft long and (optional) trenches for side boards
14 Raised Bed Construction Place weed cloth and (optional) hardware cloth where bed will sitPlace bed right side up in final location and fill around end posts and stabilizers with dirtBe sure to cover weed cloth with dirt to prevent decay and damageFill bed with mix of soil, potting mix, and compost/manure in roughly equal proportions10’x3’x12” bed will require 30 cubic feet (1.1 cubic yards) of material
15 Planting and CareRaised bed frame should be maintenance free for yearsContents require annual addition of organic matter – to maintain 12 inch depthAnnual weeding and fertilizer applicationsCan use synthetic or organic fertilizersWeeding just has to be done!Weekly watering during dry periods (or more often, depending on soil used)
16 Planting and CareEnjoy the plants you grow in your new raised bed!!!!!!