Alaska Gardening 2008

If you haven’t yet, please read yesterday’s post. It’s important. I hate to cover it up with new posts, but I don’t want to stop posting, so this is my compromise.

08-garden-2.jpgFor better or worse the 2008 garden is pretty much in. I have a book this year to help me out: Alaska Gardening Guide, by Ann D. Roberts. It says the #1 cause of gardening problems in Alaska is due to planting too early. In general, we’re advised to wait until after June 1. Did I plant too early? A couple of cucumbers said “yes” before they died, but the strawberries don’t think so. I’m sticking a couple of new seeds into the cranky cucumbers’ mound today. I hope they have better attitudes. The zucs are giving it their all. I’ve promised to keep them inside longer next year.

I started a bunch of seeds inside in April. Next year, I’m going to start herbs in March, I think, as soon as the sun begins to make itself felt. Unfortunately, we don’t keep our house all that warm, so the benefits of an inside start are questionable.

Last weekend, in less than 48 hours, we moved ten yards of topsoil (a dump truck full) with a shovel, a rake, and two 5-gallon buckets. Then we moved several yards of shale for garden paths.

We probably have four times the gardening space we had last year, including a new and totally unprotected raspberry/strawberry bed. Last weekend, friends delivered a tremendous load of raspberry and strawberry starts from their own garden. We’re talking approximately 100 strawberry plants. On Saturday, I planted the raspberries and half the strawberries.

On Sunday morning a moose walked through the new bed, right between two tall raspberry shoots. Somehow, she managed to miss all the strawberry plants.

On Sunday, I planted the rest of the strawberry plants.

On Monday, another moose walked through the bed, this time tramping on two strawberry plants. I think they’ll live, though.

Seriously, we very rarely saw moose this winter, and haven’t seen any this spring. The day after we put the “fence” up around the main garden:


So far, they’ve expressed no interest in eating anything from the garden, but then not much is growing just yet. The flags on the fence, however, are curious and possibly delicious things. We now have proof that the flagging gets their attention.

A bigger problem would be hares if and when they discover the garden. They’re booming right now. I spy them when I walk to the mailbox, but for the most part, they aren’t in the yard. Hare protection? Zilch. The garden remains a rather haphazard effort, but a much bigger haphazard effort this year.

Remember, if you haven’t yet, please read yesterday’s post. It’s important, and it’s Right There.

Categories: Alaska

5 replies »

  1. So does that mean you’re flagging down moose! Love the picture!

    Good luck with the plants, I’m trying to keep mine from withering (nothing edible except lime trees).

  2. Apparently!

    What’s the temp down there these days?

    And what are you doing reading blogs when you have a trade show less than a week away?!

  3. The timing of your blog is serendipitous! (Fun word) Joshua and I and the rest of the 7th graders at his school spent the day in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. We all oohed and ahhed over the size of the moose on display. I went on to tell our group about your and Mike’s adventures with moose…sitting on the roof of the cabin with the apple on a fishing pole…moose eating food from your garden…scratching the nose of a moose. They were thrilled to hear the stories. I’ve been home just a little while from the fieldtrip and decided to check your blog. Lo and behold, there’s a moose in your garden!

    I think I’ll print out the photo for Joshua to share with his friends on Monday. Maybe they’ll get a kick out of the timing, too.

  4. Ha-ha-ha, Becca! A woman after my own heart–but we already knew that.

    Shell, I like serendipity, too, the word and the concept.

    You can let the kids know that one of the local moose has a brand new calf (no pics yet, but I just saw it on the way back from the mailbox this morning), and sometime Sunday night/Monday morning a moose nipped off the flowers of the store-bought strawberry plants that are in boxes outside our garden fence. The beds were created as an after-thought, and the fence was already up. We need new posts to extend the fence, and we don’t have them just yet.


    We really will have to do something if we want to keep animals out. So far, flimsy twine and flagging seems to work for the moose. I guess we need some more. Someday we’ll build a real fence–a pretty one.