Fruition in an Large Alaska Garden

  • July 18th, 2021

    What a good year for a subsistence purposed garden.

    With plants from seed indoors and later seeded outdoors, this bold gardeners strives to experiment with a wide variety of vegtables, grains, and fruit, grown in the cold and finicky Alaska tundra.  Join me in the pleasure and joy of this experiment.  After months of research into verieties and techniques, now is the real test of the hardiness and vigor of these adventurous greens. 

    A TON is flourishing.  I didn't know what to expect.  Many verieties listed on the web spoke of weather they were a heat loving or cold hearty crop.  I tied to balance the opinions listed with the importance of the crop to my family and this is what I came up with.

    Amaranth my favorite sucess is now 2ft. tall & starting to bud this morning.  It's a cerial grain in the form of a flower that produces giant seed heads and wine purple and green stalks. Was started inside in Dixie cups & hardened off for 1 week.

    Duborshkian Dryland Rice is now dividing and 2 rows deep with moderate yellowing from dificient nitrogen nutrients in its 4in tall, single stalk stage. Recovered slightly late with liquid nutrients but promising.

    A Ground Cherry placed among my onions is mulched-in and humongous! Covered in an elegent green husk, the fruit is marble sized inside for the earliest ones. This was the only seed that sprouted out of 50 or so. It also was the last thing to be transplanted because of its lack of hardyness.

    Celeriac and Celery were began indoors and were my second transplant to flourish, a couple dead lower leaves after transplant and they are straight as a board now. The Celeriac is a bulb version of the celery which keeps longer in storage.

    The potatoes in two rows were of many verieties including ones sprouted from the grocery store, stalk from last year and special starter potatoes. Next year I'll have to record titles. The ones which had not formed eyes yet when left in minimal light, had never emerged. We planted 6in deep in semi-dense soil so they don't have to be hilled. They are extremely large already.

    Fennel bulb which has either not popped up from seed yet or I can't determine the your plant from the weeds.

    Tomatoes in 5 verieties occupying two rows: Lemon Ice Dwarf, Ember Cherry, Cosmonaut, Pimiento Paste Cherry, and Stupiece. Many are flowering except the dwarf variety and some already have fruit.

    Garbanzo beans, pole beans of a short maturity length, 2 bush beans and sugar snap peas.

    Sulsify wich was planted alongside parsnip since it is a long season crop. It reportedly tastes like Artichoke or shellfish and flowers in purple.

    Millet which looks just like the grass besides being slower to mature. Next year I will try teff instead.

    Cucumber, straight neck summer squash, zukini and pumpkin which were attempted last year during which they had failed. This year are off to a good start when prestarted indoors. The cold is why the seeds never emerged last year. They need supplemental heat from a mat. So far pollination is an issue.

    Along with those a Minisoda midget melon, arctic Ambrosia Watermelon, ice cream melon, De Renes cantalope, hullless acorn squash, delecata, love melon, and 

    Clayton's, Purslane, Romain, and head lettice. Planted outdoors from seed u was not sure what to expect so I started more indoors which helped fill holes in the lineup where a few failed. 

    Brussle Sprouts which are the diameter of a medium ball now. Besides yellowing in the lower leaves they are off to the races. Completely failed last year since the moose got to them. Maybe next year I could have a fence.

    Califlower and Broccoli are in partial shade and flourishing.

    Peppers are started indoors along with a Japanese Spinach, which replaces real spinach as a parenial (multi-year) are hard to keep from drying out but well worth the attempt. Some test subjects will be set aside and transplanted outdoors to see if those verietoes will produce. We have Aju Dulce, Habenada, Red pimiento, Jalapeño, and a Yellow Wax. 

    Things that are planted that had been tried last year as well are as follows: sunflowers, beets, parsnip, carrots, klolrabi, rutabega, and turnip.

    Some tests that may not suceed are sweetpotato and peanuts which are typically tropical and grapes.

    The Sesame failed in hardening off even when other crops in the same pallet survived, the rice also died down to its last appendage during hardening perhaps because it was already weak. 


1 comment
  • Deborah Winchester
    Deborah Winchester Wonderful! It's important to keep a garden journal, complete with photos. I keep telling myself to do that.
    July 23, 2021 - Report