Gardening for the first time can be daunting, especially in Alaska with the added challenges of a short growing season, sometimes too-cool weather, and sometimes very hot weather. Although the internet provides a wealth of information, when you’ve never done something before, sometimes you don’t even know what questions to ask. Here are answers to some questions you may have not known to ask about gardening.
The first thing to think about when starting a garden is where are you going to put it?
An ideal garden spot would get eight or more hours of direct sunlight; have rich, loose soil free of weeds, rocks and roots; be a good distance from trees and shrubs; have an easily accessible water source; and have an 8- foot-high fence to keep moose and other pests out. That’s the ideal, but many of us garden in less than ideal spots because that’s what we have available. However, it’s something to work toward or arrange if you can. Also, you can garden in containers, raised beds or in-ground.
Do you want to grow in containers, raised beds, or in-ground?
Container gardening can be a good option for those who do not have a spot to plant a garden in the ground. But containers can be challenging to keep watered. A full hanging basket may need to be watered two to three times a day in the heat of the summer in Fairbanks. You’ll want to make sure you use good potting soil for hanging baskets rather than just digging up soil you may have in your backyard. For one, that type of soil may be very heavy and hard to move. Also, you need to optimize growing conditions in containers because of the added stress on plants.Continue reading