Story last updated at 5/13/2009 - 11:29 am
Whether you prefer to plant seeds in pots or in unshackled soil, gardening in Southeast Alaska poses unique advantages and hurtles. By following a few tips and tricks, your peas and potatoes can grow large enough to feed your whole neighborhood.
Challenge number one in Southeast may also be our greatest asset: rainfall. Water is obviously essential to plant life, but too much can be deadly. Make sure your potted plants have proper drainage to avoid pot floods. In-ground beds should include adequate drainage ditches or drainage pipes.
Improperly drained soil can retain cold temperatures and stunt plant growth. Raised beds generally allow the soil to heat up by several degrees, which can allow seeds to germinate twice as fast.
Often, the type of soil in your garden can affect drainage. Areas that are rich in glacial deposits are often poor in soil nutrients and structure. Heavy clay and muskeg soils can often benefit by the addition of moderate amounts of sharp sand or fine gravel.