It’s seriously hard to think that garden season is right around the corner. At the moment, we have almost 4 feet of snow in the yard, snow in the forecast and the coming weeks are expected to bring -20 to -30 degree temperatures. I’ll tell you, though, we’re looking forward to being done with winter though and are welcoming spring with open arms. Ahem, when it gets here.
Last year’s garden was an immense success. We are still eating our bounty now and again, through preserved foods and have a bunch of squash remaining from last year. We had some failures, too, but this comes with experimenting with new varieties and trying out new things. We intend to keep trying new varieties, and possibly experiencing failures, because that’s how we learn as a community.
We’ve started our planning efforts for the year. We intend to run both the UAF and Fairbanks Community Garden this year, that worked out really well despite splitting our interests.
One of the biggest things we learned last year was that the Fairbanks Community Garden soil was not ideal for a number of things. We also had severe chickweed problems. Due to these issues, we’re going to move our onions, leeks, chives, green onions, carrots, beets and radishes up to the UAF gardens. This will make our lives easier when it comes to weeding, these veggies are just a pain to weed around. We had a fair bit of available space last year at UAF that will work great for these smaller plants, so we’ll be filling in the holes and making those 4’x12′ raised beds really work for us.
This change means we have an entire free bed, 4’x35′ long, available at the Fairbanks Community Garden. We have a few ideas for that, which we’ll be sharing in upcoming posts, but we definitely want to bump up our potato production this year. We’ll also be doing more of what worked really well and preserves well, like broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Less cabbage, too – eight cabbages doesn’t seem like much but in Fairbanks, that’s like growing 30 of them! One can only come up with so many ideas for cabbage.
Come early March, we’ll be setting up the indoor space and starting our super early stuff like leeks, celery and perhaps some flowers. From there, we’ll be ever ramping up to June 1st. We ended up moving into a smaller place last fall, so we’re hoping this won’t put too much pressure on our valuable space!
Additionally, this year we’re going to be utilizing very small plugs a lot more. We purchased some high density plug trays last year that are even smaller than what we’ve used in the past and we have to get good at picking the “best of the best” when it comes to our starts. No mercy for stragglers! We’ll show you the process when we get it ramped up!
Happy 2017 gardening everyone!