Well, here we are. In 2022!
It’s the annual “state of things” kind of address, where we discuss the goings on and back end of our little operation here.
Frosty Garden Overview
Since we’ve transitioned our site to static content, I’ve been much happier as a site administrator and “garden blogger” overall. I think our content has generally been better for it, too.
As usual, we have a timeline and schedule in our minds – but never seem to be able to reach that as perfectly as we’d hoped. We STILL have a few straggler articles that we need to get updated to our “new and improved” type of content. We’ll get there soon enough.
But, this now allows this blog section to be more a free-form, what’s going on kind of format. Sometimes that’s how I like to write.
We really wanted to dig into writing more this last winter. That was the plan anyway. Then the winter of 2022 happened. Put simply, it’s been our hardest winter here. We’ve been battling snow, ice, rain, crappy roads, roof shoveling, vehicle & equipment issues and so forth. It kind of feels like our greenhouse might:
Our 2022 Garden Plan
Our general garden plan for 2022 is going to look much like it did for 2021. Our overall plan changes were pretty much a standard crop rotation. Last year really worked for us pretty well.
A few minor changes:
- We’re nixing garden huckleberries. While we enjoy them, we kind of want to use the growing space for more valuable (to us) crops.
- We’re also nixing ground cherries. These are an absolute favorite around here, and they aren’t gone “forever” of course. It’s a similar story to the huckleberries.
- We nixed collard greens, too. While they are a good staple to have in the garden, we just aren’t using them frequently. Either fresh or in preservation.
- We’re going to trial corn this year. We’ve been wanting to do this for years now, but just haven’t found the right time to try it. We’re not sure what to expect!
- In place of ground cherries and huckleberries, we’re growing more peppers. We’ve really started to hit our stride with these (from sweet to “hot enough”) and we use our preserved harvest all winter long, consistently.
- We’re seriously good on a lot of our dried herbs, so we might have some “experimental” growing space this year. We’ll be on the lookout for interesting greenhouse finds this spring.
As we discuss in a few places here, it’s important to re-evaluate your plans every year. There was a time when we’d get in a rut and just do things because “that just what we always did.” These days, we’re trying to fine tune closer to what we’ll actually consistently use.
Our 2022 garden plans:
What Are We Excited About For 2022?
We are REALLY excited about Sakura tomatoes this year. We trialed this cherry tomato variety last year and it was just absolutely epic. Maturing as early as 35 days into the season, we had cherry tomatoes right up until final harvest. The taste was amazing and we love the trellises they put out. We’re now ONLY going to grow these for cherry tomatoes. (We also bought enough seed for 5 years!)
We are also really excited to see what happens with our 2021 perennial bed that we put together. We can’t wait to see whether our horseradish, asparagus and rhubarb will come back this year. Of course the chives will come back, that’s a given.
There will of course be a few notable mentions through the season, but we’re keeping the 2022 surprises under wraps for now!
Our Frosty Garden Summer Projects
We haven’t actually planned any major garden related projects for this summer. This is actually a good thing for us! We’ve had major gardening projects most every spring for many years in a row now.
We do have a few minor maintenance things we need to deal with relating to our gardens, though.
We need to rebuild our rain water catchment barrels. Long story short, we got whacked with Covid last September, right at the beginning of our major harvest time. Basically, we were waylaid by almost two weeks until we felt well enough to do our final garden shutdown rounds. (Worst possible timing, but whatever.) When I took down our rain barrels, they had all ready frozen. Unfortunately, I snapped a few of the barrel fittings in the process, rendering them worthless.
We’re going to take the opportunity to rebuild the barrels ourselves out of Rubbermaid trash cans (prettified, of course) and fairly standard, more robust fittings. This will overall be more sustainable for the long term. We’ll be able to fully service them, end to end, which should help prevent future problems.
We’re also going to do a minor reconfiguration of our irrigation systems. We added a new bed last year and need to get it tied into our irrigation. This will allow us to keep these beds watered with minimal manual labor. We originally planned this for last year, but…man those summers go fast!
I’m sure we’ll find a zillion things to tinker with, fix, improve and so forth. That’s the way it always is!
2022’s Frosty Garden Plan
Beyond just our garden season, we hope to write several new articles this season.
We’re planning on adding a few more of the “cold climate growing guides” we’ve been putting together. These have been immensely popular on our site and we think they’re helpful. We’ve all ready put up our new onion guide.
We have a long to-do list of many ideas for articles. We hope to get through some of the more important ones. A big one was detailing our battles with the onion fly last year. Good news, we were 100% successful! This is a consistent one we see people dealing with every single season, so now we have something to offer.
The goal is the same as it always has been! Make Frosty Garden a better resource for our readers every single year!
A Look Into Where We Stand In The World
Something we don’t often talk about here is “where we stand” on the internet. I know I find it interesting when other “internet destinations” provide a little insight into their world!
Our readership has been continually growing since we started the site back in 2015. It’s gone much further than I ever thought it could.
We are the number 1 search engine hit for many different search terms on the internet. In the top 10 for countless others. If you search for almost anything gardening related in Alaska, there’s a good chance you’ll find us.
Perhaps as expected, much of our traffic comes from Alaska. But it also comes from the northern US, Canada and practically every northern country out there.
We get a surprising amount of traffic for a small time blog, focused entirely on subarctic gardening. That’s a pretty niche thing!
To maybe give you an idea, we get between 1,000 to 3,000 unique viewers, every single month. We have higher peaks during the growing season, but we sustain a consistent following all year round.
In 2015 & 2016, those numbers were more like 5 to 20 visitors per month. 2022 is currently on track to double the amount of web traffic we’ve ever received.
Viva la gardening!
It’s enough that we had to increase our web resources for the first time in a long time last year! We’re able to manage the increased costs without advertising on our site. This is something we’re proud of and would like to maintain. So far, so good.
North, To The Future!
Overall, we’re hoping that our readers and ourselves have a great 2022 season. We are looking forward to it.
As has been the case the last couple years, we’ve moved most of our “update” type of information to our Facebook page. This is just easier for us to manage than creating blog posts and such.
We’re looking forward to growing with you again!
That’s All We Wrote!
We have an ever growing list of insightful and helpful subarctic gardening articles, waiting out there for you!
- Gardening Basics
- Advanced Cold Climate Gardening Techniques
- Growing From Seed
- Family Scale Food Production
- Subarctic Growing Techniques, Methods & More…