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Topic: Container vegetable gardening in Southeast Alaska (lots of pics)  (Read 10915 times)
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Livin' high in Alaska......and lovin' it!!!

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« on: July 14, 2008 10:24:23 PM »

Okay....so....this spring I decided that I would try my first attempt at gardening.  Now, so you know, I have been known to kill cactus and so, my family thought this was a hysterical idea!!!  But I perservered, did oodles of research and determined that, since I live in temperate rain forest (50-90 inches of rain annually), container gardening would be my best bet at a successful yield. 

I also decided that I wanted a small greenhouse, to protect my plants from drowning and the ravens, for Mother's Day.  So, with a design in mind for small 8x8 greenhouse w/ a pitched roof, I contrived to enlist a small portion of my family to achieve my ends.....isn't family great?!

1.) Get hubby to fork over left-over wood from various projects, hunt down recyclable pieces for use, buy whatever materials may be needed, build greenhouse
2.) Get brother #1 (works in lumber/hardware yard - also ex-landscaper of 10 years.....) to getting remaining lumber & tools needed, build greenhouse
3.) Get brother #2 (landscaper) to build greenhouse
4.) Enlist my teenage children for cheap labor, building greenhouse and hauling soil

while I, snoopervised the construction, kept the guys supplied with beer and hot meals (as we did this in the evenings after work/school, and I, well I...cook like grandma Wink......) and hunted down any recyclable container (i.e. coffee cans, bookshelves, baskets, plastic bowls and plastic drawers, etc.) to make into planters and got down to planting.......

and voila.....my Mother's Day greenhouse (my family ROCKS!!!) and very first attempt at gardening..........the greenhouse vents on the bottom of the 3 non-door sides (I just open and secure corner flaps with eye & hook latches on the nice days for full sun and fresh air) and has rebar hung inside for my hanging baskets and as the strawberries & strazzberries mature that's where they'll be hanging out.....with the tomatoes (growing upside down in buckets - I have one in each corner of the greenhouse and all are topped with different herbs (cilantro/corriander, chives, basil and parsley) for companion growing (I googled & looked at many, many different versions of upside down planters and was worried that a soda bottle would just not be sturdy enough - hence the buckets), cucumbers and the 3-in-1 citrus plants.  I have the radishes growing in wicker baskets and carrots in a large recycled plastic drawer next to them.  Beans and broccoli make up the double row planters and snap peas the single one.  Snow peas in terra cotta planters and bush green beans in the coffee canisters, strawberries and strazzberries are in planters in these photos - awaiting transplant.  The garlic is doing swell and smells so fine - as you open the door to the greenhouse your first smells are of the garlic and basil (yum-yum Smiley.   I also have red potatoes growing in 5 gallon buckets right outside the door.

The 4 leaf clover was a freebie plant (along with a vine peach that Im trying out) that the company I ordered from threw in with my order and so I thought what the heck.....I love it and have given quite a few plants of it away to friends as a "good luck" gift....they also have enjoyed it very much, the green and purple colors are striking and all are perfect 4-leaf clovers....hurray for freebies!!!

Im really pleased with how the greenhouse turned out and how the plants are coming along so far.now, the real trick will be, to see if I can keep the bears out of it all summer  long the cats are difficult enoughAnyways, I apologize for the length of the post (verbal and visual).  Please....any comments will be helpful, as I'm learning as I go.....Questions?  I'll try to answer as clearly as I can.......Thanks for looking!!!


Blessed be.
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« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2008 10:37:54 PM »

That's soo cool! I'm a plant killer too ... I try but it just never works! Good luck!

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« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2008 10:56:19 PM »

I hope your garden does well.  It looks great in the pictures.  I'm a little jealous.  You have a yard.  When we lived in Juneau, all we had was a deck that was way too close to the mountain.  Nothing I ever tried to grow lived for long.  Something always killed them.  Now we live in Louisiana and I still can't garden.  In Juneau the problem was the rain.  Here it's the heat and humidity.  I can barely take being outside for a few minutes.  Darn Coast Guard just has to be difficult.  Oh well...   Sorry for rambling.  I haven't been outside all day.  Good luck.

I reject your reality and substitute my own.  --Adam Savage
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2008 11:19:30 PM »

WOW that is lovely ! I wish I had one !
I am in the UK and my garden has not worked that well this year (sigh)


Mum to two... love to craft - terrible at housework !
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2008 05:10:25 AM »

This is great and the plants all look wonderful! I really want a greenhouse! So how exactly do the pesky bears get in? Is it when you open the vents on the sides? If so maybe you could make some sort of chicken wire/mesh covers to go over them when they're open? That should let the air continue to flow but keep out intruders Smiley.
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2008 05:20:42 AM »

That's a fabulous greenhouse!  The design is great, very adaptable; wish it was mine!  Your plants look like they're off to a good start - good luck!
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2008 07:45:20 AM »

Great job I really like the container idea. I hope you get a good crop!

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« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2008 09:36:05 PM »

Yeah. Well. Teenage labor. AS HER DAUGHTER I OBJECT!!!! But I'm very proud of my mother and her plants. She's funny, checking on her garden nine or ten times a day! I exaggerate, but that's what it seems like.

Yay a greenhouse!!

And perfect timing, with the flooding and destruction of the crops down south..


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« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2008 08:23:53 AM »

What a lovely greenhouse!  I am inspired to make one for myself.
Nice use of space with the hanging planters, too.

I'm pro-accordion, and I vote!
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2008 11:26:43 AM »

Wow, you and your family did a great job.  Your plants are looking good.  You will soon be enjoying the fruits (and veggies and herbs  Smiley ) our your hard work.
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2008 04:55:57 PM »

This is great and the plants all look wonderful! I really want a greenhouse! So how exactly do the pesky bears get in? Is it when you open the vents on the sides? If so maybe you could make some sort of chicken wire/mesh covers to go over them when they're open? That should let the air continue to flow but keep out intruders Smiley.

bears will go anywhere if they set their minds to it-chickenwire or no chickenwire.

I am jealous of all the little greenie sprouts! I am in anchorage and am stuck with a pitiful 4 ft by 4 ft balcony. Nice!
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2008 06:48:06 AM »

That's so cool, teenage labor and all! They did a fabulous job!  I hope your crops come in great.  Be sure to take pics of the harvest.

It's funny, we have raccoons here in the suburbs and they can get into a bungied garbage can faster than I can, but they leave the garden alone.  I was born & raised in New York City, living in suburbia for a good long time.  We saw a bear once while hiking in Wyoming, and seriously, it was really hard for me not to panic and not pee in my pants at the same time, so you're a brave woman!  I spot a possum and it's a kodak moment!
« Last Edit: August 02, 2008 06:08:24 AM by VaxGirl » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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Livin' high in Alaska......and lovin' it!!!

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« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2008 11:17:48 PM »

Thanks, everybody, for the best wishes for my "babies".  So far, this summer, we have not had much sunshine but they are all still hanging in there and the only pests I've had to fight off as of yet have been my own cats.....which brings me to the bears....I've included a link (I hope that's alright) to a local newspaper story about the bears around here, it's a bit of a humorous story and events like this happen all the time, but it really only gives a slight view of how smart these animals really are.  Again, thank you for all the great feed-back, I appreciate it!

Blessed be.
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