Kodiak Daily Mirror - Daily newspaper of Kodiak, Alaska
  
Home and Garden
 
Garden Gate: Strategize to beat cutworms, root maggots
I’m not growing potatoes this year. Instead, I’m devoting more space to carrots and beets. I like potatoes — love them, in fact — but you can’t juice them. I’m also growing more turnips, the small, golf ball-sized Hakurei turnips. They round out a salad — no pun intended — and the greens provide tons of minerals, vitamins and fiber. No, I haven’t gone wacky over nutrition, juicing or giant carrots. I just don’t ha...
Jun 04, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Stake, cinch, tie: Recycling in the garden
Scores of blogs, websites, books and workshops are devoted to showing you how to put used materials to work in the garden. Some ideas are ingenious, while others are more trouble than they’re worth. Here are a few ways to reincarnate everyday items. Practical or silly? You be the judge. Following that list, I’ll share a few tomato tips. Plant protectors Got a clear tote riddled with holes or cracks? Use it to cove...
May 29, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Rain vs. tap water: The debate continues
Most gardeners in the UK would rather give up afternoon tea than water the garden with tap water. Rainwater is king, and it’s not because they usually have plenty of it. According to Garden Organic (gardenorganic.org.uk), the UK’s leading organic growing charity, we should be harvesting as much rainwater as possible. But Linda Chalker-Smith, associate professor/extension horticulturist with Washington State Univer...
May 21, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Sifted debris and other spring garden tips
Gardeners who sift soil are perfectionists, taking the extra step to remove sticks, rocks and shells; leaving shreds of leaves, grass, kelp and other fluff for their plants to gleefully wiggle their roots in. For greenhouse and hoophouse crops, nothing could be better. Same with growing carrots and other root crops that don’t appreciate stubbing their toes. Besides, a happy plant is one that resides in healthy soi...
May 14, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Snake poop compost
When I was about 8, my brothers and I loved to play with garter snakes. We found them in great numbers by the stand of cattails circling the swamp, a pond where frogs and tadpoles lived. We gathered dozens of snakes and set them in a pillow case (the same one used for collecting fruit bats) and carry them into the house. Trouble is, sometimes we’d get distracted by lunch or a fresh blackberry cobbler coming out of...
May 07, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Carrots love Kodiak
Eliot Coleman, author of “The Winter Harvest Handbook,” says carrots have an almost “legendary popularity” in their markets. “We cannot grow enough of them to meet the demand. While delivering in our stores we have seen little children rush to the produce counter, entreating their parents to buy lots of ‘candy carrots.’” What would make anyone race to buy a carrot? The cold, says Coleman, makes them extra sweet. I...
Apr 30, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Bringing damaged equipment back to life
The retreating snowbanks have revealed a few casualties around our yard: tip-burned rhododendrons, dead strawberries and a couple 5-gallon buckets with split bottoms. But within every misfortune lies a benefit; it just depends on your attitude. Here are several ways to turn a boo-boo into a blessing. Double bucket containers Self-watering containers use a water reservoir below the soil level to provide water when ...
Apr 23, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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Try aspirin water to cure some of gardening's frequent headaches
Several people have asked me about using aspirin water as a remedy for ailing plants, so it’s time to revisit the subject. I learned about using aspirin water several years ago and based on my experience, it’s something you should consider adding to your gardening first aid kit. Many conditions can stress new plants: drying wind, pelting rain and other things you can only imagine. To promote healthy growth, we can...
Apr 16, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Winter hard on Kodiak raspberries, Ariz. cactus
After breakfast — cheese, cherry tomatoes, toasted bagel and coffee — Natasha and I loaded our camera bags and tripods into her white Subaru and drove east out of Tucson along Speedway Boulevard, a six-lane watering hole attracting all manner of Americana — Sparkle Laundries, Starbucks, gas stations, designer bakeries and dental offices — hoping for financial nourishment from resident and visiting suburbanites. Ou...
Apr 02, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: The secrets of pH for gardeners and beer lovers
Gardeners often read the recommendation to check soil pH, but what does that mean and why is it important? The pH is simply a measure of how acid or alkaline a substance is. When I say substance, this can mean swimming pool water, cheese or beer — all is influenced by pH. Soil acidity or alkalinity (soil pH) is important because it influences how well plants take up nutrients through their roots. Many references l...
Mar 26, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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