Kodiak Daily Mirror - Daily newspaper of Kodiak, Alaska
  
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Garden Gate: Golden chain trees: pretty, poisonous, practical
Today’s trip to the Credit Union 1 bank reminded me of one reason why I enjoy this time of year: the cascading yellow flowers of the golden chain tree. And blooming at the bank’s front door is a stunning specimen. Native to the mountains of southern Europe, from France to the Balkan Peninsula, the golden chain, oddly enough, thrives in Kodiak’s coastal conditions. According to Lon White of Strawberry Fields Nurser...
Jul 02, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: The story of the bleeding heart flower
In 1846, Robert Fortune (plant explorer extraordinaire) purchased a live bleeding heart plant at a nursery in Shanghai China and sent it back to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew with a note saying he thought this plant would become very popular with gardeners. Sure enough, within five years the plants were being sent to continental Europe and North America and were growing throughout Great Britain. It was such a h...
Jun 25, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Rekindling your relationship with radishes
After you eat the last pickle from the pickle jar, slice a bunch of radishes and toss them in the juice. Cover and store them in the fridge. In a week you’ll have the best tasting pickles, ready for dressing up salads or spicing up your favorite sandwich spread. This is just one way to rethink radishes, those ping pong roots that most people grow — and eat — as an afterthought. We’ve always been told that the humb...
Jun 18, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Island looks forward to getting the blues
One of the first plants to get nabbed at the garden club’s annual plant sale is the blue poppy. After all, nothing raises an eyebrow faster than something that’s out of the ordinary: a camel strolling in downtown New York or a red balloon in a certain movie. Goofy scarecrows and blue flowers demand the same attention. This week we’ll look at two blue flowers, forget-me-nots and blue poppies. Forget-me-nots The nam...
Jun 11, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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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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