Kodiak Daily Mirror - Daily newspaper of Kodiak, Alaska
  
 
Garden Gate: Compost is gold for the garden
After moving to Kodiak in 1984, I developed a hankering to grow something. Mostly food. So I started attending Kodiak Garden Club meetings. Most of the presentations however were, you might have guessed: mostly flowers. Things have changed, beginning with the front yard: Lawns and gardens have replaced crab pots and skiffs. And overall, folks are growing more vegetables in places where aggressive salmonberry bushe...
Sep 16, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 61 61 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Putting the garden to bed
Fall is in the air, and we need to begin the process of putting the garden to bed — or at least think about it. This is not a time to be sad. English author and gardener Vita Sackville-West says this time of the year (late summer for us; fall for the remaining gardeners north of the equator) should be particularly pleasant. “If it is true that one of the greatest pleasures of gardening lies in looking forward, the...
Sep 09, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 60 60 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Nasturtiums are a tasty ingredient
Most people who live and garden in warmer climates don’t give nasturtiums a second glance. They’re sometimes regarded as weeds, as they reseed easily and grow most anywhere with the least amount of maintenance. In Kodiak, nasturtiums are appreciated for the simple fact that they provide a colorful, late summer bloom, until a frost turns them into mush. Colorful, edible, tuba-shaped nasturtium blossoms have delight...
Sep 03, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 61 61 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Cooking with late summer rhubarb
Chop, chop, chop. Marty is standing in the corner of the kitchen, rinsing and chopping rhubarb into 3/4-inch chunks and tossing them into two large pots on the stove: one for cinnamon sauce, the other for a plain sauce. At his feet, a large purple trug, filled with vertical columns of red, pink and green rhubarb await their fate. August marks our last rhubarb pick (except for a few deep-dish cobblers here and ther...
Aug 26, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 69 69 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Buzzing around with bumblebees
One foggy morning last week, I took an inventory walk around the garden. I paused in front of some late Iceland poppies that were starting to bloom, and watched numerous bumble bees (Bombus spp.) dive into the centers and “comb” pollen from the stamens. Their hind leg hairs (called corbicular fringe) were dotted with yellow grains of pollen. How impressive, I thought. Here I am, wearing boots, hat and rain jacket ...
Aug 19, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 70 70 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Damp weather arrives, brings gray mold
After two months of beautiful weather, we all wondered when the other shoe was going to fall. Sure enough, a strong, low-pressure system formed near Japan and roared over Kodiak Island, bringing wind, rain and fog. Meanwhile, while the gale was brewing, a sinister disease was lurking on tomato leaves, under flower buds and on ripening strawberries, waiting for the right conditions to make its move. And pounce it d...
Aug 12, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 82 82 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Comfrey is a great fertilizer
When it comes to feeding plants, nothing beats organic compost. You might recall a recent column when I sang praises for comfrey as a growable fertilizer. I promised to share more info at a later date. So let’s learn about comfrey, and why the Brits are so crazy about it … Good soil contains the ideal range of nutrients that are released slowly into the ground as plants need them. Often, however, there is a valid ...
Aug 05, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 66 66 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: In gardening, life, it pays to sit back and learn
Have you seen the whales this summer? They’ve been active north of town, which makes for fun viewing and photographing. Recently, while out on the water with some friends, we shut down the engine and watched two humpbacks move close to the boat. It made me think of an experience I had years ago. It was a pleasant evening with hardly a ripple on the water. My camera’s autofocus had a tough time focusing on the smoo...
Jul 29, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 63 63 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Fighting aphids in the summer of flowers
The summer of 2013 may go down as the summer of flowers. Warm, gentle weather has been kind to blossoms that in a normal year would be pelted and shaped by pounding rains and shredding breezes. Of course, August still looms before us, but it doesn’t take away all that we’ve enjoyed up to now. Take time this summer to visit and celebrate the splendid displays in your neighborhood, downtown and in front of office bu...
Jul 22, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 66 66 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: From garden to the grill, your veggies have a spot
Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night will stop an Alaskan from grilling. I have friends in Anchorage who happily don fleece jackets and heavy boots to BBQ their salmon in January. “It helps us get through the winter.” Grilled salmon is tasty, but it’s passé compared to the flavor veggies take on. The natural sugars in onions, garlic and bell peppers caramelize when grilled, which brings out richness n...
Jul 15, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 66 66 recommendations | email to a friend
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