Kodiak Daily Mirror - Daily newspaper of Kodiak, Alaska
  
 
Garden Gate: Avoid blight infestations when shopping for spud seeds
If you want to attract attention at a dinner party, raise your voice a little and say, “Chitting!” And then be ready to explain your outburst. Let me help… Potatoes are one of the easiest things to grow in this whole wide world. For Alaskans, it’s staple crop. And while it’s not quite time to start growing potatoes (unless you have a hoophouse) it is time to line up your seed. I know of nobody who grows potatoes f...
Apr 14, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Gardening in the 1800s a recreational activity for ladies
Between 1750 and 1850, dedicated plant hunters fanned out across the world, looking for plants they could sell. They found wondrous new species by the score: the azalea, aster, rhododendron, and wild cherry, as well as many types of ferns, shrubs, trees, and vines. It was a risky business, fraught with dangers. If it wasn’t malaria or yellow fever, one could succumb to starvation or get trampled by a wild bull. On...
Mar 17, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 58 58 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Cold remedies
It’s my birthday, and I have a cold. It began as a subtle awareness that something different was happening; a little odd; not quite right. I was busy at the time — drafting a proposal, planting seeds and processing photographs — so the change was imperceptible at first and hard to identify. And then, like a gremlin sneaking around the corner, it showed itself in the light of day with a “Boo!” in the form of a ting...
Mar 10, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 73 73 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Spring is getting closer
I don’t know of any other regions in the U.S. where day length is such a big deal as in Alaska. “Wow, we’re gaining almost 5 minutes a day,” is a comment you’re much more likely to hear in a grocery store line in Kodiak more than say, in Alabama. Nonetheless, the first day of spring is so close you can taste it. A swing around the garden tells me that plants can taste it, too. Daffodils shoots and rhubarb are push...
Mar 03, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 79 79 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: A gardening roundtable
Recently, on a blustery Saturday afternoon, I gathered around a friend’s wooden table with a handful of gardeners to share soup, fresh bread and ideas for the upcoming season. We shuffled through colorful packets of seeds that covered the tabletop like an abstract quilt. A plate of oat-chocolate cookies appeared with mugs. “I’ve given up on growing flowers,” declared one gardener, holding up a packet of poppy seed...
Feb 24, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 50 50 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Back from a Hawaiian vacation
After a 2-week vacation in Hawaii, we stepped off the plane in Kodiak to a landscape that was much colder than how we left it. No more rain and squishy lawns. The dry, cool air tingled our noses and snow brightened the dull landscape we endured through January. The big thaw was over. We drove home, unlocked the front door and took a few steps across the tile floor. “It’s cold in here,” I said. We checked the therm...
Feb 17, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 48 48 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Take precautions in the warm winter weather
My concern began during a recent spin around the garden. I saw too much green for a January day: Buds forming on rose bushes, pansies still blooming, and poppies acting as though spring had arrived. Had it? I stopped near a raised bed of small evergreen trees and rhododendrons. Yikes! I spotted a slug near a cluster of primroses. Spruce branches covered a patch of perennials, protecting them against an Arctic wint...
Jan 27, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 81 81 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Garden trends in 2014
People have been tilling the earth and tending gardens for thousands of years. So when I scanned the Garden Media’s 2014 Garden Trends Report, I thought wow, what do trends have to do with real-life gardening? I mean, really, in Kodiak? Admittedly, trend-checking can give us a fresh look, something to aspire to; or maybe just a good laugh. For example, the Garden Writers Association tagged composting as a 2014 tre...
Jan 20, 2014 | 1 1 comments | 83 83 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Choosing a floral palette
When I started gardening in Kodiak, I was long on ambition but woefully short on experience and cash. It didn’t take me long to figure out that I could satisfy my desire to fill my raised beds easily and inexpensively by starting vegetables, herbs and flowers from seed. When flipping through catalogs, I selected veggies and herbs with function in mind. With flowers, emotions kicked in, influenced by photographs of...
Jan 13, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 81 81 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Seed catalogues are a cheerful sight
Have you seen the giant red tomato on the cover of Burpee’s 2014 seed catalog? Size matters. The world’s biggest beefsteak tomato is said to tip the scales at up to 3-plus pounds. It’s enough to pull you out of a bad-weather funk. Seed catalogs are arriving earlier this year, and with this soggy weather, they are a cheerful sight. Garden catalogs are great textbooks for increasing your garden knowledge, but they h...
Jan 06, 2014 | 0 0 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend
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