Kodiak Daily Mirror - Daily newspaper of Kodiak, Alaska
  
 
Garden Gate: Bumblebees on lookout for new homes
As I left the greenhouse and walked toward the house, I heard a loud puh- hh-HUP behind me. I twisted around and took two steps toward the ocean, just in time to see an orca whale’s dorsal fin disappear below the surface. I’m always humbled by gifts like this; surprise snippets of life. Like this morning when I looked up from doing dishes just in time to see the gibbous moon appear between puffy clouds. My hands p...
Apr 13, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend
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How to help your lawn wake up
Do you feel inclined to buy an umbrella these days? Well, you’re not alone. According to National Weather Service data, measured rainfall for Kodiak is about six inches above normal for this time of year. This is good news for people with rain barrels and Pelton wheels, but not so great for lawns, for this is the time of year when your lawn is trying to wake up. To help your lawn wake up, whatever you do, don’t gr...
Mar 30, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend
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GARDEN GATE: Easter Egg colors to dye for
Natural egg dyes are easy to make using berries, vegetables, and spices. And since Easter is right around the corner, now is a good time to gather up supplies. Many common foods and spices make excellent dyes, and you can create just about any color you want, from pastels to rich hues. The results will vary from batch to batch, which makes it interesting. In some cases you can have your dye and eat it, too. For ex...
Mar 09, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Gardeners need to dig into detective work
Several years ago I was picking broccoli when I noticed velvety, green, inch-long worms gnawing on the leaves. Never seen them before. I grabbed my camera, going from panicked gardener to calmer detective. After a quick search on the Internet I discovered that the culprit was indeed a cabbage worm (imported) and that there were several ways to control them. Whether it’s protecting plants from looming frost, gettin...
Mar 02, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Hybrids expand carrots’ shape, color options
Can you imagine digging up a carrot from your garden and finding out that it weighs 19 pounds? That’s what John Evans of Palmer, Alaska, discovered in 1998. His carrot was verified by the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s heaviest carrot, weighing in at 18.985 pounds. John’s record held up until last September when Peter Glazebrook of Newark, U.K., grew one that weighed precisely 20 pounds. Going for a world...
Feb 23, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend
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Measures to take to minimize garden damage
It’s starting to look a lot like springtime in Alaska. Really? Several people have asked me about flowering bulbs poking above the soil and buds appearing on bushes, including salmonberries and honeyberries. Like last year around this time, a common question went something like this: “This is only February. What will happen to the berry crop if we get a hard freeze?” Let’s back up a bit. Last fall I shared with yo...
Feb 16, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Fantastic fowl thrive on non-GMO corn
To experience thousands of birds lifting off in unison in early morning light is what lured us recently to New Mexico’s Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. “Go to the Crane Ponds down the road an hour before sunrise. That’s where you’ll find them,” said David, a volunteer at the refuge visitor center. The next morning we rose at 5 a.m. and drove to pullout just inside the refuge’s entrance. As we made our ...
Feb 09, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Seedlings require more light than mature plants
For today’s column, I want you to think like a seedling, much like I tell my photography students to think like a camera. First, let’s talk a little about how life can seem overly complicated and busy, even in the middle of an Alaskan winter, and then I’ll share how it relates to seed-starting. Sometimes it feels like we try to squeeze as many tasks as possible into a limited span of time and, by doing so, we’ve a...
Feb 02, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Growing vegetables from seed
Primroses are blooming and garlic bulbs are sprouting. Sounds lovely, but it’s January, not May. Because my crystal ball is a little dusty, I don’t dare predict what February and March will bring. Some things don’t change, though. Like seed starting. Oh sure, varieties ebb and flow, especially when it comes to hybrid seeds (we’ll talk about that in a future column), but the basics of seed starting is the same. Gro...
Jan 26, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Decide early for your spring garden
While it may seem a tad early, there are some major decisions that you should be making about this spring’s garden. For example, are you adding box-in raised beds or turning back some lawn for landscape gardens? Do you plan to buy shrubs or trees this season? Do you need to set aside space for compost bins or a chicken coop? What about your annual beds? Do you plan to buy bedding plants or grow them from seed? Do ...
Jan 19, 2015 | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend
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