Monday

6 Super Easy Plants To Try In South Central Alaska

When it comes to summer gardening in Alaska there's tons of stuff to grow. Yes, even outside. I'm fact, I think it would be easier to take out the things that won't grow. It's true that a lot of perennials elsewhere are considered annuals in Alaska but the following plants are so hardy that you would pretty much have to be actively trying to kill them for them to do poorly, and even then they'll come back twice as vigorously the next year!





First up, my favorite spring indicator- Arctic Poppies. Their flowers are cheery yellows, whites, and oranges mostly. Their early greens and bright flowers are a welcome sight when all is brown during break up, and they keep right on going until it snows again! They have large, easy to identify seed pods after the flowers die back. They'll reseed on their own or pinch them off and scatter them where you'd like them next year! They really do a great job attracting pollinators too. They like to crop up between rocks and they are great for dryer areas.





Next, a surprise to many, are chives. These guys were in my yard when I moved here 7+ years ago and despite several attempted transplantings they still come up in the strawberry bed every year. I love that you can cut them down to almost nothing and a week or so later you'll have another batch ready to go! They even have sweet little purple Whoville like blooms!





I LOVE my raspberries! One patch is from my mother in law's house and the other grew under the fence from my neighbors yard. The best place to get them? Free from someone else! These guys are so prolific that they are often on craigslist in the summer, free if you'll come save the giver from certain raspberry takeover! A small patch and some water will get you gallons of raspberries!





Another easy to find craigslist freebie is strawberries. They'll send runners out like crazy if you don't keep an eye on them! Cut the runners off for more fruit or let them go for more plants for next year. I can tell you that you will be amazed at the taste difference in these smaller berries compared to what you're getting at the store. They're practically candy!





Although they take a bit longer to bloom than the poppies the beautiful, deep purple Siberian Iris blooms are worth the wait! They are perhaps the most neglected plant in my garden and yet they bring me beautiful flowers every spring. The down side to these is that they don't bloom as long as other flowers, once they put on their show they are pretty much done. The fun, spiky leaves are a neat shape contrast to most other plants though too.





Lastly the king of them all- rhubarb. Use it to line path ways, cover unsightly electrical boxes, and, best of all, to eat! There are several varieties that grow in Alaska and they are pretty easy to get from a friend that's dividing. They have leaves bigger than your head and stems thicker than your thumb! If you are an over-waterer these are for you! They do alright with just about any watering but they do especially well when they've been soaked. They are some of the first things to be ready to harvest and they grow all summer long. Every few years you can cut into the base and divide it into 3-4 more plants!


Some others that make my list are wild roses, lilacs, arctic kiwi, lily of the valley, lupines, forget me nots, and gooseberries.

Don't let the long, cold winter fool you! There are still lots of wonderful, easy things to grow here and you don't even need a greenhouse.

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We spent the weekend moving stuff around and clearing things out. The end goal is always to have a beautiful, green, playful space, but sometimes getting to that goal is down right messy!





When outside is looking so sad it's hard to imagine that it will all be lush and green soon. Before you know it all those little scrawny seedlings you planted will be dripping in produce and have you hopping around trying to preserve it all!

And with that thought it's back to yard work for me! How is your outdoor spring cleaning going?

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I'm So Ready for Spring!

Unfortunately it's still snowing here. Of course, we live in Alaska and having snow this time of year is just the way it goes. That's not stopping me from being ready for when it finally does all melt!



We bought a 10x20 foot steel frame off of Craigslist for just $20 and Joel got construction plastic from an addition at his work. All that together means I get to have a greenhouse this year! I am super excited about it and the warmer weather plants that I get to try!

The green thing next to it was going to be the green house before I found the fame. I got it for free off Craigslist last summer. There's a hammock that goes inside and last year we tried some grapes in there but I don't think they made it through the winter. Now we will probably put some sort of a mesh over the top and buy some Arctic Kiwi. We have some in the front yard and it's a struggle to keep it at a manageable height. That makes it perfect for making a nice shady spot.

Oh yeah, and the thing in front of it is the rabbit cage but that's a whole other post! It's moving as soon as the snow melts in it's permanent location.



I've already got a ton of stuff growing in the garage. There are over 100 little tomato seedlings alone! I really want to do a lot of canning, dehydrating, and cooking with them this summer. I can't wait to see all the different colored heirloom ones I bought!




Another thing I'm pretty excited about are these Black Eyed Susan Vines. They are growing so fast! I don't usually pull off the lush hanging basket look but these beauties are giving me hope!




Mostly the only outdoor plants in stores right now are in seed and root form. So when I spotted green my overly anxious self HAD to have these hybrid tea roses! I've never grown roses before. Last year, I bought my mom white roses (her favorite) for Mothers Day and they were SO fragrant and beautiful that they made me jealous. So wish me luck!

How about where you are? Is the snow holding you back or are you charging full green thumbs ahead?

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