THE U-Pick GARDEN will be closing August 20th. This will be the last year the garden will be open to the public. Next year I'll be operating as a CSA, supplying about 20 regular customers with weekly boxes. Thank you for your support over the last 8 years, but it's time to try something new.

To get a copy of my book, "How To Grow Vegetables In Sitka, Alaska" just give me a call....The books are $20 plus tax. If you live out of town and want me to mail you a copy, you can mail a check for $25.60 to:

Lori Adams
P O Box 6021
Sitka, Alaska

Down To Earth U-Pick Garden is located at 2103 Sawmill Creek Road in Sitka, Alaska. It is open usually from mid-June through late August. Hours are Monday-Saturday 12:00 to 6:30. On Farmer's Market Saturdays I am not open until 2:00. Children are welcome but may not run through the garden or chase the ducks. If you have any questions you can contact me, Lori Adams, at 907-747-6108 or 907-738-2241. My email address is

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Failure To Thrive

I've been having some trouble with my transplants this year for various reasons. I think it boils down to 3 reasons why....

1. Cool weather. I think that is why the cauliflower is not doing well....Next year I might wait until about June 1st to put out the cauliflower.

2. I did not till. Last Fall I loaded up the beds with about 10 inches of new material...salmon, seaweed, seashell sand, and horse manure. All Winter and Spring the ducks worked the beds over...but they only really dig about 3-4 inches down. This Spring I decided that since the beds were so loose and lofty I wouldn't rototill. I just popped the starts in and called it good. Well, there are quite a few nibbles taken out of the starts and I think there are all sorts of creepy crawlers in the beds that the ducks didn't get.

 And the fennel is pretty much wiped out.  Here is one of the few good ones that's left unscathed....

 The rest of them look like this...

 Next year about a week before transplanting time I'm going to till every bed, one at a time, and let the ducks go to town!

3. The ducks. It doesn't matter how hard you try to keep them out of the beds, they seem to find a way to get in. Now, the beds I've built sides for have been impervious, but the beds without sides are impossible to protect. Today when I got home from my adventure South, I took a tour through the whole garden to see how things were doing. The lettuce and spinach bed had been pretty much destroyed by a duck earlier last week, and we had replanted the whole thing with new starts, so I was very interested to see how it was doing. I lifted up the cloth to peek and take photos and was very happy with what I saw...

This particular bed has a low "wall" of plastic running down the center of it to divide it into 2 sections. On one side there are starts, and on the other side there are not. In about a month I will plant the other side with the second planting.

After I was done inspecting the entire length of the planted section I recovered the row and went to inspect the peas....

The peas look great and have come up so strong that they will need to be thinned this year.

I was just about ready to move on when I thought I heard happy little naughty duck noises coming from the direction of the spinach/lettuce row. There weren't any ducks around that area, and I had JUST looked inside that tunnel right? And I didn't see a duck in there, right? Well, I decided I better be sure, so I lifted up the cloth on the other side and got down on my hands and knees and craned my neck to look down the unplanted side, and what do you think I saw?

 WHAT?!?! You have GOT to be kidding me!!!!! You DIRTY DOG, get out, get out, GET OUT!!!

I was SO glad I heard paid attention to what I had heard. I am SO glad the lettuce and spinach bed didn't get demolished AGAIN. If I would have gone out tonight after dark and one of the ducks was missing I would never been able to find it!  Sheesh!

On the positive side, the carrots are coming up nice and thick...

And the celery is the best I've ever seen....

Although there have been some disappointments with the transplants this year, I still think it's going to be a GREAT YEAR!

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