1. Ridge-top Apple Orchard Flourishes in Fairbanks
2. Designing a Good Arctic Root Cellar
3. Fall a Good Time for Transplanting
4. Available Gardening Oriented Brochures from the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service
It is hard to believe we can grow apples in sub-arctic Fairbanks, Alaska.
Carroll and Josie Phil lips, who operate a small nursery selling Siberian crabapples and pears, cotoneasters and honeysuckle, have an apple orchard! Carroll gave me a tour through his orchard the other day.
He has been in Fairbanks for more than 40 years and knows a lot abo ut gardening both in the floor of the Tanana Valley and near the summit of the hill on which he lives off of Farmers Loop Road. He maintains you can get from 100 to 110 frost-free days when growing crops 600 to 900 feet above the Tanana Valley floor. The valley floor may have 90 frost-free days in comparison.
Since 1956, the Phillips have been growing crabapples, apple-crabapples and apples. The size of the fruit is an indicator of the type of apple. An inch-size fruit is a crabapple. An apple is about 2 1/2 inches. An apple crabapple is in between them in size. Malus is the Latin name for the apple tree. The genus belongs in the rose family, Rosaceae.
In the springtime, the Phillips enjoy the blooms, which are among the loveliest of all fl owering trees.
They grow their apple trees on a large terrace first planted with clover and alfalfa to enrich the silty soil. The terrace holds water. The southern exposure of the land gets a lot of sun. The apples are not too fussy about soil requ irements. The young apple trees have a mass of fibrous roots and re-establish themselves quite well when transplanted in the fall or early spring. Carroll uses a mulch of compost placed over the soil for enrichment to newly planted trees.
Occasional attention to pruning is necessary to admit light and air. Pruning takes place in late June and early July, after the blooming of the trees in early spring to keep the trees in bush form.
Insect pests have been nil for the Phillips' trees. The pests he has to battle are field mice, snowshoe hare and moose. To combat the hares and mice, he puts a single 55 gallon drum around the smaller trees and two double cut drums around larger trees to act as a collar. In the years past he has used heavy asphal t roofing material to solve the problem.
These collars also act as a wind protection and absorb heat from the sun to aid in the apple trees growth. Into the collar area Carroll waters his trees. They thrive on 12 to 15 inches of water a summer! He f ights the moose with a tall and very sturdy chicken wire fence.
Some crabapples are: Adam, Jacques, Osmond and Columbia.
Some apple-crabapples are: Rescue, Gertrude, Rosthern No. 8 and Red Dolphin.
Some apple varieties are: Heyer No. 12, Heyer No. 14 ( a good keeper), Patterson, Anderson, Dawn and Adamic.
Most of these varieties have been developed through cross-pollination from mother Siberian crabapples. Many of these trees are only available from Canada and have been tested in northern provinces of Saskatchewan. Since there are quarantine regulations, Canadian nurseries don't like to bother themselves with shipping them out of the country. Each nursery has to check for nematode infestations or certain viruses before they can be shipp ed out.
Besides the Phillips, many nurseries in Fairbanks provide crabapples for people to enjoy. Since apples are marginally hardy here in Fairbanks, ridge-top homeowners would have success in growing them. Valley floor people would have most succe ss with crabapples. Mary Jane Washburn, Box 823, Palmer, AK 99645 has Heyer No 12 and No. 14 apples along with other rootstock.
Good luck with your apple-growing adventures.
After the snow flies, root cellars and basements can be handy places to store certain vegetables. Recently, I had the pleasure to talk to Irene Christy of the North Pole area and Ray Morgan, Community Development Agent with the Cooperative Extension Service. Morgan, is the author of "Storing Vegetables in Root Cellars and Basements in Alaska."
I entered a 10' x 10' x 8' foot display root cellar during the Tanana Vall ey Fair and was ready to run for my newly dug potatoes. The cellar was covered with three feet of dirt and was designed from the one Christy has.
Morgan says that vegetable storage in Alaska has certain requirements of insulation, humidity, ventilati on and temperature. The insulation keeps the severe sub-arctic cold out. And high humidity is a must for most vegetables.
If you have a dirt floor in your root cellar, you don't have to worry about humidity. However, in a basement where walls and f loor are usually vapor proof, maintaining sufficient humidity may be a problem. Ventilation at the right time and in the right amount will help in controlling both temperature and humidity.
Squash, pumpkins, tomatoes and similar vegetables have a hig her temperature requirement of 60deg. F and to percent humidity, which is lower than for other vegetables such as cabbage, potatoes and turnips which like 38-40deg. F and 90 percent humidity. The more humidity the less shrinkage in vegetables. However, t his is also a suitable atmosphere for the growth of fungus and bacteria. So, you should have a dry-warm area to store members of the cucurbit family and a moist-cool area for your turnips and potatoes.
Basement storage will often need moisture added. If you have a concrete floor, a pan of water will help. A sling psychrometer is an inexpensive tool to determine humidity.
A ventilation pipe helps control humidity and temperature, especially if a small fan is placed inside it. A double door arct ic entrance with four feet of air space between doors insulated with 2 inches of blue Styrofoam is a must for a root cellar. Pea gravel on the floor of the cellar keeps neatness. A subterranean stairway with 10-inch steps leads to the arctic entranceway. A sheet of 3/4-inch all-weather plywood covers the stairway hole.
To keep the moisture in and the snow and melt water out, two-inch sheets of Styrofoam and a sheet of 6 mil Polyfilm were placed outside the all-weather wood-framed cellar on the fairg rounds. Ninety percent humidity can be kept year around. A small thermostatically controlled electric heater, costing about $50 a year to operate, is used to keep the temperature around 38 to 40deg. F from December to March.
A hot and cold thermome ter is useful for keeping track of temperature fluctuations and a small lantern near the ceiling provides necessary light in case of power outages.
Cabbages can be hung from the ceiling until Christmas time. Carrots maintain crispness until about mid -November and lose their flavor by Christmas. But, they are edible until April. Cauliflower can be kept for about three weeks; kohlrabi can be kept for three months; onions can be kept for about three months.
Potatoes can be kept for a full year in a hardware screened potato bin one foot off the floor. Celery can be transplanted in the fall right into the soil of the cellar will keep for about four months. Summer squash can be kept in warmer temperatures of 60deg. F with a lower humidity. Cucumber s will keep, if waxed, at 50deg. F for about three weeks.
If you're up for filling the root cellar this year, here's some things to remember:
* Apples and potatoes shouldn't be stored near each other, because they might pick up each other's flavor.
* Turnips and cabbage, if stored in the basement, can produce odors that can taint your house or other vegetables stored with them.
* Celery stored near turnips and cabbage will take on their odors.
* Do not wash beets; leave roots on and about half-inch of the stem.
* Carrots and beets store well at 32-40deg. F in five-to-10 gallon containers. Storage in such containers will prevent excessive shriveling. Cover the containers with a cloth to keep air moist. If carrots are stored at a higher temperature, cut the stem off and store in damp (not wet) sand. Beets can be stored in the same way.
* Cucumbers, rutabagas, turnips and parsnips may be waxed and stored at 32-40deg. F. If not waxed or if stored at a higher temperature, they can bep laced in containers of moist sand.
* Tomatoes can be pulled up by the vine and hung upside down in the garage or basement.
* A mason jar filled with water and placed on the floor of a root cellar is a good indicator of temperature and humidity. Whe n condensation forms on the outside of the jar, the air is too humid and the vent should be opened.
* Canned goods can be stored in root cellars and basements. However, if the humidity gets too high, some rusting might occur.
After a busy gardening summer in Fairbanks many homeowners turn their attention to their ornamentals in the yard.
Preparation for winter is often uppermost in my mind, especially for those newly established trees or shrubs which haven't endured one of our sub-arctic winters. If you look around your landscape you might have the ur ge to move a particular plant or fill an empty gap with a new tree or shrub.
Fall is a good time for transplanting trees and shrubs. After the leaves drop, the tree should be in a dormant stage and the sock of transplanting is less. Transplanting at this time allows the tree to recover before the active growth season puts stress on the plant.
Trees for transplanting should not be too large. When the trunk diameter (at ground level) starts exceeding 2 inches the tree has a root system that becom es increasingly difficult to move without excessive damage. If planed far enough in advance this can be overcome to some extent by root pruning. This is done by severing the roots with a space in a circle around the tree. If done in advance of transpla nting the tree can grow additional roots to replace those that were severed. The result is a more compact root system which is easier to move.
Watch the planting depth, according to Wayne Vandre, for any transplant. Cold soils promote shallow root s ystems. So, don't make it impossible for your tree to function by placing the roots in soil that's too cold. Use loose, fertile soil for transplanting. Good drainage is important to prevent waterlogged roots. After the tree has been planted it should be supported by stakes and/or guy wires to prevent winds from moving the top and tearing loose the fine root system.
Pruning is another thing to keep in mind. Transplanting results in some root loss or damage and pruning the top by one third will res tore this balance. Another method to reduce stress due to water loss is to completely soak the root area prior to freeze up. This is especially true for evergreens which retain leaves and continue to lose water through the winter.
Protection from dry ing winds or the use of an anti-desiccant may also help. Wrapping the trunks of thick barked trees such as apple or Mountain Ash, if you are lucky to have one, will help to avoid sun scalding. Direct sun on the dark surface of a frozen trunk can cause un equal expansion of tissue and damage in the form of sun scald is the result. A tree wrap of foil will help prevent this.
Follow these tips for successful transplanting and your tree should leaf out and start fresh next spring.
Number Cost Subject
300G-00332 free Alaska Master Gardener Program
300HB-00339 25.00 Alaska Gardener's Manual
A-00033 free Soil Fertility for Home Garden & Greenhouse
300G-1-021 free Composting in Coastal Alaska
300G-1-022 fr ee The Compost Heap in Alaska
300G-00132 free Raised Bed Gardening
300G-0-025 free Carrots in Alaska
300B-00030 free Recommended Variety List for Interior Alaska
300B-00031 free Recommended Variety List for South-central Alaska
300G-0 0032 free Seed Starting & Transplanting
300G-00134 2.00 16 Easy Steps to Gardening in Alaska
300G-00136 free Raising Vegetables in Mini Gardens
300G-00231 free Recommended Variety List for Southeastern Alaska
300B-00237 free Gardenin g in Southeastern Alaska
300G-00430 free An Alaska Gardener's Fall Checklist
300G-00431 free An Alaska Gardener's Winter Checklist
300G-1-023 free Rhubarb Growing Made Easy
300B-00038 1.00 Growing Tree & Bush Fruits in Alaska
300C -00034 1.00 Strawberries in Alaska
300G-00235 free Growing Everbeating Strawberries as Annuals in Alaska
300G-00062 free Pantry Pests
300B-00039 ? Vegetables - Selection & Preparation for Display
300G-00331 free Storing Vegetables in Root Cellars & Basements in Alaska
300G-1-024 free Small Scale Potato Storage Management
300G-00336 free Controlling the Greenhouse Environment
300G-00432 free Florescent Lights for Plant Growth
300G-00433 free Diagnosing Greenhou se Crop Problems
300G-00434 free Greenhouse Cucumber Production
300G-00435 free Greenhouse Tomato Production
300G-00130 1.00 Selecting & Caring for Your House Plants
300G-00333 free Overwintering the Fuchsia
A-00053 3.00 Home L andscaping Kit (Homescaping)
A-00035 3.00 Landscape Plant Materials for Alaska
300G-00036 3.00 Lawn Establishment
300G-00037 free Window Boxes
300G-O0133 free Moss Control in Lawns
300B-00139 2.00 A Key to Flower Growing in Alask a
300G-00238 free Establishing a Lawn in Southeast Alaska
300G-00334 free Lawn Maintenance
300G-00335 free Transplanting Trees Successfully
Other Gardening and Outdoor Related Information
Number Cost 100G-OOO44D Soil Sampling & Analysis free 1100G-OOO44K Soil Sample Kits (Contact free your District Office) 100B-00049 Weed Control in Barley, free Oats & Grass 100B- 00140 Weed Control in Cole free Crops, Carrots, Lettuce & Peas 100B -00141 Weed Control in Potatoes free A-00142 Field Crop Fertilizer free Recommendations for Alaska 100C-00146 A Re vegetative Guide for 5.00 Conservation Use in Alaska A-00147 Alaska's Agriculture & 5.00 Forestry 100G-00233 Weed Control in Alaska 2.00 Vegetable Gardens 100G-00242 Soil Fundamentals free 100G-00243 D Plant Tissue Testing free 100G-OO242A Soil Fertil ity Basics free 100G-00245 Selecting Perennial Forage free Crops in Alaska A-00246 Po tato Growing in Alaska 1.00 100G-00247 Guidelines for Producing Guidelines for Producing Quality Forage Quality Forage 100G-00248 Microwave Test for Forage 1.00 Moisture 100G-00249 Procedures for the Wet free Towel Germination Test 100G-00337 Greening of Potatoes free 100G-00348 Fertilizer Nutrient free Sources & Lime 100G-00349 Organic Fertilizers free 100G-00443 Cereal Production Tips free 100G -00642 Greenhouse Gardening free 100G-00647 Plastic Mulch & Row Covers 1.00 for Vegetable Production in Alaska ES-00063 Forage Crops in Alaska 1.00 F-02214 Drying Shelled Corn & free Small Grains 100G-00149A Forage Crops free 100G-OO246A Potatoes free 100G-00442 Cereal Grains free 100G-OO643A Vegetables free FEES-O1168D Descri ption Sheet - free Storage Bin for Fertilizer (Plan #6072) FEES-O1168P (Plan #6072) - 6.00 "Transportable Storage Bin for Fertilizer in Bulk" MWI-02982 Preservative Treatment of .75 Wood for Farm Use MWPS-00002 Farmstead Planning Handbook 6.00 AA-5189P Sash Greenhouse 2.00 AA-5941P Plastic Covered 4.00 Greenhouse-Cold Frame AA-5971P Hotbed & Propagating Frame 2.00 AA-5980P Plant Growth Chamber 4.00 Roomette AA-6029P Greenhouse Framing 4.00 AA-6080P Mini-Hotbed & Propagating 2.00 Frame AA-6094P Plastic Covered Greenhouse 8.00 AA-6181P Home Greenhouse 4.00 AA-6206P Hotbed 4.00 USDE-15095 Solar Greenhouses & 5.00 Sunspaces - Lessons Learned 100G-00044 Soil Sampl ing free 100G-00241 Agricultural Land free Development Practices 100G-00111 E fficient Land Clearing free Techniques 100G-00113 Saving Trees During free Construction 100C-0-060 Spruce Beetle in Alaska's free Forests 100C-0-061 Carpenter Ants - Insect free Pests of Wood Products 100C-0-062 Gall & Woolly Aphids on free Spruce & Hemlock 100C-0-063 Birch Aphids free 100C-0-064 Wood Boring Insects in free Alaska A-0-066 Insects & Diseases of 8.50 Alaskan Forests 100G-0-067 Spruce Bark Beetles free 100G-00117 Champion Trees of Alaska free A-00541 Choosing a Pest Control free Operator 100C-1-060 free 100C-0-060 Spruce Beetle in Alaska's free Forests 100C-0-061 Carpenter Ants - Insect free Pests of Wood Products 100C-0-062 Gall & Woolly Aphids on free Spruce & Hemlock 100C-0-063 Birch Aphids free 100C-0-064 Wood Boring Insects in free Alaska A-0-066 Insects & Diseases of 8.50 Alaskan Forests 100G-0-067 Spruce Bark Beetles free 100G-00117 Champion Trees of Alaska free A-00541 Choosing a Pest Control free Operator 100C-1-060 Engraver Beetles in Alaska free Forests 100C- 1-061 Large Aspen Tortix free 100C- 1-062 Spruce Needle Rust free 100C- 1-063 Spruce Needle Aphid free 100C-1-064 Spruce Bud worm free 100C- 1-065 Spruce Needle Cast free 100C- 1-066 Eriophyid Mites free 100G-00330 Root Maggots in Al aska free Home Gardens 100B-0-067 Insects & Diseases of AK 6.00 Woody Ornamental Plants 100C-0-073 Common Pests of the 7.00 Interior Plantscape 100G -0-070 Slugs free A-00063 The Versatile Green Tomato free 300B-00064 Rhubarb Recipes 1.00 300B-00169 Alaska Grown Cabbage - 1.00 More Than Just Sauerkraut 300B-00260 Zucchini from A to Z 1.00 300B-00 263 Alaskan Potatoes free 300G-00462 Best O'Broccoli free 300G-00463 Tantalizing Turnips free 300G-00120 Collecting & Using Alaska 2.00 Wild Berries & Other Wild Products AB-00539
Complete Guide to Home 5.00 Canning G-O0010
Home Freezing of Fruits & amp; free Vegetables NRAE-00007 Home Storage of Fruits & 6.00 Vegetabl es 300C-00028 Wild Edible & Poisonous 5.00 Plants of Alaska Alaska Master Gardener free Program
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