Ted from Alaska writes:
My wife and I live in Interior Alaska. Attached are some pictures of winter squash and leeks on top of greens that we produced, only a small part of the average of approximately $850 worth of produce (after expenses) that we grow in the back yard of our suburban plot.
We compensate for our cold ground by using raised beds. We have moved several times and the soil has always been less than perfect so I now have a system. The first year, we use bales of hay to make raised beds, filling the bales with commercial soil. We plant in the soil as well as in holes gouged into the bales.
As you can see, we get a good harvest. After a few years, the straw rots down and we have some great soil. The fall before I am ready to knock down the straw beds, I build permanent wood raised beds (3 feet high, 8 or 10 feet long and 3 feet wide).
All fall and winter we throw compostable materials into the empty permanent boxes. In the spring, we throw the rotted straw and the dirt they enclosed into the permanent beds, right on top of the compost materials.
Over the years the materials under the dirt compost down slightly, but this is compensated for by the new compost I spread around all of my growing plants—which builds up the soil levels at the same time.
Way to go Ted! I had no idea you could grow so many awesome vegetables in ALASKA. You rock!
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