Container gardening has long been a staple of Alaskan ingenuity. Even gardeners with traditional garden space often utilize containers in varying capacities, but for those without the luxury of a yard containers can make the difference between growing fruits, vegetables, and flowers and going without.
Chris Wood provides an excellent primer on container gardening in Alaska with this Alaska Star column, and includes these ideas for getting started on choosing an appropriate container:
Practically any container can be used as long as there are plenty of drainage holes. I have seen numerous examples of creative container gardening to include boots, shoes, wooden boxes, closet shoe storage bags, old tires, PVC pipe with planting holes, old watering cans and many other repurposed items. Traditionally, clay, plastic and ceramic pots are used as containers for the most part. I marvel at the creativity of these unusual pots and that flowers and plants can actually grow in them.
Wood also issues this warning of a common invasive to be on the look out for:
A biennial weed, bull thistle (or Cirsium Vulgare) is from the sunflower family. This is an erect plant that starts the first year as a fleshy taproot and a rosette forms. The next year a stem elongates to be 2-5 feet tall and has a purple flower with a ray floret appearance. Primarily found on disturbed sites and roadsides. Currently seen in Anchorage, Haines and Prince of Wales Island. Thought to have hitchhiked here in root balls of trees and from seeds in tires.
Stop it by pulling up and also report the sighting to the Cooperative Extension Service.