Growing 101

Yukoners know to grow a variety of indoors and outdoors crops even for the poor conditions we are dealt with. A main skill is to build and maintain a functional soil or grow media: its composition needs to effectively convey the nutrients to the plants, keep a good water balance, and support beneficial microorganisms in their work ‒for instance the cycling of nutrients. Healthy soils also are porous, which allows water and air to move through them.

1- Humus and other Soil organic matter (SOM) fractions affect several critical soil functions. Because native Yukon soils generally are very poor, a foundational addition is materials that boost the soil organic matter (SOM) content. Products that increase SOM include biochar, compost and peat moss. Visit USDA 'Manage for Soil Carbon' to learn more.

2- With suitable SOM, the soil or grow media can then support the (re)establishment of beneficial microorganisms. Products that bring beneficial microorganisms include compost , manure, and inocculants.

3- Ultimately, a healthy, living soil or grow media can be added with nutrients as needed to produce bountiful crops. Products that supply nutrients include compost, manure, and fertilizers.

4- At any time, pH should be adjusted to the plants' needs. Products that can increase and lower the pH include lime and sulfur, respectively.