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Nikiski seeds

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Planting Grass Seed in Nikiski, AK

planting grass seed in Nikiski, AK in the fall is the best time to plant cool-season grasses or over-seed warm-season grass with perennial rye grass. planting grass seed in Nikiski, AK. If north of the transitional zone of the U.S., the best time to plant grass seed will be between August 25th and October 5th. If located in the warmer south and over-seeding, grass seed is best established when planted between September 20th and October 25th.

Soil quality and preparation are important steps in planting a new lawn. Begin by removing the existing vegetation. If planting a new lawn in a large area where there are lots of weeds, spray them with a non-selective herbicide like Round-Up to save hours of physical labor. If over-seeding, you’re obviously will not want to kill your base grass with a herbicide application but what you can do is mow down your warm-season grass as low as you can. This along with verti-cutting and power raking, will reduce thatch and improve good seed contact to the soil.

At this point you will want to add the necessary fertilizer and any soil amendments that the ground may need. What and how much you need to apply can be determined by taking a representative soil sample and sending it off for analysis. Your local university extension office should be equipped to analyze and interpret your soil sample. You want to uniformly incorporate the grass fertilizer and soil amendments into the top 2 to 3 inches of top soil. The best way to achieve good incorporation is by using a good roto-tiller. For over-seeding projects, add 5 lbs per 1,000 square feet of a 16-20-0 analysis fertilizer two weeks after planting.

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For a new lawn, you then want to level the soil as best as possible. The new soil needs to settle naturally, or you can speed up the process by adding more water. If water is added, wait for the soil to dry and then pull out any weeds that germinate. Then rake the soil so it has small groves in it. At this point you soil is now ready for planting grass seed in Nikiski, AK.

For both a new lawn and over-seeding, apply 1/2 of grass seed in one direction on the soil using a spreader. Then put the other 1/2 of the seed in the other direction. Lightly rake the seed in and then roll the soil lightly with a roller. To achieve good seed to soil contact and maintain good soil moisture, top dress the grass seed with a thin layer of mulch or compost. This is not necessary but will improve grass seed germination, especially if under pressure from hot weather or drying winds blowing across the soil surface.

If sod is installed, repeat the same steps from above and make sure the soil is firm enough that the grass sod will not sink in after it is walked on. After sod is installed, roll it with a roller in two directions and water it twice a day until it roots. When grass sod can no longer be picked up by grasping it with your hand, it is rooted.

Nikiski volunteer plants seed for community garden

When Toni Loop started working on building a community garden in Nikiski, the price of lumber was a lot lower.

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Before the pandemic, she could cover all the costs with a $3,500 grant she had from the Alaska Farm Bureau. But lumber costs have skyrocketed during COVID-19, due to supply shortages and high demand.

Still, Loop is charging ahead with the project and plans to open it this summer. She wants a garden for people who don’t have their own at home.

“I can see people who are struggling financially, they can help with the volunteer side,” Loop said. “At the end of the season, they can go and bring things home. We are talking about doing some gardening classes so people can learn how to can stuff. Or any of the youth organizations who want to work in the garden.”

Loop is planning the garden in two parts. The first is where those raised beds come in, though she can’t build those until she can get ahold of more lumber.

She’s hoping eventually to have 15 beds set up — seven for volunteers and seven for rent.

“’Cause not everybody can have gardens in their yards,” Loop said.

One bed would be set aside for a youth organization.

“I’m heavy into 4H, I have my own club,” she said. “But I also know there are two other youth organizations who also would be interested in having a raised bed.”

The other part she’s planning is a community plot where people can come volunteer and, at the end of the season, take home produce. She’d hope that garden could be used by those who are financially insecure or homeless.

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She also sees elderly people benefiting.

“I’ve seen several of them who would love to garden but don’t have a place to garden,” Loop said. “And I know a few who can’t do the manual work. But they could benefit coming and planting seeds.”

Seward also has a community garden and there are several in the Mat-Su Valley. Soldotna Rep. Ron Gillham has suggested starting a similar garden near the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank on K-Beach Road.

Loop, a long-time Niksiki resident, has been gardening for many years.

“I kind of did the size to begin with based on my garden size so I can get a visual,” Loop said.

The land for the garden is already cleared. It’s a spot about 60-by-85-feet at the Nikiski Community Park on the Kenai Spur. Loop said the garden now falls under the umbrella of the park.

Even though she’s still waiting on materials for the raised beds, she said she has what she needs to set up mounds, build a fence and start to plant this summer.

Toni Loop is looking for pressure-treated lumber for the raised beds, plant, soil and equipment donations, and volunteers for the summer. She can be reached at 907-740-1476.

Monetary donations can be brought to Jackie Carlson at the North Peninsula Recreation Center.