Gardening In Alaska Is A Worthwhile Challenge That Reaps Great Rewards

Posted by Dan Wolf on Monday, June 17th, 2013 at 11:59am.

If you have been thinking about making Alaska your home, perhaps you are under the impression that this will mean an end to your family garden.  But, do not despair, many generations of Alaska residents have been successfully providing a harvest for the family table.  Their experience can help you have a thriving cold-climate garden too. 

decorative garden architecture

Some things to consider when planning your garden would include making space for a small greenhouse and learning all about raised-bed gardening. Traditional gardening is also possible with certain plants, especially those transplanted from seedlings grown indoors.  Hydroponics and grow lights are another way to extend the short Alaska growing season.

There are very good reasons to make an effort to raise some of your own produce.  Because so much of our fresh fruit and vegetables are shipped here over great distances, growing and buying locally will help you maintain a lower carbon footprint as well as save you tons of money.  Anything you can grow and consume is one less purchase at the grocery store. 

A good place to start would be the construction of raised beds which should be filled with dirt once the snow is gone for the season.  They will help maintain soil warmth and improve drainage which will help you see a larger harvest from a smaller space.

Spring is the time of year when Alaska's gardeners get busy starting vegetables such as eggplant, broccoli, leeks and brussel sprouts in seed trays stacked in front of a south facing window.  Memorial Day weekend is traditionally a very busy time at the area nurseries.  This would be the time to direct-seed lettuce, spinach, carrots, beans, beets, peas and potatoes.   

Hopefully, you are a fan of Rhubarb Pie because this perennial is one tough plant, surviving even the harshest, coldest winters.  They also come up early and are a great way to start enjoying your garden's harvest right away each spring. . For more information about successful gardening in Alaska, consult this handy variety list put out by the University of Alaska at Fairbanks.  For more information about finding your new home in the Anchorage area, contact us!

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