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Growing Vegetables in Alaska

Although the short, cool growing season and cold soils present gardening challenges, long day lengths and low pest levels provide gardening opportunities in Alaska not found in other parts of the United States. During cool nights, respiration is slow and plants retain the sweetness unlike anywhere else. While many kinds of fruit and vegetables will grow well, not all will. Cool season vegetables such as potatoes, carrots and the cabbage family thrive, but warm season vegetables such as beans, cucumbers and tomatoes struggle to produce in open, unprotected gardens.

Long day lengths allow plants many hours of photosynthesis and they are able to grow rapidly, but the long days also present challenges. Day length influences basic plant processes such as germination, flowering (bolting), fruit set, bud set and bulb set. Beets, spinach and radishes may bolt (go to seed prematurely). Selecting the right varieties is important. Cold soils, excessive or inadequate rainfall and poor soil conditions are challenges. Raised-bed gardening and row covers can help overcome the problems of wet, cold and poorly drained soils.

Raised Bed Gardening in Alaska

Alaska Cooperative Extension Integrated Pest Management

This website provides information about identification and control of pests in Alaska.

Integrated Pest Management Website

Alaska Vegetable Gardening Information

Hoop Houses in Rural Alaska

Greenhouses for Home Gardeners Structures and Equipment

Soil and Fertlizer Management for Healthy Gardens

Fluorescent Lights for Plant Growth

Composting in Alaska

Composting With Worms

Root Maggots in Alaska Home Gardens

Vegetable Storage in Root Cellars

Growing Specific Fruits and Vegetables in Alaska

Greenhouse Tomato Production

Cucumber Production in Greenhouses

Growing Everbearing Strawberries and Annuals in Alaska

Growing Rhubarb in Alaska

Growing Beets in Alaska

Growing Tree and Bush Fruits in Alaska

 Growing Potatoes in Alaska

 Growing Carrots in Alaska

Articles from NorthernGardening.Com

by Linda Staciokas  (Fairbanks News-Miner)

Experiments in the Vegetable Garden (Including growing tomatoes outdoors in a styrofoam box - ready to eat mid-July)
Growing Cabbage
Growing Cucumbers
Vegetable and Fruit FAQs
Garden Greens (mesclun)
Growing Radishes
Saving Vegetable Seeds
Tips for Growing Tomatoes in the North

Alaska Vegetable Gardening Blog

Alaska Vegetable Gardening Blog from 2011




Central Alaska Vegetable Gardening

The vegetable variety recommendations in this publication are based on trials at the Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and by Alaska Cooperative Extension agents, Master Gardeners and growers.

Vegetable Varieties for Alaska Interior

Growing Apples in Interior Alaska

South Central


South Central Alaska Vegetable Gardening

These vegetable variety recommendations for South Central Alaska are based on trials at the University of Alaska Matanuska Experiment Farm in Palmer, the Division of Agriculture’s Plant Material Center in Butte, Alaska and recommendations by Master Gardeners throughout the South Central region.

Recommended Vegetable Varieties for South Central Alaska


The University of Alaska Cooperative Extension recommends these fruit tree varieties for South Central Alaska:

Cherry (Prunus) species: ‘Evans’, ‘Montmorency’, ‘Meteor’

Apple (Malus) species: ‘Norland’, ‘Parkland’, ‘Yellow Transparent’, ‘Summer Red’

Crabapple (Malus) species: Many cultivars ͕͘



Southeast Alaska Vegetable Gardening

Southeast Alaska has a cool maritime climate. Conditions have much in common with the coastal areas of the Pacific Northwest except that day lengths are longer and temperatures cooler.

Southeast Alaska receives an overabundance of rain throughout most of the year, with April and May usually the driest and sunniest months. Clouds reduce sunlight intensity and rain lowers soil temperatures, slowing biological processes like the decomposition of soil organic matter. Based on air temperature and light, many Southeast communities have a four-month growing season or longer, but cold soils reduce the growing season. Successful Southeast gardeners manage soil moisture and fertility and modify the growing environment to extend the growing season.

Alaska Cooperative Extension publications for Southeast Alaska:

Gardening in Southeast Alaska

Recommended Vegetable Varieties for Southeast Alaska