Gardening in Interior Alaska

Gardening in Interior Alaska at the edge of a lovely lake at latitude 65 degrees, Zone 2b, is filled with great rewards and challenges. Succeeding in the face of challenges sweetens the benefits and rewards of gardening in an extreme climate zone. The growing season is short, requiring frenetic gardening activity in a few short months, but weary gardeners have a long rest period during the cold, dark winters.

Temperature and photo period extremes go with the latitude and challenge gardeners to figure out plants that are suited to both extremes plus the micro climates of the properties upon which we garden. Perhaps even more challenging with vegetable gardening is figuring out how to optimize growing space with food that will be gratefully consumed and not wasted. On the flower gardening side, filing up pots, baskets, and flower beds without breaking the bank is challenging because so many flowers only survive as annuals in the far north.

The older I get, the more challenging it is to keep up the physical requirements of gardening. But if I persist, gardening keeps my body strong from the physical work it requires and healthy from the food I produce. Stress melts away as I garden, making it an effective mental therapy for us die hard gardeners. For those of us hooked on gardening, the sense of accomplishment in succeeding in spite of the challenges is perhaps the biggest benefit of all.

 

May June July August September
2018 Average Daily Temperature (°F)

2010 – 2019

58

 

48.9

64

 

59.5

55

 

62.6

55

 

57.6

40

 

46.6

2018 Average Daily Maximum (°F) 69 74 63 63 53
2018 Average Daily Minimum (°F) 47 51 48 48 27
2018 Average rainfall (inches)

2010 – 2019

.66

 

.75

2.52

 

1.65

3.8

 

2.2

3.8

 

2.13

0

 

1.26

32°F is used here to determine frosts. Probable Growing Season (90% probability) Possible Growing Season (10% probability)
Date of First frost 9/21/2018 8/26/2018
Date of Last frost 5/7/2018 5/23/2018
Freeze Free Period 99 132
When day lengths are longer than 12 hours 3/19/2018 9/23/2018

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