Simply Smoked Salmon

Everyone in Alaska smokes salmon, right? It’s in our blood. We just know what to do. Chances are you have a section in the food preservation department of the garage that is dedicated to salmon smoking paraphernalia. This department we visit throughout the year to replenish jars or stash more Food Saver bags when we find them on sale, but at a minimum we take inventory right before the salmon runs are expected so we aren’t caught short handed. There’s nothing worse than having fresh salmon ready to brine, running Read More …

Welcome To My Climatic Zone in the Matanuska Valley

My Climate I live in a subdivision in the middle of Palmer and Wasilla so all of my neighbors, including myself, have raised beds. One great benefit of raised beds is that they thaw much faster in the spring than frozen ground, so that means you can prepare and transplant earlier. Another reason raised beds work here is our ground is very rocky so it’s just easier to have a raised bed. The raised beds have better drainage, which is great for a rainy week. Benefit or challenge? I have Read More …

What’s the Challange: A Report on Anchorage’s Mountian View Climate

Mountain View, Anchorage: Garden Climactic Zone Intro Growing in Anchorage has been simple this summer mainly. In the micro-climate of Mountain View (Zone 4b), the most significant challenges resident gardeners have observed consist of locating the right spot to grow, due to the amount to buildings which block the sunlight from reaching plants. Some residents choose to use containers that make for easy transport and weeding should the chosen location not work out for that year, as seen in figures 1,2, and 3. Furthermore, there have been challenges with the Read More …

Seward’s Garden Climate Zone

Seward Climate I am currently not a resident of Alaska but have lived in Anchorage previously for several years. I raised a garden in every one of those years. However, because my husband and I thought we might consider retiring somewhere in Alaska I wanted to do some research on where would be best based on the longest growing season. I found that Seward, Alaska has the longest frost-free growing season in southern Alaska. From mid to end of April through September and possibly mid-October. The climate zone according to Read More …

Gardening with Wildlife in Chugiak, Alaska

All the Perks As with many communities in Alaska, gardening in Chugiak has many upsides and downsides. Compared to many other areas of the state we have considerably moderate temperatures that can extend our growing season with the help of picking appropriate varieties of plants to grow and the use of a greenhouse or season extender. According to the USDA Plant Hardiness Map, Chugiak is in Zone 4b. When compared to many other Alaskan communities, Chugiak has relatively mild weather extremes. Another upside to my community is that I live Read More …

Seward Climate – So, What’s Normal?

General Climate On the USDA Plant Hardiness Zones map, Seward is in zone 6b. However, there are many micro climates within the community. My garden is approximately six miles north of the nearest weather station at the Seward airport where “normals’ are for years 1908-2011. See link here. Generally, the sun warms the airport/downtown area early in the morning. But in the afternoon, the area cools off much earlier because of the wind off of Resurrection Bay and shade from the mountains to the west. My garden is shaded longer Read More …

Windy Mountainside Gardening in Anchorage

Wind is Always a Threat Gardening in my mountainside neighborhood is a challenge just like so many other places in Alaska.   In addition to the cool temperatures and neighborhood moose and rabbits, I have quite a bit of wind to contend with. We chose our property because of it’s remote location about fifteen minutes southeast of downtown Anchorage. Once off the highway it’s another ten minutes of climbing, winding roads. It’s a really quiet setting most days but occasionally the wind picks up outside and pummels the yard and Read More …

Mild and Wild: Soldotna’s Climatic Zone

Soldotna is a great place to grow cooler weather plants and vegetables. As a USDA Hardiness Zone 4a (-30 to -25 degrees F), we can grow a number of cold resistant fruits and veggies very well. From my experience and that of other gardeners in the area, kale and rhubarb do very well here. Not only is the climate relatively mild in the summer with long days and the temperatures hovering just under 60 degrees, it is located close enough to the ocean to benefit from fantastic natural fertilizers – Read More …

Getting Warmer? North Anchorage Garden Climactic Zone

Gardening in North Anchorage Every spring I feel a hint of jealousy when my mother describes the new growth in her garden.  She lives in New York state where she enjoys a longer frost-free period and Zone 6a hardiness. Just like any northern climate, gardening in Anchorage has challenges. However, with careful site and plant selection, by the end of summer it’s not too hard to have an abundant garden that makes even a New York mother envious. Between the moderating effect of Cook Inlet’s water and the steep rise Read More …