The Q&A Archives: Container Gardening in Alaska

Question: I am hoping to make a nice little garden in a largish plastic tub this summer. However, living in Alaska, I am not sure which plants (both flowers and vegetables) would do well, tolerating the moderately cool nights and long days of summer sun. My front door area gets a lot of sun from about 9am until 11:30pm (remember, 24 hours of daylight!) but whatever I plant would also need to tolerate rainy days too. Any suggestions? I've looked at a couple of books, but can't figure out what applies up here. Thanks for your help!

Answer: I would think just about any sun-loving annual flowers would do well. You would have more trouble with perennial flowers, since the soil in the tub would freeze solid, damaging plant roots. (We have the same trouble here in northern Vermont.) But annual flowers like petunias, snapdragons, salvia, nasturtium, dahlias, geraniums, marigolds, portulaca, scaveola, and miniature zinnias and sunflowers would do great with those long hours of sun! I like to grow morning glories in a container, training them to climb up a lattice on the side of the house, then plant bushy annuals in front to hide the lower (sometimes leafless) portions of the vines.

Bush-type tomatoes, eggplant,and peppers all make good container vegetables.

(Be sure your container has drainage holes--for those rainy days!)

Good luck!

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