The Q&A Archives: What will grow in South East Alaska?

Question: I am new to gardening in Petersburg located on Mitkof island in South East Alaska. One of the local nurserys carries your plants but is not very knowledgable about what will grow, and do well in this climate. Can you send some information about suggested things to plant here?

Also, on the climate/growing zone charts on your site, Alaska isn't mentioned.

Answer: Gardening in Alaska is quite a challenge but it can be done. Aside from the long, cold winter weather, soils tend to take a long time to warm up which delays growth. You can't change the weather but you can help things along by planting in raised beds, which warm up faster. Here's a web site developed by the University of Alaska with a list of publications that you'll find helpful. Most publications are free and you can learn about soil types, successful fruits and vegetable types, and flowers of all kinds to brighten your garden.

Once you've become familiar with the most common challenges and how to overcome them, you can choose your plants from the lists provided in the publications. Best wishes with your new garden!

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