Alaska is divided into five different regions which have completely different environments . I lived in the Interior region of Alaska, in a town called North Pole, Alaska, which is about fifteen miles south of Fairbanks, Alaska. This region extends from the artic circle south to Denali Park
Needless to say the environment here is very harsh in the winters. Sometimes with temperatures dropping to -60 degrees The average temperature measuring between -20 and -30 for several months during the winter. With temperatures like this, the result is very short growing seasons. The growing season usually starts the first week of June, when soil temperature gets above 65 degrees, and normally ends the last week of August.
With this short of a growing season, the challenge for the gardener is to extend the growing season. During my stay there, I managed to extend my growing season by almost three months. Here is how I extended the growing season:
- 1. Seedlings were started indoors indoors around the first of May. I would keep them close to a window for sunlight till the first week of April. Plus for some of my seedlings I used a groe light
- 2. Around the first week of April I would place the seedlings in my heated greenhouse, which keeps the temperature above 65 degrees.
- 3. The first week of June the soil temperature outdoors was above 65 degrees enough to remove some of the plants from the greenhouse. I would put mainly the flowers, and plant them around the house. I left most of the vegetables in the greenhouse. The reason I did this is because the outdoor growing ends the last week of August and I could get an extra growing month at seasons end by using my heated greenhouse.
I did find that you could grow potatoes when the soil temperature is 45 degrees or greater. I would start these outside usually around the first week of April.