Well Alaska is as large as the Lower 48 from Coast to Coast or Europe from the Ural to Portugal. Thus, the following applies to the Interior of Alaska that has very continental climate.
Interior winters can face below -40F (-40oC). During the growing season (June to early September), on average 51 days reach daily maximum temperatures above 90F (32.2oC). Mean annual precipitation is 10.9 inches (277mm), just 1.4 inch (35.6mm) more than in Moab in the Utah desert (9.5 inches or 229 mm).
Since in summer, there is daylight 24/7 everything grows 24/7. With irrigation, you can grow cabbage as big as a basketball!
Varieties and yields
Rhubarb grows like crazy. The green variety grows best, but your rhubarb cobbler or pie are greenish-brownish instead of red.
Potatoes grow well. My favorite for Rheinischer potato salad are the black potatoes. Actually, they are purple on the inside and outside. Harvesting them is like an Easter egg hunt in the dark soil. Russian fingerlings grow best, sometimes even into hand-like form (see next photo). We grow them in pink, white and yellow. They are great for pan fried potatoes or in stews or soups. Yukon Gold has a yield of 4-5 per seed. They are good for Reibekuchen, which is a Cologne specialty of a hash brown, but with spices, onions and eggs.
Radish grows well, but you have to harvest them all within two days as they otherwise start blooming. Kale and turnips provide great harvests year after year. Snow-peas and broccoli work great too. The latter, however, have to be pre-grown.
Lettuce doesn’t do well. The Interior’s weather is typically too hot and too dry. Carrots get just as big as fingers. Leek doesn’t get thicker than a normal woman’s finger.
Raspberries, cranberries, and blueberries are the best growing fruits. Goose berries do well when the weather is dry during their blooming and you water them well during that time.
What grows well where you live? Send me an email.
In the OOTD, I am wearing a traditional Alaska kuspak over jeans, which is the traditional way to wear a kuspak. The tightly woven fabric is hard to drill thru for mosquitoes. If it gets really bad, I add a mosquito jacket with face mask (last photo of this post). I wear my husband’s old winter gloves to protect my hand from getting blisters while digging.
Do you like gardening? What do you wear when working in the yard? Email me.
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Photos of me: G. Kramm
Other photos: N. Mölders
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