What Alaskans grow in their yards

Growing conditions

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!

Alaskan style blogger wearing a kuspak
Oliveo jeans with Aggie Bostrom kuspak and statement necklace (all own)

Varieties and yields

Rhubarb grows like crazy. The green variety grows best, but your rhubarb cobbler or pie are greenish-brownish instead of red.

Alaska potatoes
From left to right: Red potatoes pink inside, red potatoes white or yellow inside, Russian fingerlings in pink, yellow and white, not sorted yet, black potatoes, not sorted yet

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.

Alaska Russian fingerling potatoes grown together
Russian pink fingerlings grown together

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.

fashion over 40 woman digging in a kuspak
Side view of kuspak outfit
mature woman wearing an Alaska kuspak
View on the side of the front pocket

Gardening outfit

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.

Alaskan woman gardening in a mosquito jacket
Wearing a mosquito jacket over my gardening outfit

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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