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Friday, March 18, 2011

Gardening in Alaska

I've been trying to do a lot of research on gardening in Alaska, and frankly, the information out there sucks (when you can find it).  Alaska is notoriously left out of so much information on growing seasons and climate.  I guess people assume that since there's never any sun and 18 feet of snow all year, plants couldn't possibly grow.  From my info gathering, it looks like the Wasilla/Palmer area has a growing season similar to Pittsburgh's.  Luckily (?) Southwestern PA has a pretty crappy growing season already, so I'm used to it I guess.  It will take a little research on what veggies will do well in lower air and soil temperatures all summer (aka awesome for lettuce, pooey for tomatoes), but Alaska has the added benefit of some serious sunshine so one day in Alaska almost equals two Pittsburgh.  Looks like almost all gardening will be out for this summer, unless we land jobs and find a place to live as soon as we get there.  I'll probably try to grow lettuce, because it only takes 45 days to mature down here.  I can also plant it right in a big ol' bag of dirt at Karl's dad's house, so I could easily toss it in the back of my car and move it to whatever home we find.

On the topic of gardening, I want one of these so bad I can taste it:
Of course, this will have to wait until we have a home of our own...

One last bit of Alaska trivia for everyone:  from March 17 to September 24 (192 days/52% of the year) Alaska has longer days than Pittsburgh.  On the shortest day of the year, the sun will come up at 10:14 am and set at 3:41 pm for a total of 5 hours and 27 minutes of sun.  On the longest day, the sun will rise at 4:20 am and set at 11:42 pm for a whopping total of 19 hours and 22 minutes of sun!  I know from experience that although the sun may "set" for those other 4 1/2 hours, it's not really dark out.  We will be purchasing some black out shades asap, or I may go insane a la Al Pacino in Insomnia.

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