15 Vegetables to Grow in Alaska

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Quick Answer: Best Vegetables to Grow in Alaska

The best vegetables to grow in Alaska are radish, cabbage, lettuce, cauliflower, turnip, broccoli, kohlrabi, carrots, beets, cucumbers, peas, beans, celery, Brussels sprouts, and tomatoes. These vegetables can be grown after the danger of frost has passed till late fall.

Wondering what vegetable choices to make in your home garden in Alaska?

Check out this guide that will help you out with a list of the best vegetables suitable for Alaska’s climatic conditions.

Best Vegetables to Grow in Alaska

Alaska has changing climates ranging from the Arctic to continental, depending on the region and physical conditions.

It has short, mild, warm summer with ample sunlight, allowing many vegetables to grow faster and survive. On the other hand, it has fewer pest problems.

Now, let us examine the list of the best vegetables in Alaska.

1. Radish

Easy-to-grow Root Vegetable Of Alaska

A popular annual root vegetable that can be easily grown in the cool summer days of Alaska is radishes (Raphanus sativus).

Why Grow Radish?

Radishes can be easily grown as they mature faster in under three weeks. Also, it comes in many shapes, colors, and sizes.

It is suitable for beginners and does well in containers.

Maintenance And Care

Plant smaller radishes about 1/8 to ¼ inch depth to a one-inch spacing and daikon radishes to five inches. Harvest when the roots are one inch in diameter.

It is susceptible to bolting and root maggots.

Check out a video on growing radishes:

2. Cabbage

Cabbage (Brassica oleracea) of the Cruciferae family are cool-season crops that can adapt well to Alaska’s weather conditions.

Why Grow Cabbage?

Cabbage can be easily grown in interior and south-central Alaska due to its favorable growing conditions.

Large cabbages can be grown in these regions because of the cooler temperatures and long day lengths.

Maintenance And Care

Sow the seeds about ½ inch depth after the soil has warmed. It can be harvested when the heads are four to ten inches.

Watch out for cabbage worms, clubroot, and root maggots.

The cabbage growing guide is covered here:

3. Lettuce

A cool-season crop that is well suited to Alaska’s climatic conditions is lettuce (Lactuca sativa) of the Asteraceae family.

Why Grow Lettuce?

Lettuce can be easy to grow allowing numerous harvests over the growing season. It can be grown in containers if having space constraints.

It grows rapidly in Alaska’s cool climate and does not have a bitterness problem.

Maintenance And Care

Plant leaf lettuce about 1/8 inch in depth with a 6 to 12 inches spacing. Water the leaves regularly, harvest the outer leaves, or pull the entire plant.

It is prone to aphids, lettuce mosaic virus, and leaf spots.

Check out this video for growing lettuce:

4. Cauliflower

Cauliflower (Brassica oleracea Botrytis) is a sun-loving cool-season crop to grow in the spring and fall of Alaska.

Why Grow Cauliflower?

Many early-maturing varieties of cauliflower thrive well in Alaska’s cool weather. Many varieties are available in different colors, shapes, and sizes.

Maintenance And Care

Cauliflower can be started indoors about five to seven weeks before the last frost. It will be ready to harvest in 50 to 100 days depending on the variety.

It has to be protected from root maggots and cutworms in these areas.

Check out this complete guide on growing cauliflower:

5. Turnip

Turnips (Brassica rapa L) are quick and easy-to-grow vegetables suitable for home gardens in Alaska. It belongs to the Cruciferae family.

Why Grow Turnip?

Turnips grow rapidly during Alaska’s cool summer days. It has a compact growth habit that will thrive well in many garden soil. It can be used in multiple ways in the kitchen.

Maintenance And Care

Plant or thin turnip seeds 1/8 to ¼ inch depth leaving about three to five-inch spacing. You may grow as soon as the soil is warm in the spring and in July for a fall harvest.

It is susceptible to root maggots.

Here is a video on growing turnip:

6. Broccoli

Broccoli (Brassica oleracea Italica) is a cool-weather crop member of the Cruciferae family that grows well in Alaska.

Why Grow Broccoli?

Broccoli grows well during Alaska’s cool weather. It can withstand a light frost and yields quickly. It is versatile in the kitchen and requires less maintenance throughout its growth cycle.

Maintenance And Care

Broccoli can be started about four to six weeks before the last frost indoors in the cooler areas. It can be transplanted when the seedlings are 1 to 1 ½ inches tall. It is susceptible to root maggots in these regions.

Here is a complete guide on growing broccoli:

7. Kohlrabi

Another member of the Cruciferae family that can be grown and harvested in Alaska is Kohlrabi (Brassica oleracea Gongylodes).

Why Grow Kohlrabi?

Kohlrabi is frost-resistant, making it ideal to grow in Alaska’s weather conditions.

It is an easy, fast-maturing, and dependable crop. It is suitable for beginners.

Maintenance And Care

Kohlrabi can be planted about 1/8 inch in depth with a spacing of one to two inches as soon as the soil is workable.

It may mature in 45 to 60 days.

Like other Cole family members, it is susceptible to root maggots and cabbage worms.

You may check out this guide to grow and harvest Kohlrabi:

8. Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts (Brassica oleracea Gemmifera) are another popularly recommended vegetable crop appropriate for Alaskan weather.

Why Grow Brussels Sprouts?

Brussels sprouts grow well in the cool weather of Alaska. It is a reliable germinator and comes in handy in the kitchen with huge yields.

Maintenance And Care

Brussels sprouts can be started indoors about five to seven weeks before the last frost date. You may pick the sprouts from the bottom when they are about one inch.  

Watch out for root maggots, aphids, and cutworms.

Here is a useful video on growing Brussels sprouts:

9. Carrots

Popular Sweeter Variety

Carrots (Daucus carota) are members of the Apiaceae family that can be grown in many areas of Alaska.

Why Grow Carrots?

Carrots perform well in sandy to sandy loam soils of Alaska. Multiple varieties, including Nantes, and Gold Pak can survive here. Also, Alaskan carrots are known for their sweetness.

Maintenance And Care

Carrots thrive in Alaska when planted early in the spring when the soil warms to about 50oF. Plant seeds about ½ inch depth in five rows spaced about six inches.

It is susceptible to carrot rust flies and aster yellows.

You may watch this useful video on growing carrots in Alaska:

10. Beets

Another root vegetable that can be easily adapted to the cool climate of Alaska is beets (Beta vulgaris) of the Chenopodiaceae family.

Why Grow Beets?

Beets are versatile root vegetables that can be steamed, roasted, pickled, or fermented. Both greens and roots are edible. It is cold-tolerant and relatively tolerant to pests.

Maintenance And Care

Plant beets ¼ inch depth about 1 ¼ inch apart when the soil warms up. It has to be thinned to two inches and harvested when the roots are 1 ½ to 2 inches in diameter.

It is susceptible to flea beetles, leaf miners, and cucumber mosaic viruses.

Check out this video on growing beets in Alaska:

11. Cucumber

A popular vining variety that can be grown in the summer of Alaska is called cucumber (Cucumis sativus) of the Cucurbitaceae family.

Why Grow Cucumber?

Cucumbers can be grown in the warm weather of Alaska. It gives high yields throughout the growing season.

It can also be grown in five-gallon containers with trellises to improve space utilization.

Maintenance And Care

Cucumbers can be planted about ¼ inch depth when the soil temperatures are 50oF. You may plant about two or three plants in the garden cluster.

It is susceptible to cucumber beetles, grey mold, and powdery mildew.

Here is a video on growing cucumbers:

12. Peas

Peas (Pisum sativum) of the Fabaceae family are cool-season crops that will adapt well to Alaska weather.

Why Grow Peas?

Peas, including bush and snap, are easy to plant in Alaska. It is sturdy that will give you plenty of yields in two to three months that could be frozen for summer.

Maintenance And Care

Roll the peas in pea inoculants and add endomycorrhizal powder for top production.

Plant them about two to three inches apart in two rows about 12 inches apart. Pay attention to aphids, fusarium wilt, and blight.

You may go through this video for growing peas:

13. Beans

Common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) are annual vegetables that are commonly grown in Alaska home gardens.

Why Grow Beans?

Bush beans are easy to grow as peas and are prolific. You may grow pole beans if you have a small garden. Also, many varieties can be grown well in containers.

Maintenance And Care

Soak beans overnight to speed up germination and sprinkle inoculants over them. Space them about two or three inches apart and will mature in 50 to 60 days.

Several pests that attack are Mexican bean beetles, spider mites, and aphids.

Here is a video on growing beans:

14. Celery

Why Grow Celery?

Celery is a long-season crop that can be grown well in the sandy loam soil and cool weather in Alaska. It works well in many recipes.

Maintenance And Care

Celery can be started indoors about 10 to 12 weeks before the last frost. It is a heavy feeder that requires constant moisture.

Cut stalks before the first frost. It can appeal to flea beetles, slugs, snails, and earwigs.

Check out this video for growing celery:

15. Tomatoes

A popular and versatile home garden vegetable that can be planted in Alaska is tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) of the nightshade family.

Why Grow Tomatoes?

Tomatoes can survive in Alaskan summer. You may grow them in containers because of their prolific nature.

Many early maturing varieties are available that will give you high yields in a short time.

Maintenance And Care

Tomatoes can be started about five to eight weeks before the last frost date. Use mulch or row covers to keep tomato plants warm.

It can be susceptible to aphids, whiteflies, and fungal diseases.

Here is a video on growing tomatoes in cool climates:

What Is The Easiest Growing Vegetable In Alaska?

The easiest-growing vegetable in Alaska is the radish.

Radishes are easy to grow that can be harvested in a month. It makes it suitable for the short growing season of Alaska. Also, you may plan successive plantings within the growing season.

Home gardeners can choose from multiple varieties suitable for their gardener. It is less demanding, so even beginners may give it a try.

The other vegetables that can be grown are lettuce and Brassica family members.

What Is The Best Time To Grow Vegetables In Alaska?

The best time to grow vegetables in Alaska is after the danger of frost has passed till late fall.

The cool-season vegetables can be started indoors from the middle of April to early May and transplanted in June.

The warm-season vegetables, including corn, cucumbers, and peas, can be planted in the garden at the onset of summer.

The delicate vegetables, including eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes, are best started indoors before planting outside.


Does Alaska have all four seasons?

Yes, Alaska experiences all four seasons. Alaska summers are short and warm running from Mar to August. It brings mild temperatures to the region. In contrast, Alaskan winters can be cold with subfreezing temperatures and large snowfalls.

Can you grow spinach in Alaska?

Yes, spinach can be grown in Alaska. But, the biggest challenge in growing them is bolting due to warm temperatures and long day lengths. Watering the spinach regularly, appropriate spacing, and the use of row covers may help to prevent bolting.

Can you name a few vegetables that can be grown in containers in Alaska?

You may grow vegetables, including arugula, beans, beets, okra, peas, peppers, radish, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, kale, spinach, squash, and tomatoes. It gives more control over the growth of plants and their growing conditions.

Quick Recap: Top Vegetables to Grow In Alaska

Here is a quick recap of the top vegetables that can cater to Alaska’s climatic conditions.

VegetablesWhy Grow
Radish1. Easy to grow, fast-maturing in Alaska’s cool summer days
2. Both leaves and roots are edible
Lettuce1. Annual, cool-season crop
2. Can be grown both indoors and outdoors
Cabbage1. Cool-season, hardy vegetable
2. Versatile in the kitchen
Cauliflower1. Adapts to Alaska’s cool weather
2. Multiple early maturing varieties are available
Turnip1. Compact growth habit with a fast-growth rate
2. Versatile in the kitchen
Broccoli1. Cool-season frost hardy vegetable crop
2. Requires less maintenance
Kohlrabi1. Frost-resistant crop suitable for beginners
2. Easy, dependable, and fast-maturing
Brussels Sprouts1. Reliable germinators
2. Adaptable to the cool weather of Alaska
Carrots1. Thrives in different soil types of Alaska
2. Increased sweet varieties
Beets1. Easy to grow, harvest, and maintain
2. Dual-purpose crop appropriate for Alaska weather
Cucumbers1. Bountiful yields throughout the growing season
2. Suitable for containers
Peas1. Many varieties are suitable for Alaskan weather
2. Gives bountiful yields
Beans1. Annual vining plants that are fast-growers
2. Versatile in the kitchen
Celery1. Cool-weather long-season crop of Alaska
2. Does well in multiple recipes
Tomatoes1. Early maturity varieties suitable for Alaska
2. Prolific and suitable for summers

Bottom line

I hope this guide has given you great tips on selecting and growing vegetables in your Alaskan home gardens.

Do share the guide with your friends and family if you find it useful!



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