Veggies for the Kenai Peninsula
Growing vegetables in Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula can be a challenging yet very rewarding experience. It doesn’t get as warm on the peninsula as it does in the interior or even in Anchorage. The hardest part is waiting to actually get out into your gardens to start planting! As you know, there are many different microclimates not only in different parts of the Kenai from Homer to Soldonta, but also in our own gardens. Keep a gardening journal of when and where you plant seedlings to help you plan each year. The following veggies love the Kenai Peninsula because they love our climate! Plant them without worry.
Vegetables to Start from Seed During the Early Season
With our long days and short nights in the spring and summer, Alaskans can grow most cool weather vegetables from late May through September. The traditional transplant day for veggies in the garden is June 1st. Lately though, it has been warming up so much earlier. This means you can start your seedlings indoors in late March and throughout April and plant outdoors in May. Just keep an eye on the weather and use a protection cover to put over them if a cold snap is expected.
These veggie seeds should have been started in late March through April: Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Celery, Chives, Leeks, Lettuce, Spinach, and Tomatoes.
Vegetables to Start in May
If you haven’t started your seeds yet, don’t worry, there is still plenty of time. In addition to the ones listed above, you can also start Beets, Kale, Onions, Parsnips and Potatoes. Make sure to plant these seeds in at least a four inch container. Veggies grow super fast with all this light and will get to be a few inches tall in just a couple weeks. You can also sow these seeds directly into the garden anytime after May 15th. Wait until June 1st if your microclimate is on the cool side though. Potatoes can go into the soil as soon as it can be worked, but not much growth will occur until the temperature warms up! This year I am saving my raised bed space for other veggies and growing my potatoes on the deck in grow bags.
Everything Grows Well in June
The ground should be thawed out and you can now directly sow your turnips, parsnips, carrots, and radish seeds. Transplant all your seed starts into the ground or into raised beds. Round out your vegetable garden by planting rosemary, cilantro, dill, and parsley. Basil likes it more on the warmer side so plant it in a container and place it in the warmest part of your garden or more likely in your greenhouse.
I’m sure I forgot some favorite veggie or herb that can be planted outside on the Kenai! Post in the comments below your successes. I love to share and learn from others too!
I certainly enjoyed the information especially regarding Kenai. I just bought a home there and intriguingly it has a small greenhouse to my surprise! I intend to be a long time resident and I’m curious as a pure novice at 71 years old can I grow Easley in my greenhouse. I was especially intrigued with the blackberries but I’m sure that takes more dedication and I am going to have unfortunately my attendance is somewhat limited any suggestions would be greatly appreciated
John, well I’ve tried unsuccessfully to grow blackberries. The canes grow well but I get no fruit. But what I do seem to have lots of luck with are cucumbers, tomatoes, greenbeans, corn! yes corn. Also peas, pie pumpkins, pepper plants and eggplant. Good luck – It is a challenge here in Alaska growing things.
Rambling Angler says
Great information. I hope to have a garden if me and my wife decide to move to the Kenai Peninsula
I am fortunate to live in the San Francisco Bay Area, so we can garden year-round, although winter gardening is limited to things like broccoli and chard. But I also start seeds in the spring to plant for summer. If I plant enough in the late summer/fall, my garden over-winters and I can start harvesting in the spring!
Aaahh lucky you! I use to live in SO Cal many years ago and did have a garden then. Things just grew so easily. I miss that living in Alaska. I grew up in Oregon and I thought gardening would be much the same. NOT so. It is much more of a challenge to grow on the Kenai Peninsula. I am learning what goes best outside and now that I have a greenhouse ( happy dance ) what does better there. I will be trying blackberries in the greenhouse this spring! I am anxious to see how that venture goes 🙂