A Guide to Starting Seeds and Planting in Alaska

Transplanting Plants and Placing Seeds in Your Garden.

There are a couple of different thoughts regarding when to plant outdoors. In southcentral Alaska, many people transplant their veggie starts outside on Memorial Day weekend to ensure there will be no more plant-killing frosts. One widely used piece of advice is that as soon as the “birch leaves are as big as a squirrel’s ear,” there will be no more frost and it is time to plant. This tends to be a reliable guide.

Your planting-out date will largely depend on your micro-climate. One year, I was able to plant on May 9th on a warm and sheltered little plot bordered on two sides by a house.

Seeds of certain cold-weather vegetables (carrots, lettuce, kale, peas) can be planted in the ground almost as soon as the snow is melted and the ground is thawed.


Below is a quick overview of how far apart to space your plants when you transplant or sow them in the garden:

  • Broccoli: 18-24″
  • Carrots: 2-4″
  • Cabbage: 8-24″
  • Green Onions: 1-3″
  • Bulbing Onions: 4-6″
  • Lettuce: 12″
  • Peas: 2-3″
  • Peppers: 18″
  • Radishes: 1″
  • Squash (zucchini, pumpkin, etc): 30″
  • Spinach: 4″
  • Rutabaga: 4-6″
  • Turnip: 3-6″
  • Tomato: 24-36″
Good luck with your garden this year!
Next up: How to Build Raised Beds!




  • Vanessa

    December 29, 2012 at 12:45 am Reply

    I’m so excited to have happened across this blog! I’ll be exploring it over the next few days, and am looking forward to Spring!

  • Julie

    April 2, 2015 at 10:55 am Reply

    Hi, Where can I find Fishy Peat Potting Soil? Thanks!

    • Erik

      April 2, 2015 at 12:38 pm Reply

      I know it’s for sale at Dimond Greenhouse, 3 Bears, and Alaska Mill and Feed.

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