Alaska Seed Starting Schedules - Frosty Garden

Alaska Seed Starting Schedules

The information presented here is entirely geared to be used along with the Frosty Garden seed planting schedule for vegetables and flowers for Interior Alaska and our general recommendations for northern climates.

If you want to skip forward to our planting schedules, minus the preamble, click here:

Zones 1A to 1B Planting Schedule

Zones 2A to 4B Planting Schedule

Zones 5A to 7B Planting Schedule

Zones 8A to 8B Planting Schedule

A Primer On Our Alaska Seed Planting Schedules

In our effort to be a regional gardening guide for extreme northern climates, one of the important things we need to distinguish are seed planting schedules across the many climates Alaska has.

The challenge we face, attempting to be a growing guide for all of Alaska, is immense.  There are extremes between areas where trees can barely grow (zone 1) to areas that can grow pomegranates (zone 7+).

These are worlds apart in experience, as you might imagine.  It’s the difference between starting your seed planting in January or March!

This page provides “date corrections” for planting different garden seeds across the eight major USDA growing zones of Alaska.

We decided to use the USDA growing zones to provide general guidance, as there is a strong correlation between these and general last frost dates.

This is one of the highest quality USDA growing zone maps we have for Alaska.  You can use this to generally pinpoint your growing zone.  This site is also very helpful for determining your growing zone based on city, village or general area.

Click the image to expand the full map!

The information in this guide can absolutely be transferred to other northern growing areas, as well.  We’ve provided suggested latitudes, last frost dates and various Alaskan towns that can be used to hone in on which planting schedule is right for you.

Zone 1a-1b Seed Planting Schedule

Zone 2a-4b | Zone 5a-7b | Zone 8a-8b

Alaska Location Examples:  Utiagvik, Wainwright, Atqasuk, Prudoe Bay, Point Hope.  Also some northern mountain climates above 62N.

  • Approximate last frost date:  ~June 15th
  • Approximate latitudes:  Greater than 68 degrees north

This is, beyond any doubt, the most challenging of all Alaskan growing zones.

Truth be told, better than 60% of our seed schedule will not fully grow within this zone given the average summer season. If we have major garden tips for growing in this zone:

  • Plan on crops in the 30-60 day range.  Primarily cold-climate friendly crops, generally speaking.  These include:
    • Greens (lettuce, kale)
    • Fast, cold climate growers (radish, kale, some early pea varieties)
  • Expect first frosts as early as July to August in many of these locations.  There is an incredible amount of nuance in your exact micro-climate and actual capabilities.
  • Use season extension techniques (greenhouses, low/high tunnels, heating, indoor growing techniques) when possible.
  • For longer range crops (> 60 days), expect to sow weeks to months earlier if you want to grow them.  Expect mostly indoor growing, with little advantage and opportunity to transplant outdoors permanently.

Despite the challenges explained above, this is our corrected seed planting schedule for these regions.  There is also some merit to following the 2a-4b schedule as this schedule will generally ensure “more mature” plants.  Keep in mind, this will also increase your indoor growing requirements.

Vegetable Seed Schedule | Flower Seed Schedule

Weeks To Last Frost:Date:
12 Weeks To Last Frost:3/23/2023
11 Weeks To Last Frost:3/30/2023
10 Weeks To Last Frost:4/6/2023
9 Weeks To Last Frost:4/13/2023
8 Weeks To Last Frost:4/20/2023
7 Weeks To Last Frost:4/27/2023
6 Weeks To Last Frost:5/4/2023
5 Weeks To Last Frost:5/11/2023
4 Weeks To Last Frost:5/18/2023
3 Weeks To Last Frost:5/25/2023
2 Weeks To Last Frost:6/1/2023
1 Weeks To Last Frost:6/8/2023
0 Weeks To Last Frost:6/15/2023
+1 Weeks From Last Frost:6/22/2023
+2 Weeks From Last Frost:6/29/2023

Zone 2a to 4b Seed Planting Schedule

Zone 1a-1b | Zone 5a-7b | Zone 8a-8b

Alaska Location Examples:  Fairbanks, Anchorage, Nome, Kotzebue, Palmer, Soldotna, Coldfoot, Tok, Bethel, Willow, Talkeetna, Unalakleet, King Salmon, most Alaskan mountain climates

  • Approximate last frost date:  ~June 1st
  • Approximate latitudes:  ~62 degrees north to ~68 degrees north

This is our bread and butter.  The zone that we ourselves find ourselves practicing within.

We can grow many things.  Not all things, but our climate allows for a lot of flexibility.

The recommended seed schedule we present is 100% geared towards this particular growing zone.

Some areas of South Central Alaska (e.g. Anchorage area) may be able to use the 5a-7b schedule.  This will entirely depend on your last frost dates in your particular area.

Vegetable Seed Schedule | Flower Seed Schedule

Weeks To Last Frost:Date:
12 Weeks To Last Frost:3/9/2023
11 Weeks To Last Frost:3/16/2023
10 Weeks To Last Frost:3/23/2023
9 Weeks To Last Frost:3/30/2023
8 Weeks To Last Frost:4/6/2023
7 Weeks To Last Frost:4/13/2023
6 Weeks To Last Frost:4/20/2023
5 Weeks To Last Frost:4/27/2023
4 Weeks To Last Frost:5/4/2023
3 Weeks To Last Frost:5/11/2023
2 Weeks To Last Frost:5/18/2023
1 Weeks To Last Frost:5/25/2023
0 Weeks To Last Frost:6/1/2023
+1 Weeks From Last Frost:6/8/2023
+2 Weeks From Last Frost:6/15/2023

Zone 5a to Zone 7b Seed Planting Schedule

Zone 1a-1b | Zone 2a-4b | Zone 8a-8b

Alaska Location Examples:  Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka, Kodiak, Homer, Valdez

  • Approximate last frost date:  ~May 1st
  • Approximate latitudes:  ~58 degrees north to ~62 degrees north

These zones bring much opportunity and generally much less conflict with growing food, flowers and many perennials.

Care does need to be taken around typical frost dates, in general, but these areas provide very functional “northern climate” growing abilities.

Some areas in this region may need to follow the 2a-4b planting schedule, typically higher elevations.  This will highly depend on your particular microclimate and typical last frost dates.

Vegetable Seed Schedule | Flower Seed Schedule

Weeks To Last Frost:Date:
12 Weeks To Last Frost:2/6/2023
11 Weeks To Last Frost:2/13/2023
10 Weeks To Last Frost:2/20/2023
9 Weeks To Last Frost:2/27/2023
8 Weeks To Last Frost:3/6/2023
7 Weeks To Last Frost:3/13/2023
6 Weeks To Last Frost:3/20/2023
5 Weeks To Last Frost:3/27/2023
4 Weeks To Last Frost:4/3/2023
3 Weeks To Last Frost:4/10/2023
2 Weeks To Last Frost:4/17/2023
1 Weeks To Last Frost:4/24/2023
0 Weeks To Last Frost:5/1/2023
+1 Weeks From Last Frost:5/8/2023
+2 Weeks From Last Frost:5/15/2023

Zone 8a to 8b Seed Planting Schedule

Zone 1a-1b | Zone 2a-4b | Zone 8a-8b

Alaska Location Examples:  Adak, Unalaska, much of the Aleutian Islands, some of Southeast Alaska

  • Approximate last frost date:  ~April 1st
  • Approximate latitudes:  ~53 degrees north to ~58 degrees north

We are definitely jealous of those growing in these climates!  The growing world is entirely open to you!

Some people in these regions may need to follow the 5a-7b schedule, typically depending on your elevation, coastal influence and average last frost date.

Vegetable Seed Schedule | Flower Seed Schedule

Weeks To Last Frost:Date:
12 Weeks To Last Frost:1/7/2023
11 Weeks To Last Frost:1/14/2023
10 Weeks To Last Frost:1/21/2023
9 Weeks To Last Frost:1/28/2023
8 Weeks To Last Frost:2/4/2023
7 Weeks To Last Frost:2/11/2023
6 Weeks To Last Frost:2/18/2023
5 Weeks To Last Frost:2/25/2023
4 Weeks To Last Frost:3/4/2023
3 Weeks To Last Frost:3/11/2023
2 Weeks To Last Frost:3/18/2023
1 Weeks To Last Frost:3/25/2023
0 Weeks To Last Frost:4/1/2023
+1 Weeks From Last Frost:4/8/2023
+2 Weeks From Last Frost:4/15/2023

 

If you have any comments, corrections or specific regional advice, we would love to hear it!  Slap a comment below if you have something to add.

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