Soil Warming Techniques

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Soil's in the interior of Alaska and North have extreme weather conditions to go through. Winters with temperatures down as low as minus 65 Fahrenheit, and long winters darkness are just some of the problems that must be overcome by the Alaskan Gardener. Historically the last Frost at is May 31, and the first frost is mid to late August. So you can see this makes for a short growing season We have three solutions for the cold soils, the first is we use a greenhouse to start our seedlings in and to grow more tender plants that need heat. Plants like Bell Peppers and some Egg plants, and such. The next solution we use to warm Alaskan soils, is through the use of Row covers, now you can purchase ready made row covers or make them like we did, by simply using 1.5inch pvc pipe and looping it over, then covering with plastic and using these cool Greenhouse Snap Clamp 3/4 Inch x 4 Inches Wide for 3/4 Inch PVC Pipe 10 per Bag . However to some this would seem a bit difficult and for those people we offer the following row cover kits.

Another thing we use is clear plastic mulch; however, the clear plastic mulch tends to help those bad plants called weeds to grow at a much higher rate. And this tends to make the Alaska Gardener work twice as much to keep the weeds from choking out the minerals and moisture needed for your crops to survive.

We also use a black plastic mulch for our Strawberries and this tends to work extremely well for them; however, for other plants and areas we have tried this and the soils are just to cold and usually it ends up absorbing more from the cold ground then the heat from the sun.


Now the most effective way to warm and control your soils, is a method called raised bed Gardening, for those of you interested we have a complete section here dedicated just to raised bed gardening as well as some free plans.

Raised Bed Gardening

Free Plans

 In addition to the soils being cold, Alaska also has a tremendous problem with cold water, the water coming out of's well is approximately 29-30F and extremely cold water to put onto your tender plants at any stage. To solve this problem we have gone to watering our garden through the use of Rain Barrels. This technique allows you to put a little warmer water onto the garden and saves you money in the long term by not taxing your well, and if you live where your getting and paying for city water it keeps the harmful chemicals off your plants as well. We have several suggestions as to what models to use listed here. But it will be up to you the size and type you need for your garden.


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