Alaska’s long days make unique conditions for growing plants

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) Saturday is Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year! With nearly 22 hours of daylight, many plants benefit from the extended light exposure.

Extended daylight makes up for a shorter growing season, allowing many plants to grow larger than normal in Alaska. (John Dougherty/KTVF)

Angie Hawks owns Hawks Greenhouse, and says that the long days help make up for the short growing season. She said the 24 hour daylight allows plants to grow at a much faster rate, and get much larger than many of their lower-48 cousins.

However, she said not all plants like this. To grow watermelons and some types of onions, she said people need to cover them up each night so they will produce fruit.

She also said the extended growing hours mean that plants need more attention. "[To] feed with adequate nutrition, we tell people feed a water soluble food about three times a week. Down in the lower-48 they will do it once every 7-14 days. So we have to compensate for that."

On top of the extra daylight, Hawks also said that the cooler soil helps some plants grow larger.

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