Growing in Alaksa

A question from a fellow grower!

I grow in Alaska, USDA Zone 5, so a short growing season but very long daylight, reaching 20 hours by June 21. Our microclimate is cool, with average summer high temps in the 60s, rarely reaching into the 70s. We use unheated high-tunnels for earlier warming and starting of crops that could not yet begin outside, for instance we have radish and carrot seed up now along with lettuce sets planted but still have some snow lying about and the ground and ponds still frozen.

I would like to grow some personal herb, it’s legal here now. Here is the challenge. It is easy enough to start plants and grow first in the tunnels and move outside during the height of summer but the rate at which our daylength and temps drops seems to catch the herb plants off guard as there is not enough time left for budding before hard frosts occur.

I have heard about autoflower varieties but have no experience with them. I have also heard the quality of the bud is not so good. One approach I am considering is finishing the girls inside but would like to have other options. As I would be growing in pots for ease of movement I would like plants that do not get 6-8 feet tall. I also like herb that does not knock me out but one can be engaged with work, if possible.

Are there a couple of strains you would suggest and any cultural guidance you may have would be greatly appreciated.

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The quality of an Auto can be just as good as any photo strain. I grow Autos all the time and really like them. No, you don’t get as big a harvest but you can get almost two harvests in during the time it takes for the photos to ripen. If you have room to grow, I’d set out several autos.

I’d also grow some Hindu Kush. They are short, deep rooted plants from high up in the mountains where the growing season is short. It’s a functional, but sedative Indica.

Another choice might be Green Crack. It’s a Sativa that grows short and fast with a very energetic high.

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Pakistan Valley is a landrace indica strain that has a very short veg & flower time; you could harvest as early as 11 weeks from seed.

I’m doing autos, now. From the looks of it, they’re growing fast & big, with wonderful colas. All the strains I’m growing supposedly test at a minimum of 20% thc.


Lowryder auto flower
Small reliable does well in the cold and good smoke

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White Widow autos grew well for me at 59N. Temps 54-68F.

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The thing most outdoor challenged outdoor growers do is start their plants early and give them a leg up before going outside. Starting now gives you a plant 15" to 20" high when you put em in the sun. That’s if you want to bring them to finish outside.

You may be better suited to do what I do which is a kind of hybrid grow. I have a dedicated grow space with high end lights but they go out whenever the weather cooperates. They never see a full day of sun but they get their proper amount and duration. That can greatly help with electricity costs.

FWIW, I’m at the 46th parallel, zone 4 and indicas like Northern Light finish for me. Sativas make interesting yard sculptures to look at all winter.


This summer, I think I’m going to try a guerrilla grow at work. I work about 100 miles north of Chicken, AK, up on the Top of the World. I have a few free auto seeds of ny diesel & kush, both strains seed to harvest about 9 weeks.

I figure I’ll start it at home for a couple weeks, then transport up to camp with me. It’s over a 5 hour drive, which is probably going to be the riskiest part, b/c it’s an awful 5 hour drive through mountain passes & severe frost heaves on unpaved roads. Once up there, I’ll put the 7gallon smart pot in a nice sunny, yet hidden spot, somewhere easy to hike to, but where I know my boss will never go.


That sounds ambitious… and I love it!

Sounds like you need to start blacking out the hoop houses a few weeks before the end of the season… start flowering earlier then normal… simple fix… :wink:

:v: :sunglasses:

Lots of wild critters like to munch unguarded outdoor weed. You may need some chain link fencing to keep them safe. Pee on it to scent mark it and keep prey animals away. I would definitely grow autos. They have ruderalis genes in them from Siberia. Ideal for a short Alaska growing season. Photoperiod plants will freeze before the night length stays long enough for them to flower and mature.

Loving your space @anon95385719! We had snow last week too. Gonna be autos outdoors this year for me

It’s flyin pretty good right now. Uggg I’m over it. I’m a transplant from south Florida and snow is cool and all but by April I’m over it

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I hear you. We usually get lots of rain where I am, but I’m not a fan of a lot of snow. I lost at least a pound to bud rot last year, as did many of us last summer.

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