US (AK): What grows well in Juneau greenhouses

Greenhouses expand the possibilities of what can be grown in cool, wet climates. Certain cucumber and tomato varieties do particularly well in Southeast Alaska. Master gardener Ed Buyarski uses some of his greenhouse space to experiment with dry-weather crops, such as corn. While his corn is tall, it’s not quite maturing.

The rest of the space is dedicated to tomatoes and cucumbers. Buyarski selects varieties that are adapted to growing in a greenhouse, such as the Manny cucumber. “Manny, I’ve grown for two or three years now,” Buyarski said. “They’re tasty. They’re smooth-skinned slicing cucumbers — they’re considered a European-style cucumber.”

Inside the greenhouse, Buyarski has staked the cucumber plants to grow vertically instead of flat on the ground. “Cucumbers tend to get mold and mildew on them pretty easily, unfortunately,” he said. “I’ve got them strung up in the hopes of getting good air circulation in between the plants.”

Sungold, Siberian, and Glacier are examples of tomato varieties that consistently produce good harvests. The plants were started indoors from seed in April and transferred to the greenhouse in mid-May. The green tomatoes just started to show colors in early August.

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