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How to have a Lazy Garden in a Cold Climate

Posted by on June 21, 2017

I’ll be totally honest with you. My garden is lousy this year. I may be an Alaskan Master Gardener, but with no time to do anything in the garden, there just isn’t much happening with it this year. A good garden can so often be something that is completely out of your hands, so I’ve decided that I need a lazy garden in a cold climate.

How to Have a Lazy Garden in a Cold Climate - IdlewildAlaska

A homesteader who is lazy about gardening??? I know, crazy, right? But it so often wears on you. Planting and caring for seedlings, nurturing them along, hardening them off, carefully transplanting, watering and weeding throughout the summer… only to hope you get a good harvest. Last year our garden was almost non-existent thanks to the shrews eating almost all of my seedlings before I transplanted them. Before that? The weeds won. My job had me away from the homestead too much to even consider pulling weeds.

Growing up, so often I would hear my mom say she was done with gardening. It was issue after issue. One summer never got above 55 degrees and it rained almost every day and nothing grew. Another time a moose broke through the fence and ate everything and then there was the year the Dall sheep came down out of the mountains to eat it all. And don’t even get me started on the slugs…


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But on the other hand…

When the harvest is good, it’s a wonderful thing and so very rewarding, but gardening can be heartbreaking too. As busy as the hubby and I are, I’ve decided to make some changes. Yes, our greenhouse is still full of tomatoes and peppers. Yes, I planted potatoes and few veggies outside this year, but not much.

It’s time to make gardening easy. The Back to Eden method helps greatly, but I want to take it a step further.

A Lazy Garden in a Cold Climate

Perennials of all sorts are wonderful things to have in the garden. Coming back year after year, they may be a bit more expensive at first, but well worth it in the long run. Even in climate zones 3 and 4, there are quite a few options for edible perennials that will feed you for years to come. Many of these will also do well in much warmer climates, so lazy gardens for everyone!

Vegetables and Almost Vegetables

Asparagus – Zones 3-8

Sea Kale – Zones 4-8

Horseradish – Zones 3-9

Growing Horseradish - IdlewildAlaska

Jerusalem artichoke – Zones 3-9

Egyptian Walking Onion – Zones 3-9

Ostrich Fern (Fiddlehead) – Zones 3-7

Ramps – Zones 3-8



Lovage – Zones 3-8

Chives – Zones 3-9

Mint (peppermint) – Zones 3-11

Garden Sorrel– Zones 4-9


Fruit and Berries

Raspberries – Zones 3-10

Blueberries – Zones 4-7

Rhubarb – Zones 3-11

Strawberries – Zones 3-10

Apples – Zones 3-9

Growing Fruit in Alaska - IdlewildAlaska

Cherries – Zones 4-9

Crabapples – Zones 4-7

Currants – Zones 3-5

Adams Elderberries – Zones 3-9

Gooseberries – Zones 3-7

Arctic Kiwis – Zones 3-10

Quince – Zones 4-9

Frontenac Grapes – Zones 3-7

Sea Buckthorn – Zones 3-7

Black Chokeberry – Zones 3-8

Nova Pear – Zones 1-9

Mount Royal Plum – Zones 4-8

Silver Buffaloberry – Zones 3-9


Groundnut (Apios Americana) – Zones 3-10

Black Walnut – Zones 3-9

Filberts – Zones 4-9


We already have several of these growing around our homestead, but I’m planning on adding as many of these as I can! Looking for ornamental perennials for your cold zone? I can help with that too! Even with flowers, I haveĀ a lazy garden in a cold climate.

How to Have a Lazy Garden in a Cold Climate - IdlewildAlaska


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