Northern Gardening

There are many options in the Yukon for those who want to achieve gardening perfection
Borrowing small packets of seeds is super simple at the seed library, and they have a great variety of seeds to choose from. Photo: Pixabay

The spring season is upon us. Retail stores are starting to set up their garden centres, seed racks are coming out on display, bags of soil and mulch are nicely stacked and nurseries have begun to put their best products out on display. For someone who is new to gardening, it can be a bit overwhelming—even more so if you are new to gardening in the Yukon. With a three-month garden season, it can be a bit tricky to figure out how to get the most out of your gardening efforts. But, not to worry, there are many places you can go in Whitehorse to get great advice and assistance with gardening.
A great starting point would be at a garden centre. In Whitehorse you can visit Yukon Gardens, or YukonGrow. Yukon Gardens is a nursery that carries a wide selection of shrubs and trees that have been tested for cold-climate longevity. They also carry a lovely selection of flowering plants, and vegetables.
Yukon Grow offers an impressive selection of soils, biochar, manure, fertilizers, peat moss, minerals, wood mulch, pH adjusters and so much more. They also have an online learning page where you can pick up some great tidbits of information to help your northern garden reach its full potential. Both offer a variety of plants and soils, plus any other tools you may need.
If you need some great-looking garden décor in Whitehorse, Decora and Ibex Valley Greenhouse have a fantastic selection of ponds, planters and garden statues, as well as plants and soils.
For those who have experience with Yukon gardening and who want to challenge themselves, you can enroll in a certificate course at Yukon University. It’s called Yukon Master Gardener. Done in partnership with the Yukon Agricultural Branch, the program teaches participants about seeds, soil health, greenhouse management, pest control, plus so much more.
If all of the above still seems a bit mind-boggling and you just want to start super simple, you can always start out with some good soil and some perennials. Perennials are great and super easy to maintain because they will grow back the following year. Some examples of perennials that will grow in the colder-climate zones are pyrethrum daisies, foxglove, chrysanthemums, bellflower, periwinkle, yarrow and delphiniums.
Another great place to visit is the seed library, located in Whitehorse. Borrowing small packets of seeds is super simple at the seed library, and they have a great variety of seeds to choose from. When the plants you have grown from the borrowed seeds start to seed themselves, you simply collect them and return them to the seed library for others to use.
Regardless of what gardening level you are at, the garden resources available in the Yukon will be able to help you create the perfect garden, as well as maintain it. After your garden work is done, you can enjoy bragging rights by posting your Yukon garden photos on social media. I guarantee that a lot of people, from around the world, will be pleasantly surprised to see how beautiful flowers and plants can grow perfectly in a land known for snow and ice.

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