Information on Seed Packets

Before starting with seeds be aware that our average last spring frost date is June 1, and our average first fall fall frost is September 3 (measured at the Kenai Municipal Airport). We have a relatively short growing season of approximately 93 days. 

When deciding what to plant this year, consider starting your plants from seed. Seeds offer a low-cost opportunity to establish old favorites and try out new cultivars. In addition, there are typically more plant options when using seeds than purchasing plants. Some seeds can be started indoors while others can be directly sowed later in the ground. The Farmer's Almanac provides a basic time table for our area. Sometimes its best to just inquire with other CPGC members to see what has worked best in your area in previous years. 

When considering seeds, it is useful to know what information is found on the seed packet.

Picture - A picture of the plant in flower or harvested fruit or vegetable is generally found on the front of the seed packet. It can be used to determine flower type and color and what to expect when harvesting the fruit or vegetable. Remember that the picture is representative of the flower, fruit, or vegetable at its best, so use it only as a guide.

Plant Description - Seed packets usually provide a written description of the plant including common and scientific names, plant height at maturity, days to harvest or bloom and habit i.e., climbing, upright, etc. 

Uses and Weight - Seed packets often contain suggested uses for the plant such as in containers, in beds, as winter houseplants, for trellises, etc. The number or weight of the seeds is also found on the packet, which is useful in determining the number of packets needed.

Date - The year that the seeds were packaged, for example, "Packed For Season 2023," is also found on the packet. This information is important because as seeds age, their viability decreases, which means that fewer seeds will germinate in subsequent years. If seeds have a germination rate of 80 percent in 2023, the 2024 rate can be expected to be lower, for example, 50 percent.

Planting Directions - Seed packets should state when to plant the seeds depending on which region in the United States they will be sown. Directions should include planting depth, spacing, light exposure requirements, whether or not the seeds should be planted indoors prior to planting outdoors, and basic directions for the care of the plant.

Hardiness Zone - The cold hardiness zone, based on the lowest temperature the plant will survive in, will be found on the back of the packet. Since the updated 2023 cold hardiness zones in the Kenai Peninsula range from 1 to 8, it is important to know in which zone the seeds will be sown. This information is sometimes included on the seed packet, and it can also be found in gardening books.

It is a good idea to keep the seed package after sowing as a reference for future care and harvesting. The diversity of seeds offered can be exciting because of the limitless planting combinations of flowers, fruit, and vegetables to grow and enjoy. 

Our location is unique for Alaska with many micro-climates, so remember to use the updated hardiness zone map and local planting dates found below. The Kenai Municipal Airport is hardiness zone 4B, and some of the surrounding zip codes are zone 4A and 5A. 

Local Kenai Peninsula Seed Suppliers

AIH in Kenai 

Cad-Re Feeds in Soldotna

Kenai Feed and Supply in Kenai

Panama Reds in Kenai

Rusty Ravin Plant Ranch in Kenai

Soldotna Seed Library in The Goods Soldotna - Read the Story 

Trinity Greenhouse in Soldotna

Trustworthy Hardware in Soldotna