I'm a long time gardener moving to Anchorage in April for a job. We are hoping to buy a house in a good school district in Anchorage or Eagle River, and have been researching this site for city and general info, but can't find specific tips for what to look for when buying a house/lot with vegetable gardening in mind. We'll probably end up in South Anchorage or Eagle River. Obviously, we'd like a lot large enough and sunny enough for a garden, but is there any Anchorage/Eagle River-specific advice local gardeners can give? Aspect? Exposure? Hillside vs lower, soil types, etc.?
I've gardened in places with cold winters (Manitoba, Wisconsin, Indiana) but all had warm summers. My understanding is that summers in South Central AK are cool and that can be a challenge. I've read links for the Alaska Master Gardens and Extension. Zone maps indicate that closer to the inlet is warmer, but are hillsides especially bad if for vegetable gardens?
BTW, I am currently in Maryland and until recently our winter has been similar to yours and I just harvested my last Kale, Tatsoi, and lettuce in Mid-January after several hard freezes. I'm hoping these cold-weather gardening skills transfer to AK, at least to extend the season a bit into the fall. Thanks for and advice.