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Can I grow okra in PA?

Okra   

I'd like to try my hand at growing some okra in my vegetable garden, is it possible to grow it successfully here in central PA and if so, what is the best way to do it?


Posted by: Krissie (1 point) Krissie
Posted: February 13, 2013




Answers

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It's definitely worth a try. I have grown 'Clemson Spineless' the last couple of years in the Midwest (it's been hot) and the okra has done wonderfully- easy to grow and prolific.


Posted by: Charlie B. (84 points) Charlie B.
Posted: February 28, 2013




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Okra is hard to grow in our climates. It needs a lot of heat. I have tried growing it in California and have not had very good success. At least the temperature does not fall dramatically during the night in central PA like it does in California, which might rise your chances of getting a handful of pods per plant. But it is going to require an enormous effort and space for megre results, unless maybe you have access to a greenhouse open to bees.


Posted by: Rahel Salathé (13 points) Rahel Salathé
Posted: February 13, 2013




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You could certainly give it a good shot! Okra is a tropical plant and has been traditionally grown in the Southeastern US for many years as it grows best in hot, dry climates with daily temperatures between 70 and 85°F. Okra is sensitive to frost and cold which may limit the growing season in PA but I would think that the summer temperatures lend themselves well. You should start okra seeds indoors to get a head start and transplant when the soil temperature has reached, or exceeds 60°F. Okra requires 50-60 days from sowing to harvest when it is grown in its optimal climate so it may be best to consider growing an early maturing, high yielding variety such as ‘Jade’. The Penn State Co-operative extension recommends transplanting in early June (see http://pubs.cas.psu.edu/FreePubs/pdfs....) Heed Rahel's advice however, it is likely to be require effort and you may wish to grow something that is ultimately more productive....


Posted by: Lindsay McMenemy (2 points) Lindsay McMenemy
Posted: February 13, 2013




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