Oklahoma Plant Zone

Gardening in Oklahoma can be a blessing and a challenge. Oklahoma’s growing zones range from 6a to 8a, and knowing your zone on the USDA zoning map is vital for successful gardening. The USDA introduced the hardiness zone map in 1960 to inform growers about suitable plants based on temperatures and average frost dates. While these dates aren’t set in stone, they provide a rough estimate of when freezing temperatures might occur.

In Zone 7a, where I am located, we have experienced a hard freeze as late as May 10th. Therefore, it’s advisable to wait as long as possible before planting tomatoes and peppers, as they are particularly vulnerable to freezing temperatures. However, there are several plants that can withstand colder snaps, such as peas, radishes, carrots, beets, turnips, chard, cabbage, kohlrabi, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, rhubarb, and spinach. These resilient crops can handle temperatures as low as 26 degrees Fahrenheit.

Oklahoma Vegetable Gardening

Here are some recommended planting times for seeds or seedlings in Oklahoma. If you prefer growing your own seedlings, you should start them indoors 8-12 weeks before these dates. For a more comprehensive planting guide, consult the month-by-month garden planting guide linked at the end of this article.

For spring crops in Oklahoma, you can begin planting around February 15th and continue until March 15th. This timeframe includes the aforementioned cold-tolerant plants. Summer crops, such as corn, green beans, okra, tomatoes, peppers, and herbs, can be planted between April 1st and May 1st, or even as late as June 1st. Fall crops, which consist of the same plants as in the spring, can be sown from August 15th to September 15th, with spinach and carrots benefiting from a later planting due to their aversion to germinating in hot soil.

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Certain crops are not only easier to grow but also more nutrient-dense and cost-effective. Consider growing essential crops for a survival garden, which will save you money and provide a reliable food source.

What Growing Zones are in Oklahoma?

Oklahoma’s growing zones span from 6a to 8a. Major cities like Tulsa and Oklahoma City fall within Zone 7a. To view the complete map, click here.

When Should I Start My Garden in Oklahoma?

Deciding when to start your garden depends on the types of plants you intend to grow. If you’re focusing on tomatoes and peppers, it’s best to wait until June 1st or at least May 15th. For peas and carrots, February is the optimal time to begin planting. May 15th works well for okra enthusiasts. As for beans, corn, and squash, April 15th is a suitable starting point. Ultimately, the choice is yours, and even if you’re slightly early or late, it’s worth experimenting and being open to both success and failure.

For instance, my daughter recently acquired a farm, and despite the recommended planting period for garlic being between September and October, we decided to plant it around Christmas. Surprisingly, the plants are growing robustly, albeit slightly behind the ones planted in October. Nature is full of surprises, and sometimes optimal conditions can occur just outside the recommended planting times.

Gardening in Oklahoma

It’s essential to consider the scorching summer heat when gardening in Oklahoma. Some plants struggle to germinate in hot soil, with exceptions like beans, corn, okra, and squash. Therefore, it’s crucial not to wait until late June or July to start planting. During the peak of summer, most plants tend to slow or cease production. However, once September arrives and temperatures become cooler, growth resumes. The intense summer heat can cause flower pollen to stick, making it difficult for pollinators to distribute it effectively, resulting in reduced vegetable and fruit production.

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It’s worth noting that okra thrives in high temperatures, and there is virtually no amount of heat that can slow it down, although, in rare circumstances, it has been observed. Additionally, be mindful of the inevitable freeze, which may catch you off guard. Sometimes, it may be a welcome relief after dealing with an abundance of produce. However, gardening is cyclical, and the joys and wonders of the garden always return.

Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma Vegetable Planting Guide

Tulsa and Oklahoma City, as well as other areas in the same planting zone, share similar planting recommendations. Having personally tested these recommendations for the past eight gardening seasons, I can confirm their effectiveness. For more detailed information, refer to the month-by-month guide mentioned at the end of this article. In Oklahoma, you can plant your garden any time from January to October.

What Grows Well in Oklahoma

Certain plants thrive in Oklahoma’s long, hot summers. Okra ranks among the top performers, along with green beans, corn, squash, kale, sweet potatoes, radishes, cabbage, spinach, chard, lettuce, kohlrabi, beets, garlic, peas, herbs, asparagus, and turnips. Carrots can also yield satisfactory results if started correctly, and tomatoes and peppers from plants are generally successful. Occasionally, a sufficiently long cool season allows for the cultivation of broccoli and cauliflower. Rhubarb can withstand Oklahoma’s conditions with moderate success.

Remember, it’s worth trying your hand at growing all these crops, as the garden is an incredible teacher that constantly rewards us in various ways. For a comprehensive guide to month-by-month planting, don’t forget to check out the printable version available at the end of this article.

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Discover the best fruit to grow in Oklahoma here and the finest vegetables to grow in Oklahoma here.

I can’t wait to hear about your own gardening experiences!