EarlyKenafSeed varieties mature in 60 days.
Ten early maturing varieties of kenaf will be tested in northern latitudes (34N-45N) in the USA starting in 2020.
Maturity is reached when the plant produces its' first flower. Flowers fall off after one day and begin to form the seed pods. Usually all plants planted at the same time will mature within a 2 week time period after the first flower appears. An additional 3 weeks after the flower drops is needed to produce mature seed.
EarlyKenafSeed matures in 60 days. And will need an additional 35 days for seed s to mature and harvest. These can be grown in northern latitudes with 95-100 growing days.
Growing days are not to be confused with hardiness zones. Growing days are counted between first planting date (60 degree F soil temperature in top 1/2 inch of soil) and before the frost date in your area. Kenaf seeds are very sensitive to cold and should not be exposed to soil temperatures below 60 degrees F. Kenaf plants will die when air temperatures drop below 32 degrees F. It is recommended that you count your growing days in this manner, before choosing a variety to grow.
The following link can be used as a GUIDE.
Plant EarlyKenafSeed after temperatures in your soil at 1/4 - 1/2 inch below the surface and is at least 60 degrees F. Harvesting kenaf seed before the last frost date is vital as cold has been seen to affect seed vitality/germination rate and seed yield.
Why would elevation be important? In 2019 we tested kenaf varieties at one location in Michigan that normally has temperatures 4 degrees F lower than the average just 2 miles away. This location is a lower elevation and known to be a cold sink. Cross checking elevations with frost dates can make the difference between success and failure, especially when your seeds can lose thier vitality/germination rate.
In 2020 I will be testing ten Early Kenaf varieties. These will be tested for acceptable germination rate and seed yield. Only tested varieties that are approved will be made available when extra seed is available.
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