Thanks again to those who responded to my questions on the fungus in the jiffy peat pellets in a previous thread. The okra seedlings that I've planted in the peat pellets are very strong and growing fast. I must now transplant them into some soil. This is my first time growing okra, and therefore need to know some basics:
1) What depth should I plant the seedlings? They've grown very quickly and are 3-4 inches tall, and have not grown their first true leaves. Their roots are sprouting out the bottom of the pellets, however, so I think it's best to put them in some pots.
I am not sure about your area but we always just direct sow okra in the ground. I have never started it in pots but would think if you originally planted the seed according to depth directions on packets then just put your peat pellets in the ground or pots to the depth they are growing now. I know you can plant tomatoes deeper because they grow roots all along the stem but not sure if that would work for okra.
The whole soil mixture thing is a real problem for me too. I never seem to do too well starting seeds so it is just easier for me to plant directly even if it costs me a couple of weeks.
Hopefully someone with more experience will have some great ideas.
I've got okra inside, too, same scenario as you, and I'm planting out this weekend in my eBuckets.
My okra are approximately 4" tall and getting their 2nd set of leaves. They're planted in 16 oz. Red Solo cups. I'm inclined to say I'm going to plant deep, about 2-3" from the cotlyedons. I've not found anything on how deep they should go. But, these Red Burgundy plants seem vigorous enough to withstand a deep planting. If I find otherwise, I'll come find you and let you know!
P.S. What're you growing? I have the Reds, Lee and Clemson Spineless to go in. Only the Red Burgundy are ready for this weekend. The others are still sulking under the soil. All were started in pyrex dishes soaking in a Hydrogen Peroxide and water bath for about 10 days before I planted in the cups. The Burgundies sprung up within 3 more days after planting...The seeds only needed soaking for 24 hours or so -- timing...
Let's keep a pic diary of our progress together, ok? Can you post some pics?
I would plant them even with the soil since they're in a peat pellet. Be sure to cut slits in the bottom and sides of the pellet so that the roots can grow through the mesh-like fabric and get into the dirt.
I'm planting Emerald Velvet okra this year...this weekend as a matter of fact. I'm direct sowing though.
My okra seedlings are also about 4 inches tall and just now are starting to get the first true leaves. I thought maybe I had done something wrong. The stems seem awfully spindly too. I hope they beef up before a heavy rain comes and clobbers them.
I planted my Red Burgundy okra out more than a week ago. I planted deep like I said I would. To date, they've grown almost 3" and didn't suffer from the deep rooting. They're beefing up very nicely.
I started Mammoth and Clemson Spineless okra this spring and transplanted them in the garden once they began forming the true leaves.
It is best to direct sow okra but you can transplant it successfully. The key is to not disturb the taproot. I usually use peat pots then carefully peel the peat pot away when transplanting.
If you are growing okra in a container make sure the it's deep. Okra grow a long taproot and need a nice, deep amount of soil. I would say use a container no less than 18 inches deep.
As far as how deep to plant them - plant them so the soil level of the garden/container is at the same height as the peat pellets (as Stephanietx said). You don't really want to plant them much deeper than that.
Next year I'll direct sow okra. This is my first veggie garden but I don't think these appreciated being transplanted. I was late getting stuff planted so I bought okra plants instead of seed. They probably would have grown as fast or faster from seed. The only thing moving slower than the okra is the eggplant.
When I bought these plants, they had obviously dumped a handful of seeds into one peat pot so what I got were "clumps" of okra plants. Instinct told me not to try and separate them all so I just trimmed some of them down to thin. But I think I may direct sow the rest of the row, in between the "clumps", and may the best pods win. I've got a packet of seeds. Clemson Spineless which is what the plants I bought are.
Not hot here at all... We may hit 100° on Friday. If so it will be the first time this year, believe it or not! They are predicting less over 100° days and more rain for us this summer. I'll believe it when I see it.
My Okra aren't doing much either - not hot enough for them yet...
I start my okra in moist paper towels placed in plastic bags. This year they germinated in one day! Then I transfer them to toilet paper rolls cut in half filled with coir or a good potting soil and worm castings. (tape the pieces that come together so they don't unravel when wet) When they are tall enough I transplant them in the rolls (tear the one side to make room for toot expansion) to E-Boxes or straw bales. This year I am trying Burgundy and Hill Country Red for the first time. I also have Cajun Delight and Annie Oakley. Thanks for the info on planting deep. The Burgundy do seem to be very vigorous so it's good to know! Even though we don't have the ideal okra growing climate that one has in the South I get enough okra to keep my husband happy!
The oil slick is going to be devasting to Louisiana. Shrip and oyster fishermen are already hurting. Tourism will be nothing. So much wildlife will be hurt. If a bad hurricane comes and takes it inland it will be even worse. All they want to do if find someone to blame. Accidents happen, forget it and fix it.