OKRA, Part ll

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

We came from here: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1115764/

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

I'm still waiting for it to get warm enough to plant mine. It was in the mid 40's this morning. It should warm up by the first week of June. Do you think that might be too late to set seeds? Our first frost is usually around mid-October.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Bee,
All all I know is, the hotter it is, the better the okra grow!

So, calculate when you'll have your hottest weather, and calculate starting seeds about what? 4-6 weeks before then? I soak my okra seeds overnight in a cup of water with a capful of H2O2, and those little white nubby babies are popping out in 1-3 days. Pick them up with a tweezer and plant them out where you want them.

I wish they grew faster in the period between "declaring" (I learned that term from UberShoe!) and that stem getting hard. Seems to take forever...

Linda

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Thanks, Linda,

Last year we had 90's in June, but that was unusual. All I could think of was that okra loves hot weather and I didn't have any seeds. This year, I have seeds, but we've had an unusually cool spring. Yesterday's normal high should have been in the 80's and it was 59F. It's supposed to get up into the 90's on Sunday.

When I die, I'm going to ask to be put in charge of the weather!

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

"When I die, I'm going to ask to be put in charge of the weather!"

Heheheh! I second that. Honeybee is officially nominated!

Honeybee, I'd do like Linda suggested, go ahead and start some seeds now. You can start them in cell packs and let them get some size on them and then plant them out. That way you'll get a head start on your harvest. These cool temps we've been having will sure cause okra seed to take its merry ol' time germinating in garden soil.

Shoe

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Shoe - the inside temperature of our home is the same as that outside, so I'll wait until next week when it's supposed to warm up.
I've put a heatmat with a thermometer on my Christmas list for next year's growing season.

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

Yeh, same here, but I like the house to stay kinda cool. But, your house/air temp is probably warmer than the soil temp. That should help get your seeds off to a good start, eh?

Shoe

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

Honeybee, you're not far from me. I plant in June, and never have any problems with having plenty of Okra. I haven't even got their "home" ready yet. I just soak them in water and wait till they show the little nubbins, and they seem to do fine. One year I tried starting some inside, and even so, the direct seeded ones actually out-stripped the insiders when it came to producing. Who knows:)

Now, about you being in charge of the weather...

Are you sure you wouldn't be tempted to make everybody else go thru just what you had too? I can just see me;

"Thought you were gonna get early 'maters this year, huh? HAHAHAHAHA...Take that!!!

Watered today, didja? heeheeheehee...washed your car, too, you say?"

No rain? Here comes the sun, do-da-do-da.....here comes the sun..."

I don't trust me. I hope you're a much kinder person.

I KNOW you are...

Please be....

Virginia Beach, VA

Gymgirl,
I think I saw your okra plants pictures from last year. Should I pinch the top?

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Bellieg, I've never pinched the top. I haven't had a bumper crop of okras yet, either. Hoping to get what you're wishing for this season. I have 4 plants going now in eBuckets, and they've been taking their sweet time growing. We've had two back-to-back weeks with a couple nights into the mid-50s, so I knew they'd stall out again.

Seems okra just don't compromise much on that heat thing. With them it's "all heat, or nothing!"

I might go ahead and plant a few more seedlings I still have in cups...

Virginia Beach, VA

I planted mine already 4 days after soaking it in peroxide as per direction from Stephaniex. I think i planted them too early!! Too excited perhaps!!! Our temp had been in the 70's

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

I've never pinched mine and they've done fine. I do trim off bottom branches if they start touching the ground to aid in air circulation and watering. I also just direct sow mine, no pre-soaking. I know we can plant in the dead of summer and still get a good crop. I think I'm going to sow some this weekend since I've yanked out all my lettuce now.

Virginia Beach, VA

I saw 2 sprouting. haleluia!!!

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

catmad - Nah, I would never do any of those things.

If I were in charge of the weather, it would only rain every third day, except on weekends. It would be 72F and sunny year 'round during the day and 68F at night. No hurricanes, no hail, no tornadoes.

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

Could you have one spot that's 72 during the day, and 50 at night? And could there be a button for a week of something else? I may need to rethink this. I _like_ seasons. That and the heat are why I left FL. I guess what I'd really like is to eliminate the extremes. Never hotter than 85, not colder than 30 (and only when I want snow, another button). Rain on demand, as specified. No severe thunderstorms, tornadoes or Hurricanes.
Sigh. I can dream, can't i?

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

I'd like a "tropical-breeze-full-of-salty-ocean-spray-on-demand" button...please...

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Hmm.... maybe being in charge of the weather isn't such a good idea after all :)

Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

A couple of weeks ago we had a week with highs in the 80's and one day broke a record at 91. I soaked my okra seeds and planted 20 seeds each of Hill Country Red, Stewart's Zeebest, Perkins Long Pod, Cowhorn, and Betty's White.

Then we got a week with temps like March again - highs around 50 and lows in the 30's. I figured NONE of that okra would come up. It did better than I expected, I got 26 okra seedlings out of 100 seeds - 26% germination. Cowhorn must be the toughest of the bunch - more primitive, I bet. I got 50% germination with Cowhorn, in those cold conditions.

Now we're in a pattern of strong thunderstorms. Yes, we're near Joplin and that tornado stayed on radar for 100 miles and passed 10 miles south of us! It's been storming all day today with more expected tomorrow and the day after.

This evening, I've put seeds of all five varieties to soak so I can replant in a couple of days. At least our temps are warm now. I'll have to plant 'em in the mud - but they like soaking and I think they'll do OK.

Virginia Beach, VA

Steph mailed me 25-30 okra seeds and I have 6 plants. i had always bought seedlings and I thought I will have more that sprouted. Also I planted cukes and out of 20 I think i only saw 4. what went wrong?. Thanks. Bellie

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Bellie,
How long have the seedlings been down? Sometimes they get a little stubborn, and pout before they decide to "declare".

Virginia Beach, VA

I soaked them in peroxide and all sprouted but only 6 made it. I think they rotted from over watering. I hope some will come out. thanks. Bellie

Winston Salem, NC

We had a fabulous crop of okra last year at our community garden (Food Bank Community Garden, Winston Salem, NC). Nearly 300 lbs for the regional food bank.

Yes, I do start to prune the tops when they get about 5-6 feet tall. They start producing again from the bottom and middle. I think I read the idea here on Dave's somewhere, tried it and it worked. We had the hottest summer on record here and they loved it.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

In my garden, the squirrels love to dig up my seeds and the birds like to abscond with my seedlings. :/

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

I have set out three okra transplants. If the critters leave them alone, perhaps we'll have our first harvest this year!

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

What I found this morning.

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
Virginia Beach, VA

Nort fair!! My plants is not even 2 inches!!! Belle

Raleigh, NC(Zone 8a)

Are they slow growers? I got one plant and planted in a container and its the slowest at growing. We had it for a while now and its about 10 to 12 inches tall now. Just wondering.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

It really depends on your soil temperature. They thrive when it's HOT, so if it's still cool at night and fairly nice during the day, then it'll grow slowly.

Tucson, AZ(Zone 9b)

My okra seem healthy and happy but they are getting little holes in the leaves. I snuck out late last night with my bright bike light looking for slugs, but didn't find any suspects.

Thumbnail by Mindyrecycles
Virginia Beach, VA

I bought several okra plants today so i should have enough for pickled and grilled okras. I am counting on bountiful harvest this year!! LOL!!! Belle

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Could be flea beetles or even some other kind of pest eating holes in the leaves. You can spray with Murphy Oil Soap and water to help deter the pests.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Flea beetles was my first guess, too. A good blast from the water hose will knock them off...make sure you hit the undersides of the leaves!

This message was edited Jun 8, 2011 9:03 AM

Tucson, AZ(Zone 9b)

Thank you, ladies! I will watch for those critters and try to spray them off.

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

Nope, not flea beetles, their holes tend to be more "shotgun style". The holes I see, one big one on the most forefront plant and some on the upper left side plant, look more like leafhopper damage, caterpillar/worm damage, or slug damage. Have you seen and grasshopper-like creatures in your garden, Mindy?

bellieg, wishing you good luck w/your okra harvest this year. Glad you got some going.

Shoe

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

It could be cabbage worms. They are very tiny green worms.

Tucson, AZ(Zone 9b)

Thanks for the other ideas. Shoe, haven't seen anything that looks at all like a grasshopper. The okras shot up even more overnight so don't seem bothered yet.

Mindy

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

Good! Okra is pretty hardy so I bet you'll get a nice harvest. It takes a lot of foliage loss to lose a crop of okra.

Okra, yummy. Stir-fried. Batter fried. Grilled (with olive oil and garlic baste on it). Pickled. Yummy...you can't go wrong!

Shoe

Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

Since the Japanese Beetles arrived here 10 or 12 years ago, they always hit my okra pretty hard later in the summer. Okra is hardy though, as you say - and it goes right on bearing with the beetles knawing on it and the leaves full of holes.

Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

I've transplanted some okra the last couple of days - moving plants from where they came up too close into gaps in the rows, evening things out. That's been working fine, a couple of plants wilted a little but they perked back up when the rows were watered.

I've got a seed catalog that recommends growing six okra plants for each person in the family. It's just my wife and I but we love okra - I counted today, and I've got a total of 67 plants, five different varieties. That oughta do it. lol

Virginia Beach, VA

67 plants!! That is enough to feed several families including me. LOL!!! Please take pictures . Thanks. Bellie

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