Okra with a Vine?

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

My okra gets 12 feet tall. This year, I want to plant a vine/s by them so I can enjoy flowers as well as the pretty okra flower and the yummy okra.
I have researched for info. but cannot find anything.
So, I am going to plant some flowering vines and experiment. IF anyone has had experience doing this please share. My concern is planting something the okra does not like growing by it. (companions).

Central Texas, TX(Zone 8b)

As long as it doesn't take away sunlight it might work?

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Thanks for responding. I get a LOT of aphids on the okra leaves. I was thinking planting Scarlet Runner Bean and Glory Vine might attract Hummingbirds to eat the aphids. The okra amazingly keeps producing even with all the aphids.

Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

Okra can survive with a heavy aphid population. Eventually ladybugs, lacewings, wasps and soldier beetles will come eat the aphids. I use okra as a "beneficial feeding area" in the garden. Watch for ants, especially fire ants which love to "farm" the aphids. They keep the beneficial insects from eating the aphids.
The only vine I've ever tried to grow with okra was cantaloupes. That was a mistake! The cantaloupes overran the okra, but didn't kill it, just made a jungle and it was impossible to harvest the okra.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Thanks, Callalily for responding. I thought about planting cantaloupe but decided it would be too heavy. I also thought about planting pole beans, but I plant Jade bush green beans which, btw, are delicious and a long green bean.
Thank God, and I do mean thank God! we don't have fire ants. I wonder if regular ants do the same thing as the fire ants?
I am going to plant Tagetes tenuifolia 'Lemon Gem' as it is suppose to attract beneficial insects. In fact, I am planting this marigold with cukes and squash as well.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Becareful with the Marigolds they also attract Spider Mites which love beans and cukes. If go untreated they can kill your plants almost over night. For some reason I don't have fire ants anymore but now I have snails!

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Oh man! I thought I had a really good plant to use for beneficial insects. We have lots of spider mites every year, but they don't seem to affect any of our stuff. I just planted the marigold seed last night. So, I guess now, when they come up, I will have to pull them and compost them.

Editied to correct grammar.

This message was edited May 19, 2012 9:41 AM

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

When they come up, transplant them away from your beans and cukes. You can use them to attract bees to help pollinate your veggies.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

My cucumbers are about 3 feet from the cucumbers (raised beds). Marigolds are suppose t/b really good for the squash plants and tomato plants. I will plant the marigolds with the squash, okra and the tomatoes. My beans are five feet from my tomato plants. I have grown marigolds with the squash and tomatoes for three years, but I don't think it was the Tagetes tenuifolia 'Lemon Gem' aka Signet Marigold . I also plant radishes with the squash.

Edited to add: I also grow nasturtiums with all of the above and Basil with my tomatoes. Dill is suppose to be good with cukes. I am going to transplant some of my dill over to the cuke bed.

This message was edited May 19, 2012 10:31 PM

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

I have also had trouble with SMs on my tomatoes BUT if you have done it for 3 yrs and havent had a problem I wouldnt worry about it. Beans and Cukes seem to be their favorite. Im hoping for less SM because we have had more rain and they thrive in dry conditions. Maybe all these dang snails will keep them in check lol. I have a plague of snails...Do you save the seeds from your tomatoes?

I love growing Basil with tomato plants. I rub my hand over both and the smell is heavenly, at least to me. It covers up the barnyard smell. birder17 feel free to correct my grammer.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Yes, I save my tomato seeds on the ones I want to plant again next year. Other spots, I try new heirloom/s.

Yes, I love the smell of basil. It's also suppose to do well with peppers and asparagus.

Madison, AL(Zone 7b)

Scarlet runner beans get so big so fast, I would think they would overwhelm the okra, plus they like to get started when it's a lot cooler than okra likes. I think a regular pole bean (P. vulgaris) would do better, because you could plant it after the okra was more established. Maybe try a new bean you haven't tried?

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Thanks, Nicole. I thought scarlet runner beans would "flower" and attract hummers to the aphids. If the S. R. Beans get out of hand, don't you think I could just cut the vine back. I figured pole beans wouldn't flower as much as the S. R. Beans. I like all of these comments.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

I dont know if hummers eat aphids?

Madison, AL(Zone 7b)

1lisac - Hummingbirds eat a lot of small insects -- gnats, mosquitoes, aphids, etc.

birder17 - I direct seeded SRB 4/13 this year, and despite bunny nibbles the vines are 7' and growing fast, and it's just now time to plant okra. Even the folks who planted okra early this year only have 2'-3' plants. They do start to flower quickly (at about 5') but I think by the time you cut the beans back enough it would really limit their flowering.

Mine are planted on my a fence, but I'm growing sunflowers in front. I'm hoping by the time the beans start to overwhelm the fence the sunflowers will be tall enough to add support. You could do the same by putting up a temporary fence or trellis by your okra?

I haven't seen a hummingbird yet. Granted, they usually don't visit my house until fall, but I know they are in the area and I was hoping they'd stop by from time to time to visit the SRB. Oh well, maybe they'll like it in the fall.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Thanks didn't know that about hummers, I guess I'm feeding them too well.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Nicole, thanks again for the info. I am not trying to discredit you, but just trying to make sure about the SRB. I plant SRB in terrazzo planters that have a trellis each summer. In the planters, I put SRB, Gloriosa rothschilda, and petunias. Although the beans by the end of the summer are full, they don't "seem" to be overwhelming. But, maybe I haven't paid close enough attention as by then, it is the end of the summer. So, in my personal experience, I just haven't seen the SRB being that over whelming. Do you think it's because Al. has a longer growing period? or do you think I just haven't paid close enough attention, and it would just "not work"? I do appreciate your information.

I have had hummers for at least a month. So cute!

I planted my okra last week. I really look forward to enjoying it. What are the ways you prepare it?

Madison, AL(Zone 7b)

Maybe they aren't that robust for you. They grow like gang busters here. It doesn't hurt to give it a try -- if they do become a problem for the okra you can always cut the stems. Then again, I don't see 12' tall okra here. :)

I hate okra so I can't help with any recipes!

Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

Okra doesn't do well with vines on it, are you trimming the leaves as the okra grows? Just crowd em up closer and trim the lower leaves on the okra. Mostly vines cover the okra and it wants full sun and other plants could possibly pull them down. If you row plant the okra you could plant something that wouldn't mind a bit of shade under em, like an herb like an oregano, but it's really best just to let em stand alone.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

My okra grows to about 6' here. Hard to reach those top pods sometimes!

Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

If you top them, the lower plant will bush- some var get that tall here by summers end, but they also branch out lower leaves where I've trimmed the lower leaves off- I've never grown the taller var so have never had to try topping them, so u know tho

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Well, it sounds like the SRB are just too tough for the okra. I planted the seed after I put first posted and before someone responded. I planted both okra, SRB and marigold. I will cut the bean vines off when/if they sprout.
Well, I wonder if Hyacinth Bean would be different - probably not.
I wonder if Black Eyed Susan Vine would work? The vines are not as big in diameter as SRB. Just wondering. I am trying to get those hummers to go up and down on the okra!

Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

Since u planted the srb, try them before u cut them down, if they interfere with the okra then u can decide what to do, and you'll have first hand experience with results. Won't hurt to tryafter all!

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Yes, I think so too. I will try to remember to post my results. It sounds like the vines could take over the okra, however.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Hi all,
I wanted to report back regarding my experience with the Scarlet Runner Bean planted amongst the Okra: pretty much a disaster as some of you predicted! We didn't get a lot of Okra last year. Of course, SRB wasn't the only variable. We had a hotter than normal summer, less humidity, and didn't have aphids. So, go figure.

In summary, I Won't plant SRB or Hyacinth bean amongst the Okra this summer. I am considering a pole bean. I need to continue to do more research.

Regarding SRB, I once again planted it in my terrazo planters with a trellis. They were so prolific they grew up into the rafters of the gazebo I have over a protion of the deck. The hummers really liked it, and we were able to watch them up close. On the other hand, the SRB became rather ratty in the fall, but it bloomed All late spring, summer and fall w/o missing a beat. So, this year, I am going to be more aggressive in tying that sucker up better.
I really like blooming vines that bloom All Season Long--but seems it's feast or famine-you have Clematis that blooms for at most, a month, or you have monster vines like Morning Glory, SRB, Hyacinth Bean or Trumpet Vine. No thanks on the MG vine or the Trumpet Vine, even though, hummers love the latter.

The Only vine that I have found that blooms ALL summer is Black Eyed Susan Vine. It behaves very well and will climb up something with a little guidance or will scramble amongst other plants w/o being aggressive. The only problem with the BES vine is it takes awhile for them to get started blooming--July.

So sorry I got carried away with the vines.

We do love Okra and thinking about trying a variety that gets red pods so they are easier to see as one DG suggested. Also, we might start this seed indoors to get a head start.
Thanks to All that responded to my vine question. It was a Bust! :) live and learn--that's a gardener's story!

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

hey birder- I am thinking you should plant something light and pretty, like Cardinal Climber vine. BOnus; red flowers that might attract the hummers.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Hi Sally, Yes, I have Cardinal Climber amongst the okra every year. Actually, it drives me crazy--it is uncontrollable. I wouldn't suggest it to anyone. There's lots of plants out there hummers can enjoy w/o growing CC. Hummers really like them, however. I think I am going to just leave my Okra plants by themselves. I have a small garden area, and I try to make use of each space.
I sure didn't have any aphids on my okras last year which was one reason I planted the SCB-but it was hotter and drier than usual & aphids like humidity and moisture.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

oh, I didn't know all that about cardinal climber. I've only grown it once.

I know how it is to want to maximize, but then too, crowding is not recommended. Hope we have a good year for okra!

Houston Heights, TX(Zone 9a)

A friend of mine was renovating his kitchen and doing without the appliances when I visited. He was using an electric griddle. He brushed the whole okra with olive oil and then sprinkled with garlic powder and red pepper on both sides then grilled on the electric griddle. Turn the pods when you hear the first "pop". They are slightly brown and have a wonderful flavor. It is now my favorite way to cook okra. I used an iron skillet since I dont have a griddle.

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

Thanks for the cooking suggestion. I will try it.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

That sounds kinda yummy!

Jackson, MO(Zone 6b)

I bought frozen okra to make Gumbo. I get real hungry for it in the winter. My family "used to" have a tradition of Gumbo every Christmas Eve. My parents are gone and siblings aren't interested.

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