birder17, replying to your post in the previous thread in which you said Stewart's Zeebest okra seemed to be a good producer but you couldn't stand the spines. I've grown S.Z. for two years running now, and I think that strain just isn't quite stable yet. At least the seeds I got from Baker Creek produced okra plants with different characteristics. I grew 33 S.Z. okra plants last season, and some of them were horribly spiny on both the pods and the leaves. Other plants seemed almost spineless.
I had one plant in particular that produced many branches and the pods were nearly spine-free and not itchy. That plant was tremendously productive, too. I saved seeds from that one plant only and that's the okra I'll plant this year. I'm hoping those good characteristics will carry through and stabilize.
Ozark, someone had put up at link to seed germination viability & was intrigued by okra only having a 1-2 year useful life. That said, I guess the seeds we saved from our first year garden, 2010, okra plants shouldn't be doing as well as they are, I just got 100% germination in about 3 days after soaking overnight. NONE of the seeds I purchased from Baker Creek have germinated, and these are also the seeds I sent to Gymgirl. BC sent replacement seed & even those have done very poorly. Even Cowhorn seed I purchased from Willhite was disappointing, at only about 30% success. They were all started together in the same 72 cell tray right next to each other. I was going to do another test germination once I get my heat mat, with all the seeds and get rid of those bad ones.
I remember your posts from last year about how well your Zeebest did. Did you plant any other types of okra??
"I remember your posts from last year about how well your Zeebest did. Did you plant any other types of okra??"
Nope. I've grown 10 or 12 different varieties of okra in past years, and Zeebest is so far "zee-best" in my opinion, I'll just concentrate on that one. In 2012 I had 33 Zeebest plants and no other okra, and production was so heavy it almost burned us out on okra. I'm going to plant seeds I saved from that one real good plant, and cut 'way back this year. We've still got lots of okra in the freezer and lots of jars of okra pickles also.
I think I'll only have about 4 plants this year. Zeebest plants are so multi-branched, that should be plenty.
I just read somewhere (maybe the Vegetable Gardeners forum) where someone suggested the Zeebest seeds were not stable yet. I'm still trying to get a decent harvest of okra from ANY type of okra seeds! Not sure what I'm doing wrong down here, but I sure would love a freezer full of okra.
Gymgirl, I sent you a D-mail with some tips, but mainly I think the trick to growing good okra is to keep the soil moist and practice even watering. With some veggies like tomatoes I like to let them get dry and wilt a bit, then deep-water. Not so with okra - if the soil gets dry it really hurts okra, in my experience. I run a soaker hose down the okra row and cover the hose with grass-clippings mulch, then make sure the soil stays damp all the time.
I have never been an okra lover, it ranks right up there with eggplant for me. But since I've decided to try more veggies and also grow things that will take the intense summer heat, I thought I'd give both okra & eggplant a try this summer. I think I'll just buy some transplants & give them a try. I think I'll post on the recipe forum about good recipes for both of these veggies.
I really want to just grow enough okra to pickle them for "smokra" - I have the S.Z. seeds, but I've never grown it. I love smoked & pickled okra in a Bloody Mary, the seeds pop a bit like bubble tea. :)
Jo-Ann, if you're ever around Mid City, I can start you some eggplants - I have the Louisiana Long Green going now, some Thai Yellow, and a few others.