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I'm in the Charlotte, NC area. I planted 6 okra plants this year, on a whim, just trying it out. I have managed to harvest some okra, but ants keep raiding the plants. I've tried Sevin dust and the Ortho stuff I switched to when I ran out of Sevin dust. Can anyone offer any suggestions? Thanks in advance.
Ants don't necessarily deplete nor kill your okra plants. (They actually will contribute to pollination.)
However, if you are really over-run with them just sprinkle some wood ash at the base of the plants (they hate that!). If no wood ash is available then a ring of vaseline around the base of the stalk will become a nice barrier to them
No sense bringing out the bazooka's (Sevin and Ortho) when a BB gun will help, eh?
By the way, Welcome to DG! Hope to see you around the site!
I initially got the impression that they were eating some okra that had been exposed. It looks like they are eating the okra, but some okra is still coming in. My observation is kind of limited - do the flowers turn to okra, like tomatoes or squash? Or are the flowers incidental to the okra? It looks to me like the okra come in independent of the flowers, and the ants are all over the flowers. The flowers, at the point that they are dead-ish, actually look a little like okra stalks, hence my impression that the ants are attacking my okra.
If I follow this to its logical conclusion, it would appear that I could leave the ants alone - as you say. Thanks for your input, and for the warm welcome! I'll be around some. This is my first real garden, so I'm learning. It's also my best ever effort at growing tomatoes. :-) I do like the okra flowers, btw! Wow!
The ants will damage some of the flowers sometimes, and that will either distort the pods or halt them from coming on. Lots of times it is worms (corn earworm) or stink bugs that will mess w/ okra (worms on the flowers; stinkbugs on the pods).
And yes, the flowers, once pollinated, will turn to okra. What kind did you plant, by the way?
I love okra! Pickled okra. Stir-fried okra. Batterfried okra. Okra lightly cooked in olive oil and garlic! Okra in gumbo! You name it!