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Beginner Gardening: OKRA, Part llI, 1 by Ozark

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In reply to: OKRA, Part llI

Forum: Beginner Gardening

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Photo of OKRA, Part llI
Ozark wrote:
I HAVE AN IDEA - and I'd like your opinions on it. There's no way to make this long story short, so here's the long story.

This year, I started my Stewart's Zeebest okra indoors and I transplanted the seedlings into the garden a few days ago. 33 seedlings, three 21-foot long rows, 25 inches between seedlings - closer than I wanted them. To make up for the close spacing within the rows I made the rows six feet apart, which the bushy Zeebest plants will certainly need.

My okra seedlings are all growing and doing real well inside their protective plastic-cup rings, but at this point, that's a LOT of wasted space between rows. I got to thinking about planting something in the spaces between okra rows - something that will grow fast enough to not get shaded out by the okra (my rows run north/south), something that doesn't take too much horizontal space itself, and something that will be harvested and out of there before the okra really hits full growth and production in August and September.

I'm thinking SWEET CORN. I haven't planted any corn yet, mainly because I took up a lot of garden by spacing those okra rows so widely, and also because I planted so many beets which are still in the ground. In the east end of my garden I have 8 rows total, also 21 feet long, of potatoes, beets, turnips, and early cabbages. Those rows will all be harvested in June and I figure I'll replant the same rows with sweet corn at that time, soaker hoses still in place, for a corn harvest and freezer-filling around September.

I've got lots of corn seed, I bought a big package of bicolor Tendr-Sweet 2573 sh2 treated seed, and it's about a 73-day variety. I'm thinking of planting double rows of corn centered between the okra rows, say, a foot apart from each other. The double rows would give me better pollination of the corn than a single row would, and I can run a soaker hose down the middle between them. Yes, it'll be a little crowded to get down the rows between the corn and okra, but I bet it can be done. If I plant corn now it'll be finished about the third week of July, and that's 84 feet of corn that should produce well over 100 extra ears for us. Most okra production will be after the corn is out of there.

What do you think?

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