Okra

Zeedman

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Are there 100 seedlings? That's a lot of okra!
More than that. 32 cells, 6 seeds sown per pot - and close to 100% germination. A couple days in the 80F. "hot house" really speeds & increases germination, the photo is 5 days after planting (the seeds began emerging after 3). Most of the seedlings emerged with clinging seed coats ("helmets"); I sprayed lightly 2-3 times a day, and after 5 minutes, the seed coats can be gently pulled off.

When the plants have become established after transplant, I will thin each cluster to the strongest 4 plants. On average, one plant per cluster will die around flowering time, leaving me with about 90-100 bearing plants. I will allow the strongest plant in each cluster to set one pod for seed. I goofed up on the row placement in relation to the surrounding plants, so to get all plants in, spacing this year will be an unplanned experiment. Sometimes mistakes can be instructional.

I grow so much okra because my family & I love okra pickles... and DW loved them lightly steamed along with fresh tomatoes, soy sauce, and vinegar. Aside from which, I just love a challenge, and seeing how far I can stretch my climate. It took years, and A LOT of failures, to find a variety & system that is reliably productive.
 

heirloomgal

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More than that. 32 cells, 6 seeds sown per pot - and close to 100% germination. A couple days in the 80F. "hot house" really speeds & increases germination, the photo is 5 days after planting (the seeds began emerging after 3). Most of the seedlings emerged with clinging seed coats ("helmets"); I sprayed lightly 2-3 times a day, and after 5 minutes, the seed coats can be gently pulled off.

When the plants have become established after transplant, I will thin each cluster to the strongest 4 plants. On average, one plant per cluster will die around flowering time, leaving me with about 90-100 bearing plants. I will allow the strongest plant in each cluster to set one pod for seed. I goofed up on the row placement in relation to the surrounding plants, so to get all plants in, spacing this year will be an unplanned experiment. Sometimes mistakes can be instructional.

I grow so much okra because my family & I love okra pickles... and DW loved them lightly steamed along with fresh tomatoes, soy sauce, and vinegar. Aside from which, I just love a challenge, and seeing how far I can stretch my climate. It took years, and A LOT of failures, to find a variety & system that is reliably productive.
What do you think it is that kills the one plant per cluster? I was surprised to see one of my Burgundy okras just peter out and drop all it's leaves last week. I pulled it out and replaced it with a Cajun Jewel which seems to be doing better than the Burgundy was. But I do wonder what might grieve them when the weather has been so good?
 

flowerbug

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What do you think it is that kills the one plant per cluster? I was surprised to see one of my Burgundy okras just peter out and drop all it's leaves last week. I pulled it out and replaced it with a Cajun Jewel which seems to be doing better than the Burgundy was. But I do wonder what might grieve them when the weather has been so good?

vascular collapse in a really fast growing plant variety? that's my guess... :)
 

Zeedman

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@Zeedman what variety works for you?
Pentagreen. It caught my attention because it was listed in the Cornucopia book as cool tolerant... and has been true to that description. All the other varieties I tried succumbed to wilt just about when flowering began, or shortly thereafter. I'd be happy to send you some seed.
What do you think it is that kills the one plant per cluster? I was surprised to see one of my Burgundy okras just peter out and drop all it's leaves last week. I pulled it out and replaced it with a Cajun Jewel which seems to be doing better than the Burgundy was. But I do wonder what might grieve them when the weather has been so good?
Wilt, probably one of the Verticillium species. It seems to be omnipresent in my local soils. Verticillium wilt is much like Fusarium wilt, but can survive in cooler Northern soils. Although Pentagreen is highly wilt resistant (and has improved after several generations of seed saving) a few plants usually still die, 25% or less... the survivors go until frost. The dying plant rarely infects the rest of the cluster - and I take pains to avoid spreading any wilt which appears via the cutting implement, since it can infect a wound very quickly.

Verticilium wilt attacks eggplant too & caused me another lengthy search for a resistant cultivar (which was Diamond). The wilt tends to take advantage of heat-loving plants in particular (Moringa and winged bean are also highly susceptible) when they have been stressed by a period of cooler weather (nights below 50F). It kills a few plants of other species too, so if you have Verticillium in your soil, it may be the reason for other cases of unexplained sudden plant death. Surprisingly, I have yet to lose a tomato variety though... although it may infect & cause rot on any tomatoes which touch the ground.

For susceptible species, planting them in a warm location (such as against a South-facing wall) will increase their chances of survival. So will starting those plants later, which is the reason I've waited until nights had stabilized above 50F. before starting okra. Given warm soil (such as on a heat mat) okra transplants grow fast, and can be ready as quickly as 7 days after planting.
 
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seedcorn

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Going from NE Indiana to SW Indiana. We’ve lived in country and now wife wants to move to a new house in a settlement. I just want to be close to grands. Time for them to know how crazy their G’pa really is……. Although trying to keep up with them about killed me for 3 days. They are energized bunnies. I’m working in dead batteries.
 
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