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DonDuck September 19, 2019 05:30 PM

Okra report!
My first attempt at growing okra turned out very well. I grew ten plants each of Choppee and Bush Cowhorn. I liked both for different reasons. The Bush plants produced giant plants which I like as a tall hedge in our front yard. The Choppee was more productive requiring harvest daily or they would become too large to eat in many cases in two days. The Bush pods were slightly better tasting but became tough quickly. The choppee plants almost required long sleeve shirts to harvest. They made my arms and hands burn, and sting after harvesting. If I washed well after harvesting the Choppee, the burning and stinging stopped. Each Choppee plant was almost twice as productive as each Bush plant and three Choppee plants could occupy the same space as a single Bush plant. The Choppee plants are tall, while the Bush plants are tall and very wide. Twenty total plants kept us well fed most of the summer and filled a dedicated space in our freezer. They also kept many friends and family members supplied with okra. I don't know if okra keeps producing until the first freeze, but my plants are still producing a lot of okra and the Bush branches appear ready to start producing in a big way. Plants in full sun produced much better than plants in partial shade while the shaded plants grew much larger. My plants received no fertilizer after the early spring application right after plant out. They were kept well watered and would droop quickly in the hot sun and high temps if not watered.

I had a lot of insects like grasshoppers eating in my garden this year, but they didn't seem interested in eating my okra plants. I did see some two inch long grass hoppers on my okra plants, but they seemed more interested in the sap oozing from the branches than eating the leaves. I had no insect damage on my okra pods.

I think next spring, I will plant the seeds in the soil in the hope of getting strong tap roots so I won't have to prop the large Bush plants up to prevent them falling over.

I've discovered a lot of ways to eat and enjoy okra this summer, but simply boiled or fried are still my favorite ways. Baked was pretty good while grilled was also very good.

Worth1 September 19, 2019 05:37 PM

Soak seeds in a wet paper towel until the very first appearance of a root shows and direct sow them in the garden.
I have done this for many years with great results and learned from old timers twice your age if they were still alive.

shule1 September 19, 2019 05:48 PM

@DonDuck I don't know about in Texas, but in Idaho my okra produces until the frost as long as I'm harvesting it regularly. If I'm keeping pods on for seed, then it often stops. The volunteer okra I have this year is producing very well for me not having harvested any of it, though.

@Worth That's a great idea! Okra has been difficult to sprout in our soil (even when it's hot), when direct-seeding (so, I usually start it early in foam cups). I think that wet paper towel trick would help a great deal with direct-seeding okra. I'm not particularly fond of the wet paper towel method for pre-starting tomatoes and things without direct-seeding, but okra grows roots pretty fast (and I never thought about pre-starting seeds for direct-seeding).

GoDawgs September 19, 2019 07:31 PM

Don, ya did good! That's weird about the Choppee making you itch so bad. I'll get just a little itch on my hands but not on my arms too. You're right about the having to cut Choppee pods every day. There's not much wiggle room between tender and tough but they sure make a bunch.

I soak my okra seed in a shot glass of water for two days. By then you can see the white tip of a root thinking about coming out. That's when they get direct planted. Works well for me.

I used to start nice full okra sets indoors under lights but that's when I was using a somewhat dwarf one called Cajun Delight. It disappeared from the market one year and every other variety I tried to grow under lights just jumped too fast and went leggy. Since then I'm back to direct seeding.

Chapinz8 September 19, 2019 09:01 PM

Based on extensive experience, life is much happier when one soaks their okra seeds.............

DonDuck September 19, 2019 10:32 PM

[QUOTE=Chapinz8;746267]Based on extensive experience, life is much happier when one soaks their okra seeds.............[/QUOTE]

:)) I will of course follow the wisdom of those who have gone before me.

shule1 September 20, 2019 12:31 AM

[QUOTE=Chapinz8;746267]Based on extensive experience, life is much happier when one soaks their okra seeds.............[/QUOTE]

For how long?

Chapinz8 September 20, 2019 09:01 AM

[QUOTE=shule1;746285]For how long?[/QUOTE]

I soak at least one day.

As for how long life is happier, that depends.......

shule1 September 21, 2019 05:00 PM

[QUOTE=Chapinz8;746310]I soak at least one day.

As for how long life is happier, that depends.......[/QUOTE]

:lol: Thanks!

And DonDuck, Good job with your okra!

DonDuck September 21, 2019 09:49 PM

Thank you! Accidents do happen.

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