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Lonesomedave
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Location: NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE- zone 6B - 7A on USDA plant hardiness map

Surprise!!-Okra

i have never grown (or thought about growing) okra.....so, when my wife came home with an envelope of okra seeds that a friend had given her, and told me to plant some, i was at a loss

but I had a little space, so i planted 4 plants next to our ginger

they grew....man, did they grow....so now, they are producing okra...don't expect we'll get very much from 4 plants, but i am impressed....those things are monsters

next year, i am going to put in another 100 square feet or so of in-ground bed....and she has already taken dibs on some and told me to plant some more okra....we have plenty of seeds left

did i mention...those things taste GOOD....once again it is driven home to me just how great same-day garden-fresh vegetables taste...and how much better they are.....when you can get them

take heed, oh my brothers and sisters in soil, and always grow with the knowledge that you (and you almost alone.... :mrgreen:) get to experience that superb garden-fresh taste of homegrown vegetables

QUESTION: does anyone know how long, that is, how many years, okra seeds remain viable?....whatever this strain is my wife got, it is really good tasting and i would hate to lose it


/dave/
Fertilizer...Kelp Extract...Compost Tea...Fish Emulsion....Manure (tea)...etc....A little all the time is better than a lot at once... thus endeth the lesson....

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Surprise!!-Okra

I. Love. Okra.

Like LOVE love it... And yes I'd marry it.

I have grown seeds that are a few years old, but ive not tried any longer than that. They were kept dry and sealed in plastic.

You should try it with evoo, s&p and then grilled over charcoal... Ohhhhhhh my goodness.

My 15 month old tried okra for the first time tonight! Ate every bite she was given! Loves it! Resident Man thinks it a vile weed! I say poo... I could devote much more of my garden to it!
Lindsay
Upstate, SC
USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

gumbo2176
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Re: Surprise!!-Okra

I save seed from the current crop and it is easy to do. I let a few pods stay on the plants and let them turn brown and dry out. Then you just open the pods and save the seeds. As you now know, the seeds inside the plant when pods are young and tender are round and white. After the pods dry, the seeds get a dark almost gray color and you use them for next years crop. Just 2-3 pods will give you enough seeds to plant a large patch of okra.

I have about 70 or so okra plants in my garden now and they have been producing for a few weeks now. I grill it, pickle it, steam it, smother it down for use in gumbos and soups, and even fry some even though my Dr. doesn't like me doing that.

Grilled is probably my favorite way to eat okra now. Just a bit of olive oil to lightly coat the pods, some sea salt, pepper and garlic powder and grill them like you would any vegetable. Absolutely delicious and I've not had anyone not like it that way once they taste it.

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Surprise!!-Okra

There's a lot of varieties out there! There's an orange variety that I'm really interested to try. Hoping to get seeds in the ground tomorrow, even though my work call back percentage is rising as we speak... :(

I need okra in my life! (Grilled okra is the best!!!)
Lindsay
Upstate, SC
USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

gumbo2176
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Re: Surprise!!-Okra

My go-to variety is Clemson Spineless. I've planted that type for many years and they produce very well in my climate in S.E. Louisiana. I put the seeds in the rows in early to mid April and they start producing pods in the latter part of June. They will continue to produce pods until I finally pull them in mid to late September to make room for my fall planting. By then, many of the plants are 8 ft. tall.

The only issue I have with okra is when I do take them out, it is a good bit of tough going since the plants can grow stalks a good 3 inches across by the time I pull them and they have an extensive root system that really anchors them in the ground. I will cut the stalk about 3 ft. from the ground and remove the bulk of the plant and try to pull the rest of the stalk out by yanking it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't and when it doesn't, out comes the shovel to help dig them out. They are, by far, the toughest plant I have to remove from my garden all year long. So keep that in mind before planting a ton of it.

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Surprise!!-Okra

We cut the growing part off in the fall, and the. Leave the stalk's to overwinter. The roots rot over the wet winter here, and in spring they pull right off at ground level. Works very well, and the roots decompose adding to the soil!
Lindsay
Upstate, SC
USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

gumbo2176
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Re: Surprise!!-Okra

I can garden year round in my area, so to do that would be taking up valuable real estate, especially since I plant about 70 okra plants in the spring. But your way is definitely a lot less work for you.

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Surprise!!-Okra

I'd trade some hard work for a longer okra growing season! ;)
Lindsay
Upstate, SC
USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

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Gary350
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Re: Surprise!!-Okra

We live 30 miles south of Nashville TN we grow okra every year. Plant your seeds about 1 1/2" deep and keep them wet until the plants come up. It will take a week or longer for them to sprout. Plant the seeds 12" apart. Plants get big and about 7 feet tall. Okra grows slow at first but when they are about 3 feet tall they grow much faster. Okra likes full sun and 100 degree weather. The hotter it gets the better okra does. Okra does good in poor soil and does better in good soil. Even if you have poor soil and your plants only get 3 feet tall it will still make good okra. The plants are slow to make pods at first about 1 per plant but a month later they will be making several pods per plant.

It might be a little bit hard to get a meal with only 4 plants. Cut the pods when they are soft and tender with no seeds. Slice into 1/2" long pieces. Mix 1 cup flour, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper. Dip okra slices in water or milk let them drain, put them in flour mix for 30 minutes to get a good flour coating. Heat oil in a deep fryer or cast iron skillet when it starts to smoke it is hot enough to cook okra. Dump okra in a colander shake away the extra flour then dump it into the hot oil. Stir and cook until golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towel and paper plate.

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Lonesomedave
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Location: NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE- zone 6B - 7A on USDA plant hardiness map

Re: Surprise!!-Okra

gary.....thanks....i believe what i am going to do is just eat some the pods the way my wife likes...which is minimal preparation, and then let some of them just grow (per an earlier post) and develop good seeds

that way, next year, we can have a lot, and i can be sure of plenty of viable seed

/dave/
Fertilizer...Kelp Extract...Compost Tea...Fish Emulsion....Manure (tea)...etc....A little all the time is better than a lot at once... thus endeth the lesson....

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Gary350
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Re: Surprise!!-Okra

Lonesomedave wrote:gary.....thanks....i believe what i am going to do is just eat some the pods the way my wife likes...which is minimal preparation, and then let some of them just grow (per an earlier post) and develop good seeds

that way, next year, we can have a lot, and i can be sure of plenty of viable seed

/dave/
There is a nice Farmers Market in Nashville if you have limited garden space plant some of the things you like best and have space for then buy other things at the farmers market. Nashville use to have a very nice farmers market, I have not been to it in a very long time. There is also a farmers market in Murfreesboro I-24 south to Exit 78 take the Franklin Rd exit to the right, then turn right again at first traffic light about 100 feet ahead, 1 mile straight ahead on left is farmers market, Tue and Friday 8 to 12 noon. The other farmers market is Sat on the Public square 8 to 12 noon. Happy wife, happy life. :)

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