pepperhead212
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Okra 2019

I got my first okra today, on Little Lucy, definitely the earliest I have ever gotten any. And a number of flowers forming on the larger plants.
ImageFirst okra of 2019, 6-11 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

ImageOkra flower 6-11 by pepperhead212, on Flickr

I think I'll save seeds from the first few Little Lucy, since I have no Emeralds flowering yet. This way, I won't need to isolate the flowers.
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Re: Okra 2019

I've always grown the Clemson Spineless variety and have picked well over 150 pods so far, and the plants are not much more than 3 ft. tall now. By seasons end, they will all be close to 8 ft. tall.

I was late in planting almost everything this year due to lots of rain in the early spring keeping me out of the garden to pull rows to get the seeds in the ground. I've only got about 40 okra plants this year, but that is more than enough for me to get all I need and then some.

Do you know if this red variety will turn green under heat like some beans do when exposed to heat? I grew some beans a few years back that were light purple and when cooked, they turned green, much to my surprise.

pepperhead212
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Re: Okra 2019

@gumbo This is the first time I've grown Little Lucy, though I have grown other red varieties, and none changed, like the purple beans do when cooked

I've tried many varieties of okra, including 2 types of clemson spineless, and almost all of them start getting fibrous once they get past 4" (and some even before), and if not harvested twice a day, they get overgrown. Emerald is the one that I have found that can get over 6", without getting tough. The ones that tried the Little Lucy in the last couple of years said that it was very productive, branched out, unlike many, that just grow one straight stalk, which don't seem to branch out, like most plants do when "topped". I'll find out how well it works for me, but this is incredibly early, since I didn't transplant these small seedlings until 5-15.
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Re: Okra 2019

pepperhead212 wrote:@gumbo This is the first time I've grown Little Lucy, though I have grown other red varieties, and none changed, like the purple beans do when cooked

but this is incredibly early, since I didn't transplant these small seedlings until 5-15.

I never transplant okra unless they are too close when directly sown. I find the transplants get a later start in growth as opposed to those directly sown and left to grow on their own. Then again, I'm in Zone 9 which is way warmer earlier than your climate.

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Re: Okra 2019

Okra is one of the things that I start in jiffy pellets, since they supposedly don't transplant well, at least from a plastic pot. These, and cucurbits, I start in jiffy pellets, and wait until they get at least one set of true leaves, then plant the pellet. This saves me a few weeks here, at least with okra.
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Re: Okra 2019

pepperhead212 wrote:@gumbo This is the first time I've grown Little Lucy, though I have grown other red varieties, and none changed, like the purple beans do when cooked

I've tried many varieties of okra, including 2 types of clemson spineless, and almost all of them start getting fibrous once they get past 4" (and some even before), and if not harvested twice a day, they get overgrown. Emerald is the one that I have found that can get over 6", without getting tough. The ones that tried the Little Lucy in the last couple of years said that it was very productive, branched out, unlike many, that just grow one straight stalk, which don't seem to branch out, like most plants do when "topped". I'll find out how well it works for me, but this is incredibly early, since I didn't transplant these small seedlings until 5-15.
Clemson Spineless is the only okra I have ever grown. Everyone in TN grows Clemson Spineless too. Your right you need to harvest every day to get soft okra with small or no seeds. About Sept I leave several pods on a few plants for seeds most pods have about 75 seeds. My okra is still small it is a crazy plant it takes a month to grow 12" tall, after 2 months it is 3 ft fall, after 3 months it is 7 to 8 ft tall and producing more okra than we can eat. Fertilizer & good soil does nothing to okra. 25 plants is plenty. Plant is full sun the hotter & dryer it get the better okra grows. Trick to cooking good southern style okra is, cut it in 1/2" pieces, dip in butter milk then drain 5 minutes. Put okra in flour, salt, black pepper mixture for 1 hour stir often, shake off extra flour, deep fry in small amounts 400 degree oil temperature. Stir often then when crispy golden brown remove from oil, drain, place on paper to soak up oil. Summer is just not right without flied okra and fried squash several times a week.

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Re: Okra 2019

I haven't planted okra for a while. I might do that again. Are the leaves and stems supposed to have those white patches?
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Re: Okra 2019

That white on the leaves is Surround, which I spray on the leaves to keep black aphids off. I make sure that I spray the undersides well, and this usually works, yet today I saw the bugs on just the Emerald - not a single Little Lucy with aphids. I'll have to spray them with some Safer, or something like that, then go from there.
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Re: Okra 2019

Ok does the kaolin clay help?
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Re: Okra 2019

The kaolin clay has helped in the past, and it usually doesn't wash off easily. But this last 3.13 inches of rain I got, which was blown almost horizontally with those horrible winds, may have washed it off, as even the undersides were kaolin free. Amazing how fast aphids moved in! Later, I sprayed it well with Safer 3 in one, then dusted with DE. Hopefully, that will take care of them. Amazingly, only the Emerald got the aphids - not one leaf of the Little Lucy had aphids, even the two planted in the same container.
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Re: Okra 2019

That’s really interesting. Do you think because LL is red these aphids (or the ants?) didn’t recognize it as ideal buffet plant?
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Re: Okra 2019

Good question @apple. This is the first okra that I've seen this happen with, but I've had it happen with peppers and tomatoes before. I very rarely get aphids on tomatoes, but I've gotten varieties where one plant will get coated with aphids almost overnight, but not one other plant of any type will have them. And when I tried the varieties in another season, same thing happened.

It will be interesting to see if the Little Lucy stays aphid free. I'm saving seeds from these earliest okra on them, since there are no Emerald flowers open, to cross with them.
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Re: Okra 2019

except for citrus aphids, I haven't seen aphids in years. I rarely spray for them with anything more than water. All I really do is set out ant bait, the garden patrol takes care of the rest.
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Re: Okra 2019

I used to hear that Marigolds kept away aphids- but a few years ago I was given some Marigolds as a gift, and they got aphid infested.....so, yeah...don't think I believe that about Marigolds. :|

Sevin Dust is supposed to rid aphids. I don't use it except on ants(which only makes the mount move, not kill like it's supposed to) though, because I don't really like dumping that stuff on my plants.

I have used insecticidal soap on stuff, but that stuff has killed or hurt my young plants before. I find it easier to just hand-pick things like worms. Why just this morning I stomped on a hornworm! :-()

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Re: Okra 2019

I never use Sevin, as it kills bees, and many other beneficial insects. I checked the plants today and the aphids were all gone, and the plants looked great. I'll still have to watch them closely.
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Re: Okra 2019

No, I never use Sevin except on ants. I never use it on my plants. Not that bees visit my garden very much, one of the last things I would want to do would cause harm to bees.
Congrats on your plants doing better! I'd like to grow some okra myself, but no room in my raised garden. :(

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Re: Okra 2019

Marigolds are a trap plant for aphids. They attract them and supposedly invite the aphids to attack them instead. The aphids on the marigolds, in turn, will attract ladybugs to eat them. Trap marigolds are pulled up when they become too infested and bagged and trashed.

I actually, just set out Terro outdoor ant bait around the citrus trees, lemon grass, and gardenia. Controlling the ants takes care of most of the aphid problems. Water and predators do the rest. Killing workers is futile, kill the queen instead.

I still have some Sevin, Malathion, and Diazinon left. I would really need a good reason to use it. The organophosphates are not only hard on bees, they are hard on most of the beneficial insects as well.

I do use 3 in 1 spay for mites and fungal disease. It does contain pyrethrins so I can only use it when plants are not in flower. I prefer to use wettable sulfur but it is harder to find and I will have to mix it with RU40 spreader sticker. The other option is copper sulfate, and I have used that, but copper can be toxic if used in quantity.

I usually only plant 4-5 plants of okra. They have to be picked often and before they get too old. I can usually squeeze them in the garden somewhere.
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Re: Okra 2019

I didn't remember pyrethrins in the 3 in 1 I have, so I had to check it. It only has the potassium salts of fatty acids (or something like that), and sulfur. Has it changed?
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Re: Okra 2019

Can Okra be grown in the fall? I have a shorter variety of Okra called...... Gold Coast..... I think it was. If I can grow it in the fall, what month should I plant, because I had planned to renovate my garden this fall to, when it starts getting cooler.

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Re: Okra 2019

I grew gold coast last year, and it was one of those that had to be picked twice a day, otherwise, I would get some fibrous ones. If I let them go 24 hours from when they looked too small to pick, they were too large - same problem I've had with most varieties. It was fat, compared to most, and had a good flavor, when picked in time. It was also a single stalk, not one that branches out, even if the top is snipped. I did this when it got out of reach - a little over 7' - and it would just stop growing, which is what I've noticed with other, non-branching varieties.
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Re: Okra 2019

A non branching variety would be good for my dinky garden. So if I grew it for the fall, what month should I start?

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Re: Okra 2019

Here night temp falls to upper 60’s even in summer except hottest days. It’s REALLY hot when night temp stays above 75.

By Sept, we could have night temps in low 60’s l high 50’s or even lower, and late-planted okra stopped growing. We get average first frost mid- to 3rd week in October. Okra didn’t like that at all growing out in the open ground, though I’ve had them keep going longer in south-facing raised bed, protected corner bed, and with house sheltering them from north/cold winds.

Ground-soil temp is moderated and is lower than air temp in the summer. Pepperhead212 is growing in SIP’s that raises root temps to air temp level or higher and maintains thermal mass at night.

Okra likes it hot. It’s what Hot region people grow in summer when tomatoes and cucumbers, even beans shut down or die.

What’re the average temps like in “fall” where you are?
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Re: Okra 2019

It varies. September can be warm, then slowly cooling off to 50's at night. Like I have said, my weather is warped. It can be warm like 60-70 one day and cold like 40-50 the next during fall-winter. Last year we had an oddity. It was warm and sunny- quite nice. Overnight the temperature dropped into the 20s and all was covered with snow by morning. But that was in January....or February...I'd have to check dates on the pics on my laptop to be sure.

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Re: Okra 2019

TomatoNut95 wrote:Can Okra be grown in the fall? I have a shorter variety of Okra called...... Gold Coast..... I think it was. If I can grow it in the fall, what month should I plant, because I had planned to renovate my garden this fall to, when it starts getting cooler.

I've never tried to grow okra in the fall since it produces soooo much in the summer months I have enough to last me until the next years harvest------besides what I give away to friends and family. I do know okra LOVES heat and can tolerate a good bit of drought, that is why it is grown in many parts of Africa as a food staple.

I can't say for sure how it would do in the fall months, but I would think cold would not be too conducive to good production, but having never done it, who knows.

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Re: Okra 2019

Thanks, Gumbo! I might try just a few plants to see what happens. I have a little space after some of my onions died.

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Re: Okra 2019

TomatoNut95 wrote:I used to hear that Marigolds kept away aphids- but a few years ago I was given some Marigolds as a gift, and they got aphid infested.....so, yeah...don't think I believe that about Marigolds. :|

Supposedly, marigolds are beneficial in keeping nematodes in check if your soil is infected with them. I never tried it, but my last house had soil that was apparently full of Root Knot Nematodes and as the ground heated up in the summer, the roots of my vegetables would get all gnarly looking and the plant production would almost stop.

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Re: Okra 2019

There really are ways some plants are beneficial/useful, but you do have to research and be pretty dogged about finding out how.

Like @gumbo said, it’s pretty much established that marigolds help with pest nematodes — but IIRC you have to grow them in the field/bed in the previous season as covercrop and till them in. There are other plants that are used in the same way — I’m thinking some kind of mustard ... maybe red mustard? — supposed to also suppress some soil borne diseases as well as nematodes.


So it’s interesting that @imafan mentioned the marigold is used as “companion planting” aphid protection by using as TRAP crop and disposing of the entire plant OR for ATTRACTING aphid predators.


I believe there is some difference in effectiveness of different species of marigolds, and it’s very likely that the bedding marigolds mass-bred for showy flowers might not retain the original beneficial property.


...also, I’ve often wondered if the nematocidal and repellant effect might also affect BENEFICIAL nematodes...
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Re: Okra 2019

I think there are some varieties that can have good resistance. I think this Gold Coast okra is supposed to have that.

I do have some marigolds in my garden- just in one corner. They were leftover from what didn't sell. Maybe I'd better check them for aphids. I like to grow Marigolds because they appear to be easy to do- but when it comes to trying to sell them they don't seem to be popular.

Red mustard? I know mustard greens but I haven't heard of red mustard. What about hairy vetch? I know it's a cover crop. It grows wild along the highway going uptown. And I think Lupine was supposed to be good to.

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Re: Okra 2019

It matters what marigolds you have. Nemagone, and crackerjack works on the species of root knot nematode that I have. Other types don't really work the same and they do attract other kinds of nematodes. They have to be planted en masse to be effective.

Sun hemp is another plant that can be grown to keep the nematodes down. Neither plants eliminate, they just control the numbers. Nematodes are a big problem here so nematode resistant plants help too. Solarization, crop rotation, and lots of compost are the best ways to control their numbers. It is essential for ginger production to have nematode free soil. Ginger rows are alternated with rows of marigolds and strict sanitation procedures need to be followed. If a ginger farmer has nematodes, his only other choices would be to move the farm, or grow something else.

There are different products with the same name as 3 in 1. Most of the ones I am familiar with are composed fo sulfur and pyrethrins. Bayer Advanced 3 in 1 nee Bayer complete insect control contains:
Component Name CAS-No. Average % by Weight
Imidacloprid 138261-41-3 0.47
tau-Fluvalinate 102851-06-9 0.61
Tebuconazole 107534-96-3 0.65
This is a systemic formula that persists for a few weeks.

The sulfur and pyrethrins are only active for a short time.
https://www.domyown.com/bio-advanced-3i ... -2980.html
https://www.ortho.com/en-us/products/ga ... -ready-use
https://www.naturescare.com/en-us/produ ... te-control

https://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/oc/freepub ... D-35.pdfNe
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Re: Okra 2019

The marigolds I have now are a short type, I know they're not Nemagone. I grew a, Crackerjack once. That thing skyrocketed over three feet tall and had to stake it. :eek: I've got stakes all around my Beefsteak plant because it's going all over everywhere and taking over my garden. I may just take the shears to it. :?

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Re: Okra 2019

Crackerjack is tall, but I never stake it. Marigolds need to be mass planted so the plants lean on each other and it doesn't matter to me much if a few of them grow crooked. T. patula (dwarf marigolds) species work best. The best cultivars was single gold and tangerine. Not all of the cultivars work.
.
Marigolds do not eliminate nematodes they suppress and reduce their numbers only and is useful especially in combination with solarization. For the marigolds to be effective they need to be planted as a cover crop, en masse. They do not work if they are planted with susceptible host plants like crops or weeds. Marigolds actually invite the nematodes to infest them, but in the end the nematodes become trapped and are killed. Marigolds will also attract aphids (as an aphid trap plants) and in turn the aphids will attract lady beetles and other beneficial insects. Besides, it provides color for the garden.

https://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/b ... /PD-35.pdf
https://www.lsuagcenter.com/profiles/co ... 6135407127
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Re: Okra 2019

Those aphids are back! >:D It's been 2 months, and I stopped spraying surround way back, when they started producing. It happened more or less overnight, as when I picked them yesterday, I didn't notice any at all, and today, this is what I saw, on a lot of sections. I sprayed some insecticidal soap, along with some garlic and hot peppers, which I blended and strained from the water, before I used it for mixing. Later I'll put some more of that banana peel powder down, along with some DE, and maybe that will keep them from returning. The Little Lucy got a lot more; the first time, early in the season, only the Emerald got the aphids.
ImageAphids back on the okra. :( by pepperhead212, on Flickr
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Re: Okra 2019

I am growing okra for the first time ever this year. It just now has the first flowers and I think the first couple pods on it. I planted it late, after I pulled the broccoli that was there. So I will just have to keep an eye on it. So far all I have noticed is that the leaves are just now starting to get holes in them from slugs. In my garden, slugs are the worst pest (other than SVB's) and seem pretty resistant to my attempts to deal with them, with DE and Sluggo.
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Re: Okra 2019

rainbowgardener wrote:I am growing okra for the first time ever this year. It just now has the first flowers and I think the first couple pods on it. I planted it late, after I pulled the broccoli that was there. So I will just have to keep an eye on it. So far all I have noticed is that the leaves are just now starting to get holes in them from slugs. In my garden, slugs are the worst pest (other than SVB's) and seem pretty resistant to my attempts to deal with them, with DE and Sluggo.
I grow Clemson Spineless and pick it between 4-5 inches long. You'll be surprised how many pods "get lost" and you see them when they are 7-8 inches long and it is iffy for them to be tender enough to use. I'm picking 35-40 pods a day but I'm about done with it as I've been picking for about 2 months now.

I wouldn't be too concerned with the holes in the leaves from slugs. Okra is one of the heartiest plants I've ever seen as far as taking plant damage and still producing.

Not sure how many plants you have but if you need a bunch, it will stay good in the fridge for about 5-6 days before it goes a bit off. I usually rinse mine off in my sink, let them dry on a towel on the countertop and put the pods in one of those plastic grocery bags to store in the fridge.

Do yourself a favor and grill some like any other vegetable and report back as to how you like, or dislike it. I've not had anyone not like it fixed that way to be honest. Perhaps you'll be the first. :lol:

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Re: Okra 2019

I also plant the Clemson Spineless, but I pick them 3" - 3.5" anything 5" and over don't snap off cleanly with a slight bend so they're tossed.
I had the same exact problem as pepperhead with the aphids but had to do a borax/sugar mix to get rid of the ants before I could control the aphids.
Image

a month ago.
Image

Okra out in my front hugelkultur bed, three weeks ago.
Image

Okra in back yard three weeks ago.
Image

Back yard Okra a week and a half ago.
Image

You guys probably saw this pic already.
Image

I don't like them any bigger than this.
Image

What happen when you go on vacation and leave your okra home by themselves.
Image

Ready for some winter soups, stews and gumbos and maybe some fritters!
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I hope you don't mind all the pics.

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Re: Okra 2019

Great okra, @SQWIB! Yeah, I know what you mean, I have some family members who were kind enough to let me and some other family members pick through their leftovers in the garden. They said, take whatever you wish-so I was going over their okra and the pods were huge!! However, I picked some that were still edible and fried it with cornmeal. Next year, if it will fit in my garden, I might try Gold Coast okra.

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Re: Okra 2019

Never too many pics!

This is why I don't grow Clemson Spineless, or for that matter, most okra I have tried - they get fibrous, when they get much over 4", and some even sooner. You can tell when the knife goes through them, that they have gotten this way! The Emerald was the only one that I had found that would grow up to 6", and still be good, and now the Little Lucy is the second one. I still pick them at about 4", but occasionally I'll miss one, and it will be 5-6", and still be good. I missed one Emerald down low - both of these get branches, so they have to be checked down under, not just the top - and it was 7", but still good! I still wouldn't let them get that large all the time, but it's good to know that they can.

I sprayed the okra a week later, with that insecticidal soap, garlic, and pepper spray, just to kill anything left over from the eggs, and they seem clean now. They slowed down a bit, with this cool weather in the area!

Update @tomatonut : I tried Gold Coast last year, and it definitely got fibrous if much over 3 1/2". Was also one that didn't branch out - it got to high for even me to pick, and when I cut it off at the top, it simply stopped growing. This has happened to a number of varieties.
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Re: Okra 2019

Pepperhead, if you had to choose only one next year, which would it be?
I just read your review over at Bakers Creek

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Re: Okra 2019

Well, the okra has been pulled from my rows after a long summers harvest of the pods that probably saw me giving away as much, if not more, than I used for myself------------and I used a lot. I've got over 20 quart bags of it in my freezer smothered down for soups and gumbos, lots of jars of it pickled, grilled it many times when cooking outside on the Weber and even though my Dr. frowns upon it, I've had it fried along with some squash and Ichiban eggplant a few times this summer.

The heavy rains we were having that caused pooling between the rows led to their downfall from too much water and production was falling off, so it was time to go and get the ground ready for the fall/winter stuff I'll be sowing in a few weeks time. Thankfully, we have an overcast day today with a bit cooler than normal temperatures, so the time was right.

Depending on how I go through it over the winter will determine how much, if any, I'll put in next spring--------------but I'm betting it will be on the list.....

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Re: Okra 2019

SQWIB wrote:Pepperhead, if you had to choose only one next year, which would it be?
I just read your review over at Bakers Creek
That's hard to say; though this is the first season I've grown Little Lucy, it seems to be doing as well as my all time favorite - Emerald. It was also earlier, and it's a decorative plant to plant in my flowerbeds (I only plant food crops in those!). It seems more pods are coming from each plant, but then, the pods are slightly thinner, so I'm not sure if the weight is more. We'll see if either one lasts longer into the fall, or seems to do better in cooler weather - other variables with other varieties in the past. Still, I'll probably plant both next year. And I'll try to save a few pods from the best plants, after bagging some blossoms.
Dave

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