Okra seeds?

jas_ilAugust 16, 2007

I have few okra plants. I heard that if you leave fruit to set seeds it would take all the energy and the plant will have lesser fruits. So do I leave few fruits to go for seed or do I wait few more days? What would be the best thing?

If you are looking for best okra recipe here you can find it.

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jimster(z7a MA)

I will wait until near the end of the season, then let some of the last pods ripen and dry for seed.


    Bookmark   August 17, 2007 at 12:06AM
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Keep one plant for seeds only.Do not harvest any pods from this plant.Let all the pods on this plant ripen to seeds.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2007 at 1:48AM
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I love my okra plants. When it comes to things I grow solely because its hard to find truely fresh, okra is at the top of that list for me. I like to cook with okra mixed into other veggies and I like it plant-fresh crisp with a nice snap even after a little bit of cooking.

My favorite recipie for okra is to cut up a couple handfulls with some blackeye peas (drained/rinsed if canned)...add some sweet corn, chunks of hot and/or sweet pepper, 3-4 romas or similar paste tomato (peeled/diced), onion, garlic, basil, salt/pepper...heck, pretty much anything else you have laying around.

The gooey okra stuff, tomato, and the few peas that break open form an interesting veggie mix that can stay on fork easily. It's heavy on the pea flavor, for what its worth.

Alternatively, a light mix of sweet corn, onion/garlic/peppers, paste tomatoes and okra all mixed up, lightly cooked is a classic.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2007 at 2:12PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

Ever notice how often okra comes up as a topic on this forum? It seems to be a much loved vegetable. It's at the top of the list for my garden too. Well, right up there with beans of every kind.

My normal recipe is also okra with "pretty much anything else you have laying around". It's not totally randon though. I do put some thought into what I use. But when okra is in season here there the garden is full of things that make a good medley with it.


    Bookmark   August 17, 2007 at 3:43PM
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Thanks jim, chaman and nc for the replies. I loved the idea to leave one plant for seeds. I am in chicago and it would become very cold around september end so not sure if my pods will dry out before that.

Recipe had one correction. We add chick pea flour too in it. It is an Indian recipe. Nc thanks for the recipe I will try it.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2007 at 3:53PM
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jas_il,You will get few ripe pods by end of season. The pods that are set now will mature before the cold weather sets.You may pick them as soon as color changes from green to brown. Dry them in shade. You will get good seeds.If you do not want to dry all pods then keep few earlier pods for seeds and start picking produced later.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2007 at 5:06PM
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ruthieg__tx(z8 TX)

OK so I can sort of take it or leave it with okra. I like it fried but other than that, the mucos thing gets to me after awhile...I will tell you this....I tried the recipe above for lunch today.and it was fabulous...I loved it...I love indian food and have lots of indian spices so it was a breeze for me to make...I'll make it again soon.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 2:11PM
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I live in NC and I'm sure the practice of just cutting up and boiling okra in plain water isn't unique to this area.

Still, that's the kind of cooking with okra I cannot take.

The "mucus" (in my opinion) is best used to mix with other stuff (such as tomatoes or beans which get a little pastey) to form a kind of thickening sauce to hold mixtures together. The okra mucus itself is pretty tasteless.

It seems to be more about finding ways to use the thickning property of the mucus enough to help you concentrate more on the green pods rather than the gross stuff inside it.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 4:49PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Jas, to answer your original post... for me, allowing a single pod to ripen on each plant does not seem to reduce production. I allow the first pod on each plant to grow for seed, since in my short Wisconsin summers, later pods may not mature before frost.

I have found that for seed production (which is a major part of my gardening efforts) wide spacing tends to offer the best results. The spacing I use is 2 feet between plants, rows 3 feet apart... the plants are vigorous enough to carry the ripening pod, while still branching & blossoming. If closer spacing is used, it might be better to allow part of the row to remain unpicked for seed, since production for those plants will be reduced.

Yes, Jimster, okra is a frequent topic on GW (as are Southern peas). Perhaps because there are few other vegetables where the difference between fresh & store-bought is so pronounced. Besides, the yield continues over a long period, the plants require little care (other than harvesting), and fresh okra is so darn good!

Last year, I finally found an okra variety (Pentagreen) that thrives in my Northern location. I saved seed from those plants, and this year the second generation is bearing like crazy. After 13 years of poor-to-no yield here with other varieties, I'm tickled pink! Pix to follow shortly...

    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 5:38PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

It's good to hear that you are getting a crop of okra. Enjoy! Mine (Cowhorn) is just starting to produce. It will be at least a couple of days before first picking. Maybe I should try Pentagreen.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 8:56PM
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My favorite aspect of okra in my small gardens over the years has been how fast it grows in this area vs. the how much the nighttime leaf feeders love the okra leaves.

I'm yet to have an infestation the okra, itself, can't outgrow because of how fast it takes off.

The main plus of this so far is it keeps the creatures off my peppers and other crops around it. Everything I've planted near okra seems to go unbothered by most leaf-munching bugs until very late in the season when these very small/round beatles who love my pepper/chili leaves come around for a few weeks.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2007 at 11:27PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

After having recently stated that okra is a trouble free crop, I now have to backtrack. Forgot to knock on wood I guess.

The leaves of my Cowhorn plants sometimes wilt, shrivel and dry up. This happens to not all plants at once but a plant here and there. They put out a flush of new leaves and continue to grow, but they do suffer a setback.

There is no cause I can see. No insect damage. No apparent disease. Does anyone know what is happening?


    Bookmark   August 19, 2007 at 10:50PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Jimster, the symptoms you describe happened to every okra I tried here; browning of the bottom leaves, followed by leaf drop & stunting, and a slow death. The plants usually continued to bear (although at a much reduced rate) until eventually, only a bare stem remained. It seems to be verticillium wilt, perhaps attacking plants made more susceptible by growing them in conditions cooler than their preferred range. Most of the eggplant that I tried over the years suffered a similar fate (perhaps for the same reason) until I found two resistant varieties. Even a few of the "Pentagreen" plants are affected.

Wilt tends to infect (and usually kill) a small percentage of nearly all of my plants... but okra seems especially vulnerable. I have speculated about the rapid spread of the disease, which usually begins with just a few plants. With okra, I believe there are two vectors for the spread; sucking insects - and garden shears.

Last year, nearly all of the "Pentagreen" plants showed signs of wilt, but they seemed to possess some resistance, and survived (and bore) until frost. This year, I again have a few infected plants; but I elected not to harvest from them, and dip my shears in a bleach solution between plants when cutting pods. Thus far, there has been no spread beyond the plants that were originally infected.

Constant sterilization of the garden shears may be helpful for other crops as well... using the same system for my eggplant, I have far less wilt than I have had in years past.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2007 at 11:49PM
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ruthieg__tx , I am so glad that you liked the recipe. yep, Indian foods are made with lots of spices.

chaman, zeedman thanks for the good info. I left few pods to ripen. Hope to collect few seeds.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2007 at 5:47PM
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The leaves wilting and dropping on okra is usually a physiological problem. It is caused by lack of nitrogen and/or other nutrients. Nematodes can cause problems for okra so keep this in mind and check the roots on a plant or two.

If you really want to increase the production of your okra, try putting some extra fertilizer beside the plants just about the second week you pick pods to eat. Organic is great for this!


    Bookmark   August 22, 2007 at 6:36PM
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