Help permies get a

new server by

contributing to the

fundraiser
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Carla Burke
  • John F Dean
  • Nancy Reading
  • r ranson
  • Jay Angler
  • Pearl Sutton
stewards:
  • Leigh Tate
  • paul wheaton
  • Nicole Alderman
master gardeners:
  • Timothy Norton
  • Christopher Weeks
gardeners:
  • Saana Jalimauchi
  • Jeremy VanGelder
  • Ulla Bisgaard

okra question (zone 9b)

 
gardener
Posts: 3790
Location: South of Capricorn
1975
dog rabbit urban cooking writing homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Okra gardeners, help me! When does okra start actually growing???
I often get good okra that goes up to frost, but it takes FOR BLOODY EVER to get started. Last year I planted okra 5 times and didn't get to eat a single one, but the weather was weird. This year we're supposed to have screaming heat though, so I started a large batch. They've been in the ground for about 8 weeks and not grown a single new leaf. It's been raining regularly and average temp has been pretty warm (25C and over), although there was some cold. Not a lot of sun yet, as we're just moving into spring here.

Bright side, they're not dead yet. I used the last of my fancy seeds (okinawan pinks, baby bubbas) and am wondering if i should just give up on them and plant new starts? heap up the rabbit crap and say encouraging words? take off my glasses and come back in a month? Or is okra just pokey? (poke-ra?)
I used to get wonderful okra here, and it ain't for lack of trying. Maybe I just forget how long it takes.
 
master steward
Posts: 6559
Location: southern Illinois, USA
2318
goat cat dog chicken composting toilet food preservation pig bee solar wood heat homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Pretty much the watched pot syndrome.  My experience has been that it grows when I am not looking.  This year was my first bad crop of Okra.  It sprouted and then sat there.
 
gardener
Posts: 789
Location: South Carolina
464
homeschooling kids monies home care forest garden foraging medical herbs ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
8 weeks without a new leaf does seem like a long time. I'm in zone 7b, and okra grows fairly well for me unless there's inadequate rain.
You say it used to grow well for you. Has your soil changed in that time? What kind of crops are thriving now? Any other crops that used to do well but aren't now? What kind of climate were those seeds from, and are they the same variety that used to grow well for you?
 
Tereza Okava
gardener
Posts: 3790
Location: South of Capricorn
1975
dog rabbit urban cooking writing homestead ungarbage
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Nikki Roche wrote:Has your soil changed in that time? What kind of crops are thriving now? Any other crops that used to do well but aren't now? What kind of climate were those seeds from, and are they the same variety that used to grow well for you?


Oh dear, there's a lot here. my soil is better (in the last 5 years, vast amounts of rabbit manure), but things are all over the place with weather/rain changes. Corn is doing well, and usually doesn't.
As for seeds: I import my seeds, so none of the fancies are from here. The stuff from here (my old standbys) isn't growing either though, I started them all together. boooooo.

I suppose part of it may be the rain- we had only 4 days without rain in October. The sun finally returned last week, so I'm hoping that after being stalled they can actually take off. I'm going to go make a new bokashi compost barrel today and will use the leftover rabbit poo to throw in the garden. Supposed to get a thunderstorm tonight that will wash it all in.

Watched pot indeed. I noticed that okra in the store yesterday was 10 bucks a kg though, which means the farmers aren't having much success either. (same with tomatoes. and the guy where i buy my plant starts told me yesterday they aren't even getting them in the store to sell, because the weather has been so crap nobody's even planting them. this is going to be a heck of a year for produce, apparently....)

 
Nikki Roche
gardener
Posts: 789
Location: South Carolina
464
homeschooling kids monies home care forest garden foraging medical herbs ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Tereza Okava wrote:
I suppose part of it may be the rain- we had only 4 days without rain in October. The sun finally returned last week, so I'm hoping that after being stalled they can actually take off.



Perhaps you hit the nail on the head with this, and your okra is just waiting for more sunlight.

I recommend the book The Whole Okra by Chris Smith to any okra lovers, but I can't remember if he offered growing advice in it.
 
pollinator
Posts: 508
Location: Upstate SC
98
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Okra is one of those heat loving plants that grows very little unless you get mostly sunny days with daytime highs over 28 C.
 
Tereza Okava
gardener
Posts: 3790
Location: South of Capricorn
1975
dog rabbit urban cooking writing homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
so, a month or so later-- we are just getting flowers, but the plants are very short (in fact, only one has really gotten any height increase since i posted this originally). if they're going to make okra, i won't complain too much. i've planted so many new seeds and had so little success that it's just bizarre.
the corn has come and gone and i just ripped it out, so there's some extra sun for them.

it's been the hottest year in recorded history here, rain has been unpredictable, we are now starting to get somewhat normal summer weather (usually hottish during the day and rain at night) and i'm seeing the plants start to catch up.

bright side, it's the first year i've gotten peppers and summer tomatoes in the 16 years since i've been gardening here (usually not hot enough for peppers, and tomatoes have to grow in the winter because of bug pressure).
 
pollinator
Posts: 116
Location: Vancouver, Washington
32
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am no okra expert, having grown it for the first time last summer, but I do grow tomatoes and peppers every year. Okra likes hot weather, even hotter than peppers and tomatoes do.  That can be a challenge in the area I live in, because the nights are always cool. I read that okra needs nighttime temperatures above 60 degrees F. and daytime above 85 F. as well as full sun.  You might want to try a protection tent when you are first starting them out to keep them warm. I've learned that my peppers love a protection tent at night, in the spring and fall, to retain heat. I open it a bit during the day during this time if it's really warm outside, but I can leave it on during the day most of the time. I've really extended my harvests by months doing this and the peppers are much more productive. I got lazy last year and didn't do it. I  I will never do that again!

Good luck!
 
Posts: 431
Location: Sierra Nevada foothills, 350 m, USDA 8b, sunset zone 7
79
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Last year I planted green and purple okra at the end of June, when it's quite warm here - regularly over 35 C during the day. A lot of small seedlings were destroyed by my chickens but the rest grew beautifully and was producing well even with temperatures of 43 C. I was watering them manually daily through summer. I collected a lot of seeds and will be planting more. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplants do not like my climate. It's too hot and dry.
 
Tereza Okava
gardener
Posts: 3790
Location: South of Capricorn
1975
dog rabbit urban cooking writing homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jen Swanson wrote:I am no okra expert, having grown it for the first time last summer, but I do grow tomatoes and peppers every year. Okra likes hot weather, even hotter than peppers and tomatoes do.  That can be a challenge in the area I live in, because the nights are always cool.


hm, this would make sense, it is almost never warm at night, and in fact it gets downright chilly. we've had temps of 32-35C daily since maybe november (not every day, but quite often), but only maybe 4 or 5 times have i had to set up a fan at night, for example.  Yesterday was a bit warm for the season (32) but was down to 10 last night. Go figure.
Still, at least the long beans are starting, that will distract me for a bit.
 
master pollinator
Posts: 4682
Location: Due to winter mortality, I stubbornly state, zone 7a Tennessee
2002
6
forest garden foraging books food preservation cooking fiber arts bee medical herbs
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Joseph Lofthouse developed okra that will produce in the high desert, he also has cool nights. I can't find the thread where he detailed his struggle. I seem to remember 1 foot tall plants, 1 or 2 that produced seed. Several years later, he was the only vendor at the market able to grow and offer okra. So you may need to develop your own strain.
 
Tereza Okava
gardener
Posts: 3790
Location: South of Capricorn
1975
dog rabbit urban cooking writing homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
well, a month later, here we are: most of the plants are alive. I have gotten at least one okra off of each one, they're putting out flowers, but except for one baby bubba, *they are not growing new leaves or height*. I don't really know what to think. the past month was hot, record breaking hot and sunny. Now we're back to craziness (50 degrees and raining every day). Not encouraging.
When I complained the first time, I put out a new set of seeds. After a month, they are now the same size as these stinkers that are in the ground since.... Halloween? I just put in a bunch more seeds (I can expect hot weather til March, maybe May, and in normal years the okra will keep on going til maybe June before the powdery mildew finally takes it down), I figure it can't hurt. Nobody is selling starts, saying it's too late.
Okra is still stupid expensive in the stores, so I know things are still rough out there, but there is a woman around the corner from me who has huge okra plants covered in flowers in her yard, taller than me. HUGE! But her space has sun all day, while mine does not.... Funny how that works.
 
If I'd had more time, I would have written a shorter letter. -T.S. Eliot such a short, tiny ad:
Learn Permaculture through a little hard work
https://wheaton-labs.com/bootcamp
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic