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Anyone grow okra?

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Re: Anyone grow okra?

Post  Shoda on 9/19/2010, 10:56 pm

OK, Thanks for clarifying on the cells. As for my okra, it probably is too big. Guess I will harvest it tomorrow and take a look. Since we have never grown (or tasted) Okra before, we really are not sure what we are doing here.
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Okra size

Post  ander217 on 9/21/2010, 12:13 pm

I suspect yours are too old for slicing - okra pods should be picked every two or three days, but you can shell the woody pods and eat the seeds in soup, or roast and grind them for a coffee substitute. (I've eaten them boiled but haven't tried the coffee.)

If you continue to let the pods grow large enough to make full-sized seeds the plant will stop producing pods. Usually if you keep okra picked regularly when only a few days old, it will start producing side branches and you'll soon have large harvests of okra. Not all varieties produce the side branches, and some species grow longer pods than others but all benefit from frequent and regular picking.
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Re:Okra size

Post  ribarr4 on 9/21/2010, 11:25 pm

I pick ours at 4" to 6" and 6" is pushing it a little. The larger they are the thinner I slice them so when you fry them they will be more crispy and hide the toughness. If you pick it at 1" to 1 1/2" you can just eat it raw. I have heard that if it gets too large you can take out the soft seeds and put them on salads, but I haven't tried that.
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Re: Anyone grow okra?

Post  shinjite on 9/22/2010, 3:17 am

They are really great in stir frys if you pick them young/small - no more than 4". Also, has anyone tried the flowers in salads or stuffed? They taste great.

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Re: Anyone grow okra?

Post  LaFee on 9/22/2010, 3:24 am

Okra is also delicious cooked with stewed tomatoes.

When I was a young bride (Yankee girl by birth who didn't EAT okra!) my ex asked me to make okra for dinner.

I didn't know any different, so I sliced the big fat pods (bigger is better, right?) all nice and neat, then put it in a little water to steam.

Oh, yuck.

(I laugh now, but I'm still sort of amazed I can eat okra to this day)

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boiled okra

Post  ander217 on 9/22/2010, 10:14 am

@LaFee wrote:When I was a young bride (Yankee girl by birth who didn't EAT okra!) my ex asked me to make okra for dinner.

I didn't know any different, so I sliced the big fat pods (bigger is better, right?) all nice and neat, then put it in a little water to steam.

Oh, yuck.

(I laugh now, but I'm still sort of amazed I can eat okra to this day)

I'm curious LaFee - did your husband eat your boiled okra? I've known people who liked it that way. (I agree, yuck. I might as well swallow a bowl of raw eggs.)

Once again it needs to be emphasized, Shoda, unless you like slime, if you want to steam or boil your okra, use whole pods, DO NOT cut into the pods, and don't overcook it. Leave a little stem on them.

If you slice your okra, roll it in cornmeal before cooking (or flour, if you prefer) unless you are adding it to soups or gumbos and want it to thicken the broth, or if you are cooking it with tomatoes. (I was never a fan of okra and tomatoes because it still feels slimy to me, but maybe I don't know how to cook it properly. Perhaps the pods should be left whole rather than sliced.) Rolling the cut pieces in cornmeal prevents any slime from forming. Some people slice it a little thicker or use small whole pods, dip the pieces in batter, and deep fry them.

If cooked properly, okra is one of the joys of summer for me.
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Re: Anyone grow okra?

Post  LaFee on 9/22/2010, 11:31 am

Noooo...that batch went down the garbage disposal. But boy, I could have hung a LOT of wallpaper! Razz

I like it in gumbo and with tomatoes, because I like the silky texture it gives to soups...to each his own!

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Re: Anyone grow okra?

Post  Shoda on 9/27/2010, 11:16 pm

Great information! Thanks so much. Do you keep the pods whole even in your gumbo?
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Re: Anyone grow okra?

Post  LaFee on 9/28/2010, 12:19 am

No, you slice them for gumbo and soups -- for that, you actually WANT them to make their slimy mess, because it thickens the soup.

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Re: Anyone grow okra?

Post  shinjite on 9/28/2010, 10:22 pm

@LaFee wrote:for that, you actually WANT them to make their slimy mess, because it thickens the soup.
Lol - that totally cracked me up. When I lived in Spain I missed okra sooo much I could have cheerfully killed for some.

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Re: Anyone grow okra?

Post  LaFee on 9/29/2010, 1:16 am

That's strange, shinjite, I see okra frequently here in France...especially in the Portuguese market that carries a lot of things we're accustomed to from Florida. (black beans, smoked ham hocks, and chorizos to die for...)

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How was your okra?

Post  ander217 on 10/7/2010, 1:11 am

Shoda, I've been wondering, how did your okra turn out? Was it too hard to eat? Did your plant produce more pods?

Mine is still producing at home even though the temps have turned cooler. Talked with DH on the phone yesterday and he said he had put a bag of sliced okra rolled in cornmeal in the freezer. Unfortunately he didn't know he should have blanched it first, so we'll use those bags first. My mom never blanched her frozen okra, but I think the flavor is much better when it is blanched before slicing and rolling in cornmeal or freezing whole.
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Re: Anyone grow okra?

Post  Shoda on 10/7/2010, 1:19 am

I only got one okra and by the time I harvested it, it was like wood. Guess I waited too long. Sad

I WILL grow it again next year and start it earlier. The red okra was such a pretty plant.
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Re: Anyone grow okra?

Post  sanderson on 6/3/2014, 3:45 am

I'm going to sow okra seeds tomorrow. DH said he heard it likes poor soil. Is that a wives' tale because okra can survive in poor soil? Any hoo, I have 3 squares in a hot location so here goes.
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Re: Anyone grow okra?

Post  walshevak on 6/3/2014, 4:57 am

I hear differently, that okra likes well composted, warm soil. Okra plants thrive in heat.   Pick the pods when they are about 2-4" long and dime to nickle size around and pick often to keep  the plant producing.   Waiting too long will mean tough okra.  If the stem is hard to cut at harvest, the pod may be tough.   It is a very tall plant and I like to put it into the 4 middle squares of a bed.  Underplant with your fall lettuce or radishes as okra will not survive a frost.  The flowers are beautiful.

I, personally, don't like okra unless pickled, but my DIL does like it so I usually put some in her beds.  

Warning: most okra is prickly so wear gloves and  long sleeves  when working around it. 

Kay

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Re: Anyone grow okra?

Post  AtlantaMarie on 6/3/2014, 7:28 am

I ended up w/ over 40 seedlings in a 4-cell I bought.  They're really starting to take off now that it's getting warmer.
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Re: Anyone grow okra?

Post  TxGramma on 6/3/2014, 9:50 am

Mine did great in my SFG last year. My family all love it, so I planted more plants this year. We ate all we grew last year and wanted more plus I want to freeze some and pickle some. Like Marie I got plenty of bonus plants, though not as many as she did, so I only bought one 9 cell but I got 22 plants in my garden and tossed out 2 or 3 little tiny ones that I didn't have room for. So far it looks like they are going to do even better this year than last year. Last year they just set there and didn't start growing until late in June and then grew really fast. This year my seedlings started growing right after I transplanted them, which I only did about a week ago. They haven't gotten very big yet but the fact that they are showing any growth at all right now makes me think/hope that they will do better this time and they produced really well last year. I excited and can't wait for my first pan of fried okra.  hungry
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Re: Anyone grow okra?

Post  sanderson on 6/3/2014, 2:07 pm

Kay and TxG, How tall did your plants grow?
Marie, have you ever grown okra?

Thanks
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Re: Anyone grow okra?

Post  walshevak on 6/3/2014, 3:45 pm

Seems like they were about 4 or 5 ft tall.

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Re: Anyone grow okra?

Post  sanderson on 6/3/2014, 3:59 pm

Stake or cage?
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Re: Anyone grow okra?

Post  walshevak on 6/3/2014, 4:05 pm

Nope, very sturdy, thick stalks.

Kay

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Re: Anyone grow okra?

Post  Denese on 6/3/2014, 4:36 pm

I grew okra when I lived in Georgia, but this will be the first year I grow it here in Michigan.  I have 6 plants this year.  Depending on the harvest, I may do more next year.  I love it fried, steamed, in gumbo, and especially pickled.  Very Happy
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Re: Anyone grow okra?

Post  TxGramma on 6/3/2014, 5:32 pm

Sanderson, I grew Clemson spineless and they got to be about four feet tall. I think they will be taller this year since I replaced most of the "soil" in my beds with new MM (mine wasn't quite right...rushing to get it done and couldn't find everything) and the plants seem to be growing faster.

They don't need any support. They have a really thick, sturdy stalk and big leaves. Like Kay said, the flowers are beautiful. They look similar to a hibiscus flower. I'm growing Clemson again this year since they did so well. Harvest when they are young 3-4". They get hard and woody when they get too big, although I found with the Clemson that I could let them get bigger (6") and they were still tender. It also makes the plant more productive if you keep them picked. Remember to check them every day once it starts producing as okra grows fast.
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Anyone grow okra?

Post  GloriaG on 6/3/2014, 6:16 pm

I'm growing a dwarf variety in a separate container.  For me, they take up too much space in the SFG.  I also found that their root system is so huge it tears up surrounding squares when I pull it out!

The dwarf okra grows to about 3' tall, is bushy, and had has yellow flowers almost like a hibiscus.  It's "spineless" and is a heavy producer in our climate.

The added advantage I have growing in a container is that I can feature the okra like a landscape plant.

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Re: Anyone grow okra?

Post  sanderson on 6/4/2014, 3:08 am

Thanks for all the information, everyone.  The box is 1' x 3' and in a hot location.  Tomorrow I'll seed for 3 and mulch.  I can literally dump the whole box when they are done, in order to remove all the roots.  Hibiscus-like flowers will be welcomed!   Very Happy

PS what I won't try for DH!
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