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Old 07-29-2011, 08:19 AM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
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I'm all ears...
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Old 07-29-2011, 08:31 AM
 
Location: Oklahoma
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I believe it's more of a personal preference. Just keep in mind that the "shorter" okra (4 to 6 inches) will be more tender.

If you let them grow too long (over 6 inches) then the okra skin has a tendency to become tough. But, even so, they are still good for just about anything except pickling at that size.

I usually pick my okra in the 4-6 inch size range.
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Old 07-29-2011, 08:46 AM
 
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Four inches. They grow almost overnight and can get woody fast.

And if this is your first time fiddling with okra, you want to wear a hat, long sleeve shirt, and gloves. You won't notice it too much as you pick, but the leaves and pods can make you miserable for a day if they get on your skin. After the first picking, it is somewhat common for experienced gardeners to cut off all the leaves. By that time, the plant has plenty of energy stored to make more pods, and stopping the feeding of leaves not only makes picking more pleasant, but pushes the plant to put its energy into pod-making. If you don't believe me, just try it on a few plants.
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Old 07-29-2011, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC dreaming of other places
983 posts, read 2,425,437 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Four inches. They grow almost overnight and can get woody fast.

And if this is your first time fiddling with okra, you want to wear a hat, long sleeve shirt, and gloves. You won't notice it too much as you pick, but the leaves and pods can make you miserable for a day if they get on your skin. After the first picking, it is somewhat common for experienced gardeners to cut off all the leaves. By that time, the plant has plenty of energy stored to make more pods, and stopping the feeding of leaves not only makes picking more pleasant, but pushes the plant to put its energy into pod-making. If you don't believe me, just try it on a few plants.
I am new to Okra as well and was wondering about that harvest, I have very few pods on the only plant I have, is this how it is? very few pods for each plant or should I just cut the leaves and see how it goes. Should I have planted couple plants not just one? I picked one pod so far that got to be about 5 inches.
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Old 07-29-2011, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
77,786 posts, read 98,920,296 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Four inches. They grow almost overnight and can get woody fast.

And if this is your first time fiddling with okra, you want to wear a hat, long sleeve shirt, and gloves. You won't notice it too much as you pick, but the leaves and pods can make you miserable for a day if they get on your skin. After the first picking, it is somewhat common for experienced gardeners to cut off all the leaves. By that time, the plant has plenty of energy stored to make more pods, and stopping the feeding of leaves not only makes picking more pleasant, but pushes the plant to put its energy into pod-making. If you don't believe me, just try it on a few plants.
I was about to mention how quickly they grow. Never planting them before, first I thought they were not going to ever produce, now they go from a couple inches to 6 or more over night. I just can't seem to get it right.

Nita
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Old 07-29-2011, 09:48 AM
 
Location: NC, USA
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I try not to let the pods get more than four inches long, much longer and they rapidly get fibrous. Danged if they do not put a really nice flavor in stews. Fried Okra = Southern Popcorn.
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Old 07-29-2011, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
77,786 posts, read 98,920,296 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Four inches. They grow almost overnight and can get woody fast.

And if this is your first time fiddling with okra, you want to wear a hat, long sleeve shirt, and gloves. You won't notice it too much as you pick, but the leaves and pods can make you miserable for a day if they get on your skin. After the first picking, it is somewhat common for experienced gardeners to cut off all the leaves. By that time, the plant has plenty of energy stored to make more pods, and stopping the feeding of leaves not only makes picking more pleasant, but pushes the plant to put its energy into pod-making. If you don't believe me, just try it on a few plants.
Have never read or heard about removing the leaves nor did I have any problem when I picked mine, but I will give it a shot, just to see what happens. Thanks for the tip.

Nita
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Old 07-29-2011, 10:42 AM
 
22,263 posts, read 65,562,780 times
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To get a really usable amount of pods, you need at least twenty plants. I used to get clemsom spineless in bulk, and run about four 60' long rows, so that I could freeze them. The nice thing is that the plants keep putting out pods once they start. I guess you might get as many as a dozen or more pods per plant if you kept after them.
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Old 07-29-2011, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,307 posts, read 37,706,406 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
To get a really usable amount of pods, you need at least twenty plants. I used to get clemsom spineless in bulk, and run about four 60' long rows, so that I could freeze them. The nice thing is that the plants keep putting out pods once they start. I guess you might get as many as a dozen or more pods per plant if you kept after them.
Yep. I had to thin my congregation back to about ten plants and those have been feeding a family of four (well, really 2.333 or so - sub 3 year old and a nine month old) once or twice a week, depending on how many of the pods get too big and turn to oak. I guess I need to get serious about checking them every day.

I'm going to clip back the leaves on two of my plants when I get home, btw... Nice tip.
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Old 07-29-2011, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC dreaming of other places
983 posts, read 2,425,437 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
To get a really usable amount of pods, you need at least twenty plants. I used to get clemsom spineless in bulk, and run about four 60' long rows, so that I could freeze them. The nice thing is that the plants keep putting out pods once they start. I guess you might get as many as a dozen or more pods per plant if you kept after them.
Great tip, thank you I think I will skip planting okra next year since I don't have the space for it. I just wanted to see how it will look and what it will do.
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