Okra, Emerald

 Okra, Emerald

Heirloom. Organic. You can easily fill a gumbo pot with the abundant pods from Emerald okra.  This okra is an early variety that you can actually let grow out past 3" to about 8".  At this size it will still be tender enough for gumbos or soups.  I'm not sure how convinced I am that it would be tasty for fried okra at that size, but many say it is.  Try it and see for yourself. Okra may be microwaved, blanched, boiled, steamed, deep-fried, braised or sautéed. Blending well with a variety of vegetables, tomatoes, corn and peppers are favorite medley partners. Do not wash until ready to prepare as water causes pods to become slimy. Matures in 55-60 days.  Okra does best in hot weather.  Do not plant too early, plants will not do much until the weather warms above 75-80 F.

Soak the seeds for 2-4 hours to help soften seed coat and improve germination rate.

Planting Emerald Okra

While starting seeds of the Emerald Okra is not necessarily difficult, the right conditions will make the process successful. Sow Emerald Okra seeds directly in the ground in the spring when the threat of frost has passed or start growing in containers. Keep the ground moist but not wet for the first couple of weeks. Pick a sunny, well-drained spot for planting for the best performance. Prefers a well-drained fertile soil in a sunny position.  Heirloom / Open Pollinated Emerald Okra are warm weather loving plants that prefer well drained loose soil and an even amount of water. Plant heirloom Emerald Okra in rows or hills but make sure the soil is well warmed.

  Height: 48-60 inch Plants   Spacing: 18-24" inches

Spacing between rows—24-36”

Depth: 1/2  inch Germination: 7-15 days

Starting from Seed Indoors.   Generally, the time to start your seeds is about 2-3 weeks after the last expected spring frost date in your area, planting the seedlings outdoors about 4-6 weeks after that date. Another way to figure is to plan on setting out sturdy seedlings in the garden when night temperatures stay in the mid-70 degree range both day and night. Count back and sow seeds 2 to 3 weeks before that date normally arrives. Place a few seeds (5 to 10) into each pot and push them into the soil with your finger. Cover the seeds to a depth of approximately 1/2 inch of the potting mix. Mist each  pot with water until the soil appears moist. Place the pots in an area which will provide both light (which is required for germination) and heat, preferably about 65 to 70 degrees F and at least 8 hours of light each day. Check on the seeds every day and keep the seeds damp but not drenched by misting with your plant mister. You should see sprouting in about 7 to 15 days. Once your seedlings have reached about 4 to 6 inches in height, choose an area in your garden to transfer them. You can also use containers like barrels or clay pots. Dig holes twice the width and depth of each of your pots. Fill up each hole with water then let it drain off. Place a pot in the hole center and level so that your seedling is at the same level as the surrounding soil. Push dirt in carefully all the way to fill the hole back up. Water each seedling carefully so as not to soak the leaves or stem.

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Direct-seeding into the Garden. Turn over the area you've selected to a depth of approximately 2 inches. Rake the area until it's level and smooth. Water the area until the soil is damp but not saturated. Scatter the seeds in a row. Gently rake the area to distribute the seeds further and protect them from birds. Or, press the seeds into the soil and cover with no more than 1/2 inches of soil. You can also place 2 to 4 seeds every  to 12-18 inches in rows approximately 21-36 inches apart, and cover seeds with 1/2 inches of soil. Place planting stakes around the area so you will know where to water. Check on your seeds about once a day. Make sure to mist the soil whenever it appears dry. Germination for the Okra plants is approximately 7 to 15 days, depending on the warmth of the soil.   

Germination Problems

Growing plants from seeds successfully depends on a lot of factors and this makes it impossible to guarantee success on every batch of seeds planted.  Factors include, soil composition, PH, temperature, moisture levels, seed depth, soil density, seed viability, seed storage and many others.  We tested the germination of all our seeds and this seed variety is around 80%, but your results may vary based on exactly how you plant and all the environmental factors.  Good luck.