Okra

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Alisdair

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Okra
« on: September 27, 2011, 07:38:08 PM »
Not sure if this is the best place to put the link, but for Jorun's photos of Abelmoschus esculentus flowering on Crete click here.
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

David Bracey

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Re: Okra
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2011, 12:55:26 PM »
I have tried to grow okra several times without success.  Seeds are sown in drills in moist soil in March/April.  Emergence is usually excellent and plants are thinned by hand to say 7-10cm.  They seem to grow normally with watering but fruits are normally small, pithy and not worth eating.  Has anyone any ideas .  Perhaps the atmosphere is just too dry since okra originated in tropical West Africa however they are widely used in Arabic cooking.

While on the subject of vegetables what do members sow in the fall?  I have grown transplanted lettuce, spinach, garlic, onions and leeks, many herbs, Good King-Henry, Chenopodium bonus-henricus which Capitain Cook allegedly used to ward of scurvy. Any other ideas? Please not Brussles sprouts.
MGS member.

 I have gardened in sub-tropical Florida, maritime UK, continental Europe and the Mediterranean basin, France. Of the 4 I have found that the most difficult climate for gardening is the latter.

David Bracey

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Re: Okra
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2011, 09:02:05 PM »
Has nobody grown okra or autumn vegetables?
MGS member.

 I have gardened in sub-tropical Florida, maritime UK, continental Europe and the Mediterranean basin, France. Of the 4 I have found that the most difficult climate for gardening is the latter.

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MikeHardman

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Re: Okra
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2011, 09:54:13 PM »
There's a patch of okra growing just above the beach west of Polis. I'm not sure if it is irrigated, but the roots are probably close to the water table (which could be salty, depending on the depth). But the fruits are huge, and held upright, like small rockets, perhaps up to nine inches long. They are quite hard; I have no idea how edible they might be. But set fruit they certainly did.

Runner beans also grow and flower but do not set fruit here, so a few people have commented to me, without explanation. (Wrong bees?, I wonder.)
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

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John

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Re: Okra
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2011, 10:10:51 AM »
On Crete I have only ever seen it grown right down near the coast though this may not be essential.
John
Horticulturist, photographer, author, garden designer and plant breeder; MGS member and RHS committee member. I garden at home in SW London and also at work in South London.

hilberry

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Re: Okra
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2011, 10:24:58 AM »
I tried okra, but only once as the results were poor.  I got 2 fruits!

In the winter I have winter radishes[rose de chine and radis noire], spinach beet, rocket, and sprouting brocolli.  I plant garlic and onions and sow broad beans in the autumn for next year.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2011, 10:26:36 AM by hilberry »
Retired artist/potter.  Amateur gardener searching for suitable plants for my hot dry summers, cool wet winters.  Redesigning the garden to have a shady area under trees, so searching also for dry shade plants and ideas for the type of soil needed.  I live in S.Loire Atlantique, France

David Bracey

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Re: Okra
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2011, 12:38:21 PM »
Mike, we used to grow "Spainish runner beans", which I think were P coccineus which are also "runner beans".  Maybe they are a Spainish selection but they could be P vulgaris, the French kidney bean which is also climbing.

As far as I`m concerned it is simply too hot for UK runner beans as they are said to "run off".  Even in the UK you damp them down in the evening to help flower set.  If you want to grow UK runnners suggest you plant on the North side of the house in the shade.  I`ve excellent raspberries grown like this in Uzes. 

MGS member.

 I have gardened in sub-tropical Florida, maritime UK, continental Europe and the Mediterranean basin, France. Of the 4 I have found that the most difficult climate for gardening is the latter.

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John J

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Re: Okra
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2011, 03:15:11 PM »
Mike, over the years I've been told by different people that runner beans won't work here because above a certain temperature they won't pollinate. I've never had any proof that this is the reason for them failing but after what David has said maybe there's something in it.
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)

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MikeHardman

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Re: Okra
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2011, 05:19:06 PM »
thanks guys
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

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anita

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Re: Okra
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2011, 09:35:30 AM »
Mike,
I can't imagine it's too dry. I've grown okra in Adelaide (550 mm per year, mostly autumn winter) and had success. Used culture very similar to tomatoes in terms of water and fertiliser and found they thrived. A couple of plants were enough to keep two okra fans supplied. It's best to pick the fruit before its longer than finger length or they turn fibrous and horrid. Anita
Dry mediterranean climate, avg annual rainfall 530mm, little or no frost. Winter minimum 1C, summer max 45C

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John J

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Re: Okra
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2014, 07:57:27 AM »
We haven't grown okra for several years but this spring one of our neighbours gave Thea some seeds that she scattered in an area near our fruit trees that gets regular irrigation. Some have germinated and are growing on. However, this little chap must have escaped somehow and been dropped into an area of herbs that gets very irregular hand watering. Despite its small size (a few cms tall) it's the first one to flower, although we don't expect it to set fruit.
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)