Post by heavyhitterokra on May 31, 2020 14:50:20 GMT -6
I just put my very best 102 seeds in a zip-lock bag with a wet paper towel to soak overnight. I sure hope I feel better tomorrow than I do today. According to the Farmer's Almanac, tomorrow, thru June 4th, is a very favorable sign for planting above ground crops, so I'm going to give it my best.
Usually, most of my planting would have been done several weeks ago, but this year, pouring rains and cold temperatures have caused repeated failures and several setbacks.
Post by heavyhitterokra on Jun 1, 2020 20:39:16 GMT -6
I got 102 more okra seeds planted this evening. They only set on the wet paper towel in a baggy for about 24 hours and already had visible signs of germination. I think I have around 300 seeds planted out so far.
I've had so many deer walking on my empty raised beds, that several of the seeds are planted in the deer tracks that were left. (That saves quite a lot of time, not having to punch seed holes before I plant.) But it sure is aggravating.
I'll set out 100 more seeds tonight, for planting again tomorrow evening. I still have three or four more rows to go.
Last year I ended up with 2 okra plants and had an abundance of okra well into December from the freezer. I stopped seeding out at eight plants this year as I thought about how much okra those two gave me. Then I saw some news about a disrupted food supply and decided I will seed a few more today.
Since you're still seeding out, there's still time.
I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.
Post by heavyhitterokra on Jun 2, 2020 19:16:46 GMT -6
My step-mom used to plant Clemson Spineless Okra on the 4th of July, just after we dug potatoes. She'd also plant it behind the sweet corn harvest and we'd have okra just coming on in September. It's not too late to plant okra, it's just too late to be the first to market with it like I usually shoot for.
Post by heavyhitterokra on Jun 6, 2020 23:53:25 GMT -6
Bambi continually has the 'munchies' and his belly is an insufferable, bottomless pit!
I've had deer in the past to wipe out 10 rows of baby cucumber vines in one night as an appetizer, then come back for 10 more rows of okra seedlings, then grab a few sweet potato leaves and a couple of apple trees on the way out as dessert.
We've spotted as many as eleven does and three fawns in a herd out there, all at the same time. I once had over 1,100 fresh tracks in my newly plowed ground from one instance of deer depredation.
We've eaten a lot of deer over the years as a result, but they are persistent little devils and don't seem to take note of the reason for their continued demise.
I used to really enjoy seeing deer as they grazed across the place. They were so common when we first moved here that they could be seen wandering past our kitchen window morning or evening. They got to where they paid no attention to our dog and very little attention to us, but since I took up gardening beyond the reach of my kitchen window, they are not nearly as welcome a sight. They've destroyed more apple trees, pawpaw trees, mulberry trees, paper-shell pecan trees, elderberry bushes, and baby pine trees than a team of loggers.
So far, I've not personally witnessed them doing damage to any peach trees, which is sort of strange, because during the 2011-2012 grasshopper plague, those same peach trees were about the only fruit trees that were not killed by grasshoppers stripping off the leaves and tender bark; though, the grasshoppers did completely strip all the peach fruits, leaving only the seeds hanging from the naked stems.
I once had an Entomologist, from OSU take samples of the hanging, striped peach seeds, as evidence for his classroom back in Stillwater. He had never witnessed such complete destruction of a crop before. The grasshoppers would come in vast waves, stripping whole, ripe, tomatoes from the vines, leaving only holes in the Plasticulture where each tomato fell, where they would congregate in great hordes to sop up any remaining juices, until they had eaten holes completely through the plastic where each ripe tomato had fallen the night before.
After things like that, a few okra plants lost to deer overnight doesn't seem quite as overwhelming. I've had grasshoppers eat every bit of a row of corn, leaving nothing, save for the bare cob and the tell-tale sign of a stump where it once stood.
I've had them eat my Candy variety onions so far below the ground that all I found of them was the dried skins left in the depressions from where plump onion bulbs had been rooted the day before.
President Ronald Reagan once said," I love the Bible verse that says, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” I can’t think of a better description of what it takes to endure as a farmer. Buster, they're in a business that makes a Las Vegas craps table look like a guaranteed annual income."
He also said, "I believe that faith in God can carry us through all the valleys and mountaintops of life. That’s an especially encouraging word for farmers and ranchers as our work comes with more unknowns than most. Farm life brings both unplanned hard times and surprising, rich blessings. It takes faith to plant a crop without knowing what the weather or the markets will hold across the year and at harvest time. Faith to find the workers you’ll need in time for tending and harvesting that crop. And faith to pick up the pieces and start again in the face of trial and hardship."
Thank you, God, for being there for us, both in times of gladness and in times of trouble.
George is the one who got all of us started on Roselle. I've been trying to spread those around to anyone who will try them. They're a very giving and rewarding plant to keep around. They've become a staple in our garden ever since he introduced them to us a few years back.
I just planted about 200 more okra seeds last evening. I'll keep doing that until I have a decent crop or I run out of seeds, whichever comes first. Hopefully, the deer eating so many of my seedlings is just a phase.
I usually plant so many sweet potato slips that the deer kind of pass by my okra to eat sweet potato leaves instead, but this was a tough year for getting my slips to multiply, so they are in short supply. (The deer have kept the vines pruned back so short that the sweet potatoes can't do their job of filling in between my okra plants this year).
Post by heavyhitterokra on Jun 13, 2020 0:12:57 GMT -6
I finally got all of my rows planted with okra. I think I have 6 rows so far. Last year, I harvested 900 pounds of fresh, tender pods from only 3 1/2 rows. I've contracted to sell 30 pounds of seeds this Autumn if I can stand to harvest that many by hand. There are about 5,000 seeds per pound, so that's a pretty tall order to fill, just one pod at a time.
I've got more seeds soaking tonight, so hopefully, tomorrow evening, I can go back and finish planting the skips where the deer have been nabbing the seedlings at night. I had planned on saving one row for planting squash, but once I got started planting seeds every evening, I just kept on going until all the garden was taken up with okra instead.
Post by heavyhitterokra on Jun 16, 2020 2:52:05 GMT -6
It's not too much trouble to care for until it starts producing pods. From that point on, it's an everyday job just to keep up with it. I try to schedule it to where I am not harvesting the entire garden every time. It's much more manageable if I can pick through half or less of the rows each day. (Be aware that if you miss a day of picking during this schedule, you'll be needing to harvest these 'missed' pods and discard them at the next scheduled harvest.
Sometimes, because of funerals, sickness, or other unforeseen event, I end up tossing more pods than I harvest. Some of my harvests exceed 100 pounds daily, so that oftentimes means that I will be discarding more than 100 pounds of tough pods. (These make good hog feed, if you know anyone with hogs). Otherwise, they are pretty much just compost and lots of it.
Being how much of my field is for seed production, I'll be able to let a good portion of it start going to seed, once I've harvested enough okra to promote good branching. Okra is lazy; if you ever let a pod go to seed, the plant will just stop producing, so, you've got to trick it into thinking it is under heavy predator pressure, by harvesting the pods almost daily and by pruning quite a few of the lower leaves (not branches, just leaves).
Once it sees that its first few dozen pods are not going to make any seed, it will double and redouble its efforts to produce more and more pods, as the season progresses.
Post by Wendell D. on Jun 22, 2020 22:34:21 GMT -6
"Okra is lazy; if you ever let a pod go to seed, the plant will just stop producing, so, you've got to trick it into thinking it is under heavy predator pressure, by harvesting the pods almost daily and by pruning quite a few of the lower leaves (not branches, just leaves).
Once it sees that its first few dozen pods are not going to make any seed, it will double and redouble its efforts to produce more and more pods, as the season progresses."
That right there is great info to learn! Thank you for passing on you knowledge, Ron, from years of growing the okra.
I got my seed I ordered from you quickly, and thank you for the bonus seed.
Your paper towel germination method worked perfectlly. 100% germination.
Been getting so much rain in SW OK lately. 6 inches in last 6 days. Okra is planted and up and growing, though.
Post by heavyhitterokra on Jul 1, 2020 10:09:42 GMT -6
We haven't had any rain here in the Tahlequah area for a little over a month. The temperatures have been steadily in the 90s each day with unusually high winds. The Illinois River is running low, and the fishing here has been no good lately. If I didn't water my garden every evening, I think I'd be losing plants right now. Japanese Beetles and Flea Beetles are thick, and I saw my first squash bug this morning.
Count your blessings that you're still getting rain down in the Southwest part of the State.
I had a wholesale produce buyer come by this morning, looking for okra and tomatoes for sale. From what he was telling me, it doesn't sound like anyone in this part of the country has any fresh produce to sell. He said corn was going for $19.00 per bushel (about 40 to 50 cents per ear). Watermelons were going for $7.00 to $10.00 each, cantaloupes were selling for close to $5.00 each, okra and tomatoes are not available, and peppers are unheard of. He said even the berry producers got wiped out by the May 8th freeze. So it sounds like a person needs to thank their lucky stars if they end up with any kind of garden this year at all.
Thanks, for the update from down in the Lawton Area. It's always good to hear from other growers in the surrounding parts of the State. I'm really glad to hear someone has been getting rain. If everyone was in the same boat as we're in out here, things in the world of agriculture would be getting scary pretty fast.