Saving Okra Seed

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karstopography
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Saving Okra Seed

#1

Post: # 56502Unread post karstopography
Mon Nov 01, 2021 11:55 am

I haven’t tried saving seed for Okra before, but thought I would give it a shot. Still a lot of pods on the plants. They are very slow to dry out, they’ve been on the plants not growing for weeks, but seem to refuse to dry. I resorted to cutting a few pods and breaking the stems on the plants hasten drying.

Figured I’d let them get good and dry, then shake the seeds from the pods and put them in a plastic zip bag. Plants are hill country red and Jing orange. Both I believe are not hybrids, but since they were planted side by side, maybe I’ll have a hybrid now.
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Zone 9a/b, right on the line, in the heart of the Columbia bottomlands. Heat zone 9, Sunset Zone 28, annual rainfall 52”

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Shule
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Re: Saving Okra Seed

#2

Post: # 56510Unread post Shule
Mon Nov 01, 2021 4:48 pm

Wait--you don't have to let them dry on the plant? (That's what I've always done, but it prevents the harvest from being as good as it could be.) Cool.
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karstopography
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Re: Saving Okra Seed

#3

Post: # 56514Unread post karstopography
Mon Nov 01, 2021 5:16 pm

@Shule I’m trying to do just that, drying on the plant. Taking forever. Decided to hasten the process. Pods been out on plant fully grown for many weeks. Have to be mature.
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Zone 9a/b, right on the line, in the heart of the Columbia bottomlands. Heat zone 9, Sunset Zone 28, annual rainfall 52”

Vanman
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Re: Saving Okra Seed

#4

Post: # 56519Unread post Vanman
Mon Nov 01, 2021 6:30 pm

We saved okra seeds this year for the first time. Picked out the most productive plant and quit harvesting from it mid season. It was very dry last week. It was very easy to remove the seeds from the dry pods.
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JRinPA
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Re: Saving Okra Seed

#5

Post: # 56523Unread post JRinPA
Mon Nov 01, 2021 8:39 pm

What I do now is just tag a few pods from the strongest plants. Let them go to the end, then take the whole pods and put them in a paper bag. I don't open the pods until next year. The seeds should rattle inside when they are good to use. If they don't rattle, they were probably too wet when picked and have mold in them, or malformed seeds. Not even worth opening. If they rattle nicely, perfect seed.

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pepperhead212
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Re: Saving Okra Seed

#6

Post: # 56529Unread post pepperhead212
Mon Nov 01, 2021 9:53 pm

Okra can cross easily - think about all those bees deep in the flowers! I do keep the seeds for Little Lucy, since it is not on the market, and I've done it early - by accident, when leaving a pod on too long - then late, and it works both ways. The early one was good, because no Emeralds had flowered yet, so no crossing. I just left on the plant until it had stopped growing, and fairly dry, and it was quite a while, but it didn't stop flowering, which I was watching it closely for. For end of the season, I pulled all of the emeralds, then let the pods stay on a couple of the best plants, let them grow to maximum size, and almost dry. I'd pull the pods, and dry completely, and usually I'd have plenty of seeds in just one.
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Woodbury, NJ zone 6B-7

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brownrexx
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Re: Saving Okra Seed

#7

Post: # 56551Unread post brownrexx
Tue Nov 02, 2021 7:44 am

I pulled pods a couple of days ago. They were about half brown and in 2-3 days in the house they looked totally dry.

A friend in FL told me that as long as the seeds are black, they are mature.
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pondgardner
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Re: Saving Okra Seed

#8

Post: # 56552Unread post pondgardner
Tue Nov 02, 2021 8:26 am

pepperhead212 wrote: Mon Nov 01, 2021 9:53 pm Okra can cross easily - think about all those bees deep in the flowers! I do keep the seeds for Little Lucy, since it is not on the market, and I've done it early - by accident, when leaving a pod on too long - then late, and it works both ways. The early one was good, because no Emeralds had flowered yet, so no crossing. I just left on the plant until it had stopped growing, and fairly dry, and it was quite a while, but it didn't stop flowering, which I was watching it closely for. For end of the season, I pulled all of the emeralds, then let the pods stay on a couple of the best plants, let them grow to maximum size, and almost dry. I'd pull the pods, and dry completely, and usually I'd have plenty of seeds in just one.
@pepperhead212 The Little Lucy seed I acquired from you did very well here and that was the only one I grew. I stopped watering in September and we had a killing frost in early October that finished off the plants. I waited till last week to cut of the pods and they are drying further under the patio cover. So hopefully the seed will be viable for next year.
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worth1
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Re: Saving Okra Seed

#9

Post: # 56575Unread post worth1
Tue Nov 02, 2021 7:28 pm

I saved several pounds of seeds one year.
Sent at least a pound to a member of a forum for free some time ago.
I even went through the trouble of winnowing them like they did thousands of years ago.
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karstopography
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Re: Saving Okra Seed

#10

Post: # 56577Unread post karstopography
Tue Nov 02, 2021 7:46 pm

I really liked the Hill Country Red. I think I like wide okra. I thought I’d save a bunch of seed. Someone mentioned bees. I never saw a bee on the okra flowers this year. Last year, bees were milking aphids for honeydew on the Okra, but not visiting the flowers themselves. Honey Bees love honeydew from aphids, aka Forest Honey. Bee vomit from aphid poo. Yummy.

I’ve grown 4 okra types. I’ll rank them as follows:
1. Hill Country Red. Great Taste, good production with big and wide meaty pods, very good vigor, little bug issues, great in the heat, top notch overall.
2. Louisiana Green Velvet, Slightly less Great taste and more narrow pods, great production, great vigor, great in the heat, some aphid issues, very nice.
3. Clemson Spineless, Pretty good taste, good production, fairly vigorous, slightly less great in the heat, not bad overall
4. Jing Orange, good taste, but doesn’t keep well in fridge. So-so production, not as vigorous as the others, pretty pods and plants, heat doesn’t bother, compact plants. Might try a few again.
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Zone 9a/b, right on the line, in the heart of the Columbia bottomlands. Heat zone 9, Sunset Zone 28, annual rainfall 52”

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Amateurinawe
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Re: Saving Okra Seed

#11

Post: # 56582Unread post Amateurinawe
Wed Nov 03, 2021 1:59 am

@karstopography good to know about the clemson, I bought myself some for next year's planting. Never grown it before so here's hoping. No fear of too much heat here :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Saving Okra Seed

#12

Post: # 56591Unread post AZGardener
Wed Nov 03, 2021 8:18 am

I bagged a few blooms for seed saving. I then tied a brightly colored string onto the pod stem so I'd not lose track of which bloom/pod had been bagged. I let them dry on the plant before harvesting. I used those organza drawstring bags that are for party favors, worked great. :-)
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zeedman
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Re: Saving Okra Seed

#13

Post: # 58073Unread post zeedman
Wed Nov 24, 2021 9:33 pm

When saving okra seed, I've noticed that as long as the plants are not crowded, allowing a single pod per plant to ripen didn't seem to affect the yield.

It sure took me a long time to find a variety that would tolerate my climate though. The Clemson Spineless that I grew for years in California, would wilt & die just after flowering. Same with quite a few "good for the North" varieties. I read in the garden book "Cornucopia II" that Pentagreen (developed in Japan) was cool tolerant - and that is true. The seed is now in its 5th generation, and has adapted well. I still lose a few plants each year, but at least 2/3 go all summer... which allows me to pickle enough okra to last all year.
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