Harvest Monday (September 3, 2012)

 

Okra confuses me.

Well, maybe not all okra, but heirloom okra.

Well, maybe not all heirloom okra, but the heirloom okra I planted.

Hill Country Red and White Velvet.  Mainly because I evidently don’t comprehend what I read (in the latter case, where it does say up to 8″ long) or my organics or newbieness or something played havoc (in the former case).

But my Hill Country Red ended up over six feet tall and the pods are 6 to 8 inches long before they start turning red, and I don’t understand where the “pick early and often” comes in.  Does that mean pick before they turn red?  Is there such a thing as picking too early so it’s not edible?  And the same goes with the White Velvet, because I guess I forgot or didn’t notice the “up to 8″ long” part because I kept trying to pick them small.

In case you’re wondering, I haven’t cooked any yet.  I am going to cook all I’ve picked tomorrow with tomatoes and onions and cajun seasoning, yum.

Something else that confuses me about okra.  Does it always grow a trunk like a tree?

And grow to eleven feet tall?

And keep growing?

Because that is what my White Velvet is doing.  The okra was so high we couldn’t reach it and I couldn’t get to the step ladder and then one morning we looked outside and it was all bent over from the weight of the okra so I got to pick it.  This was very gentlemanly of the okra, actually.  Which is why this week’s harvest image is of giant okra that is way longer than even the 8″ predicted.  Try 11″ – 13″ on for size, and now I don’t know how to tell whether they will cook well or should be composted.

Here is the Hill Country Red beside some “normal” okra.  Anybody else grow this kind?  Is this normal? What am I going to do with this?  Stuff it?

In other news, I’m starting the fall garden.  I carefully planted some carrot seeds into deep pots, carefully watered so they wouldn’t wash around, and hoped for the best.

Then the Resident Storm Chaser came along and helpfully added soil to the pots and mixed up the soil really well. “I didn’t know there was anything in it.”

One hissy-fit later… I broadcast carrot seeds again, MARKED THE POTS, and gently watered.  Again.

So.  We shall see how that works.  This is the only pot he didn’t mess with, because it’s the only one I found a marker for.  Here I am gently watering.

So I assume I’m supposed to keep these seeds moist until they sprout, which means checking during the day to make sure they don’t dry out, and if they are drying out, gently add more water?  Am I right?  [Also, we have no idea what is growing in the pot with the carrots.  Something either shallot, garlic or onion, since the Resident Storm Chaser remembers sticking something in there, but not what.  They are two different somethings.  The sprouting green stuff on the one on the left is rounder and a little greener and shorter than the one on the left, which is longer and thinner. Oh? And something else?  I also have no idea how to tell when it’s ready to harvest.]

I bought some mustard greens and soaked them in diluted fish solubles and planted in big pots, too.  I also have seeds but can’t find them.  Oh hush.

Finally, this little doggy will be moving when I find my seeds and plant the garden.  For now, he’s resting in the shade of the okra tree.

So… how do I tell if okra is going to be tender enough to cook?  Do I keep the pots with seeds in them moist until the seeds sprout, never letting them dry out?  Anything else I need to know (besides, you know, start paying attention, reading directions, all that kind of stuff that I obviously need remedial help with)?

See other gardens at Daphne’s!

PS My blog isn’t notifying when I respond to comments so if you comment, check back. I do respond!

 

 

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7 Comments

Filed under Garden, Monday Harvest, Organic, Square Foot Gardening

7 responses to “Harvest Monday (September 3, 2012)

  1. Wowow look at that garden. I miss my yard so much, I’ll garden vicariously through you for a while.

  2. I always thought that okra was supposed to be picked when it was small and not more than 3 inches or it would get woody, but then I haven’t seen one that grows 11 feet tall either 🙂

    • You’re right. It seems I chose two heirlooms that typically get larger than what we usually expect, and now that I’ve cooked some I see that they turned out well. But the ones that got giant were just too dry and tough. I will compost them.

  3. I have never grown okra as we are in the northwest and it’s a crop that just does not survive in our growing climate. So no help to offer you. But I must say that your cellphone tower of a plaant is pretty darn impressive!

    You are definitely on the right track with keeping your fall seeded crops damp while they germinate and emerge. I usually slow down the watering thereafter gradually until the plants are firmly established and on a regular watering schedule like the remainder of the established garden. I have a bed of the last fall direct sown crops going at the moment, and am watering them lightly every morning before work so that they stay moist. Wishing us both success in getting them off to a good start.

  4. My rule of thumb for overgrown veggies – if I can’t get a knife into it, I throw it out. Also toss if it offers serious resistance.

    Your onion things look a lot like chives – many small leaves. Garlic has flat leaves, not tubes, and when onions have that many leaves the leaves are much bigger. The foliage of all these is edible, give it a try.

  5. If you can slice the okra pod easily they are tender and good to eat. I read that you can “shell” the mature pods and cook the seeds like peas, I have not tried that yet.

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