Tough Okara?? Help!!

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by southernbelle32, Jul 19, 2005.

  1. southernbelle32

    southernbelle32 Well-Known Member

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    I planted a row of okra this year and I keep cutting it from the plant when it's just shy of 4 inches most are very tender but some are so tough you can't get a knife into them! Does anyone know why this has happened. We have had plenty of rain this year so far!
     
  2. Nan

    Nan Well-Known Member

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    Did you change the variety that you planted? I have found that some grow longer before they get tough than others. The good ole Clemson Spineless grew well where I used to live. I will see how it does here. I haven't even seen blooms yet on mine! I am envious that you are getting okra already! I can't wait!
     

  3. southernbelle32

    southernbelle32 Well-Known Member

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    Nan thats what I planted the clemson spinless ones!! Maybe next year I'll try something differant
     
  4. Nan

    Nan Well-Known Member

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    Are they getting enough sun? I am grasping at straws here......don't know why they would be so tough...some of them anyway....but my plants that are over by the woods are not as large as the ones in the full sun all of the day. Wonder if too much or too little fertilizer would do something to them? I know there are lots of different types of okra....but I always seem to go back to clemson spineless...because that is usually what they have for sale. I would think that if it gets plenty of water and plenty of sunshine..and it grows quickly, that it will be less tough...but don't have a clue other than that?? Hang in there...and I will keep WAAAAITING on mine....still no blooms yet.
     
  5. Oxankle

    Oxankle Well-Known Member

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    Belle:

    I cannot tell you WHY it is tough, but I have a suggestion. Instead of cutting it, snap it off the stalk. Bend it at the stem and if it is still tender enough to eat it will snap off with an audible "pop". If it does not snap off, pull it off anyway and discard it so that the stalk continues to produce.

    My guess is that the tough ones are some that you missed the last time around. Mine grows pretty rapidly, so if I miss one it is likely to be 8 inches long the next time I pick.

    On the larger ones (not the 8-inchers) I bend the nose of the okra. If it bends and is soft that particular pod is likely to be tender enough to use. When they pod gets tough the nose gets hard and does not want to bend.

    Wife uses the small and very tender ones for cooked dishes and casseroles. The larger but still tender ones are cut and frozen for soups and winter use.
    Ox
     
  6. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Having been almost laughed off this board several years ago for NOT liking okra, I just can't get away from it! With so many varieties available commercially plus twice as many heirloom types, the secret is in knowing the exact size to pick. With the "generic" commercial types, one can easily get the feel for it by watching the size, color, and skin texture. That was always simple enough with the Clemson Spineless. In our community gardens, there are probably about 6 of 64 plots with okra. Two adjoin mine and the gardeners are Asian Indians. A third is an Armenian and another is a Ghanaian. A fifth okra grower is Hmong. And each is growing a different variety! Some are staying short and bushy, and others reaching for the sky! I'll be tending the Indian plots for several weeks next month when they return to India for holiday. I'll have to inform them both that I will need an education on exactly when to pick their okra at the peak quality.

    Martin
     
  7. Nan

    Nan Well-Known Member

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    I always pick everything from pointer finger sized on up...and then the stalks will still produce more. They are like cucs...the more you pick the more they grow. The little ones I pickle, the medium I fry, and the larger ones that are still tender enough to cut easily..I slice up and coat with corn meal to freeze for winter storage. If you can't get a knife to slice through it easily...then you can't eat the stuff! Oh...to pickle it I don't cut the stem end off or it gets slimy. Once in a while I get in the mood for the slimy boiled stuff...but mostly I eat it fried or pickled. Paquebot....have you ever tried it pickled? You liked my beet pickles.....you would probably like pickled okra too! Might just be a regional thing???? Northerners love their Bratwursts and Southerners love their okra~! heeheeheehee! :) ;) :)
     
  8. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    When we grew okra last year, I noticed that the plants sometimes slowed down. When they DID slow down, a half-formed pod might take extra long to reach eating size.

    I bet those tough pods are older than 2 days old, 4" or not. I had a few pods reach 4" in all of 6 days, and they WERE tough!