Improved Okras?

mckemie at austinfarm.org mckemie at austinfarm.org
Sat Dec 8 17:14:09 EST 2001


On Sat, Dec 08, 2001 at 01:17:12PM -0600, Jim and Julie Vaughn wrote:
> We are taking a wet, wet day to start looking at seed catalogs for next
> year.  Has anyone grown the "improved" okra varieties such as Annie
> Oakley, Cajun Delight, or North and South.  Is the extra production
> really there over Clemson Spineless to pay for the extra cost of seed? 
> Also what is the customer response to okra that looks slightly darker and
> different from Clemson?  

It's cold, rainy day here, too.  I just got back from a farmers market 
where I paid a $15 stall fee and brought home $32. :-(

Fellow growers have told me that Cajun Delight is worth the money; that 
it produces early and more heavily than open pollinated varieties.  
However, for the past five or more years I have been satisfied with 
Emerald Velvet and have not tried any hybrid varieties.  When I started 
growing Emerald Velvet, I was told by a fellow grower that "the market 
demands Clemson".  I have not found that to be true, though I have had a 
great deal of difficulty getting acceptance for Big 'Un.

This past season, my Emerald Velvet started producing sometime in June 
and was picked daily until last week when we had a freeze. That would 
be over five months of continuous harvest from one planting.   Other 
folks, with Cajun Delight, did not see that long a harvest period.  I 
don't know about overall production, on about an acre of okra, we 
peaked at more than 3bu a day and were down to 1bu or less near the 
end.  I estimate average production to be 1.5 to 2 bu per acre per day 
or a total of 200-300bu.

As soon as the okra plants get up around shoulder high, I try to start 
cutting back a small portion of it with each picking.  If you let it 
all get to un-manageable size at the same time, you will be without 
okra for weeks after you cut it back.

-- 
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