It’s history. Freezing temps have terminated any future okra cuttings. I cut the last of the crop last week.
Growing okra this far north is aggravating. You can plant it after all danger of frost is past, but the darned stuff refuses to poke it sprouty little head out of the dirt until it’s hot. I mean really hot. Then, if conditions are just right, it might grow. But not until it’s good and ready.
Then hail can come along and pound the ever-lovin’ stuffin’ out of the cranky little plants. Which it did this summer. And then you get to start all over. And that means you follow the rigid guidelines I was taught by my parents.
Soak the okra seeds overnight so they’ll sprout faster.
Wait until it’s hot. Otherwise those soggy little seeds will just sit there.
Don’t plant them too close. Too close means no blooms.
Okra likes it hot, not crowded and not soggy.
And don’t even think about, if you’re fortunate enough to have okra to cut/pick, going to the okra rows unprotected! I can guarantee itchy hands and arms and eventually, a quick shower followed by a dose of baking soda or Caladryl to stop the scratching. No ma’am. You put on LONG sleeves, even if it IS 110 outside. And thick gloves for your hands. I am not kidding. I know these things. Seriously.
Then, you can fry the little pods. Or pickle them. But don’t stew them. Ick. Like Jerry Clower used to say, “I ate so much okra when I was a kid, my socks wouldn’t stay up.” Slimy stuff, it is.
Just as you are ready to cut your 3rd or 4th picking, it gets cold. The okra will pretty much stop growing after that. It comes to a screeching, stop-on-a-dime halt and will…Just Sit There. Literally.
Why do I mess with planting okra, you might be wondering? I don’t know. I think it may be genetic. I MUST have okra to fry each summer. It’s in my blood. It drives me crazy trying to keep it happy. But there you have it. I. Love. Okra.