Okra

Glad I didn't get far enough with my gardening Memorial day weekend to get the okra sown because it's turned cool and wet again. So I need to wait for the soil to warm back up.
I've grown okra up here once before (Minnesota, zone 4); I don't remember if it was Emerald or Clemson Spineless but it grew over 7 feet tall by the end of the season but didn't bear very much. This time I bought a hybrid variety "North & South" that's supposed to be cool weather tolerant. But I doubt it will *sprout* in cold wet soil. I may germinate them in the house on some wet paper towels then plant them when they have little 1/8" long roots sticking out.
If I pinch the tops back, will they branch out from the base and yield heavier? Or will that just set them back a couple of weeks that I don't have? My mom sows her okra in the ground but then transplants it (I know okra doesn't like to be transplanted) and she says it makes the plants branch. Her okra plants always look like upside-down candelabras. But that's in S.E. Texas where the growing season is about 300 days, whereas up here it's closer to 100.
Bob
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    You might want to start with the varieties suggested here: http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/Horticulture/DG1425.html#Okra , although, at 56 days, it surely seems that Clemson Spineless ought to do. Does your okra location get full sun all day? Except for greater nutrient requirements, okra grows like hibiscus and, like most, demands hours of intense sunlight in order to bloom well. It is far better suited to more southern latitudes and, despite longer day length, yours may simply not be getting enough solar energy, especially if it spends any portion of its days in shade. One symptom of light deprivation is leaves that appear to be "too green" and few blossoms.     I garden under far different conditions than yours and scatter Clemson Spineless amongst other moderate-to-heavy feeders as soon as soil temp is right. I never have topped okra; Clemson spineless branches from axillary buds naturally and frequently grows tall enough, when pampered in a home garden, to require a stepladder for late-season harvesting.
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the Balvenieman
USDA zone 9b, peninsular Florida, U.S.A.
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snipped-for-privacy@invalid.net wrote:

The okra will get full sun; it's only shaded to the north, and north doesn't matter. We've had cold rains here all week, and the temps are getting into the low 50's at night. (hard to believe it was so hot and muggy a couple of weeks ago) So I don't know when the ground will be warm enough to plant the okra.
Tomatoes have outgrown their purple leaves, and I have purslane weeds and sunfowers and volunteer tomatoes coming up, so it's almost getting warm ;)
Bob
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I plant Purslane rich in omega 3 I gather.
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Bill S. Jersey USA zone 5 shade garden
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I put down clear plastic, cut an X into it and planted my peppers and tomatoes through it. I'd fold back the corners of the plastic, dig a 4" x4" hole and plant. Afterwards, I put more dirt or potting around the plant to seal the hole so that warm air couldn't get out. When most of the garden soil was running 60F, these beds were running 82F, and 70F, respectively.

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- Billy
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the
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    I leave the native purslane AKA "rose moss/moss rose" that volunteers in my raised beds. It thrive only in those spots where sunlight penetrates and any of _that_ is too much so the purslane is a living mulch which also retrieves nutrients that might otherwise be lost. Have tomato volunteers in kitchen compost but nothing will come of them; except compost, of course!
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snipped-for-privacy@invalid.net wrote:

The purslane I have doesn't seem to bloom, although obviously it does because it gets seedy. I see flower buds and seed pods but no blooms, so they must be tiny and yellow-green. I pull some of the purslane if it gets in the way, but mostly i leave it. I eat some of it because it's supposed to be really healthful, and it doesn't taste objectionable -- but it's not very good.
I transplanted one of the volunteer tomatoes (probably a "Porter" variety) and gave it a drink of liquid fertilizer and put a cage around it. The others, I'll delay pulling them up in case on of my "real" tomato plants dies, so I'll have a spare. It will probably catch up with the ones I set out last week. (Stupice and Roma. The Better Boys were set out 2 1/2 weeks ago during a hot spell and are growing pretty good.)
Bob
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says...

The wild purslane around here has bright yellow flowers that are so tiny you don't see them unless you are looking right at them. Magnification helps.
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