Okra Seed Saving

by - July 31, 2010

Saving okra seeds is as simple as letting an okra pod grow until it has dried on the plant, breaking it open and pouring out the seeds. Seeds that are ready are greenish-black and hard. Seeds that are not ready are soft and white. However, if you are growing more than one kind or have neighbors that are growing a different breed, cross-pollination is very likely. Cross-pollination can lead to pods whose seeds won't be the same as the parent plant. So if you have a fun variety like my red okra that you want keep true, you must keep the bugs out. I was reading that the minimum distance between okra crops to prevent cross-pollination is about a mile.

Both of my neighbors grow okra, and I grew two breeds this summer. Just this morning I watched as one plump bumblebee flew from a flower on my red okra to a flower on my green okra before making his way over to my neighbor's yard. I had already saved and packaged seeds before I learned this important information, so I started the process over with hand-pollination.

  1. I isolated flowers that were about to open with cut up pantyhose.
  2. As those opened, I used a small paintbrush and swiveled it around in the flower to move pollen from the stamen to the stigma.
  3. I recovered the flowers with the pantyhose and tied them off with twine.
  4. Once the flower was closed, I removed the pantyhose and tied the twine to the base of the flower to mark the pod so I would not harvest it for eating.
This morning I went out around 8:00a and the flowers were just beginning to open. They really are beautiful flowers.


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2 comments

  1. that is so smart. I'm guessing you can do that with tom's as well?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sorry for my bad english. Thank you so much for your good post. Your post helped me in my college assignment, If you can provide me more details please email me.

    ReplyDelete

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