March 21, 2012

Okra Has Germinated and Hardening Off Seedlings

Very tall three day old Philippine Lady Finger okra
The Philippine Lady Finger okra was the first to sprout but I can see one Stewart's Zeebest okra starting to break through the surface of the soil. The okra seedlings are beautiful and otherworldly with their strangely delicate pale green crumpled first leaves. At only three days old the okra seedlings are larger than most vegetable seedlings with their thick stems and enormous leaves. They have already outgrown their peat pellets with rapacious seeking roots that will need to be repotted in the next day or so.

I am a bit nervous about putting the plants outside to start the hardening process to get them strong enough to be planted out, since the storm that beat up the tomato seedlings. Ah well. It must be done so the shuffling in and out of trays of plants in styrofoam cups will begin. The plan was to set them out in the soft morning light for a few hours each day, slowly lengthening the time until they can bare the harsh afternoon sun. It ended up being a good day to start hardening off the little seedlings with the sky grey and overcast. Although it was quite breezy outside which can be hard on the stems and drying to the plants so I went ahead and watered them in.

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