June 9, 2012

The First Okra of the Season

Philippine Lady Finger okra
Bush green bean flowers blooming
Bed of 4 varieties of bush green beans
First hill of summer squash or zucchini
Second hill of summer or zucchini
Third hill of summer squash or zucchini
The first okra of the season has already formed which is amazing since it's only early June. The okra plants are still itty bitty less than a foot tall but about half of them are blooming and forming okra. Since the plants are so small it takes a few days for the okra to grow big enough to harvest, but once the plants get bigger they will be cranking out pods on a daily basis. This year I am growing smooth podded varieties which I have never grown before, Philippine Lady Finger and Stewart's Zeebest.

The okra are the first of the summer vegetables to produce, even before the bush green beans which have just started flowering. Soon the blooming blossoms will give way to fresh green beans. The first of the bush beans were planted just a month ago in the first week of May.

The summer squash and zucchini are coming along nicely, little male fruitless blossoms are starting to form which soon will give way to female blossoms and fruit. Six hills were planted of all different varieties with 4 plants per hill but one hill was accidently planted twice so has 8 plants. The hill with 8 plants were planted with two different varieties so I don't know which ones to thin out. Six hills of summer squash and zucchini would be considered an overzealous amount usually but this area of the US tends to have major problems growing this kind of vegetable because of the squash vine borers, Japanese beetles, cucumber beetles, wilt and mildew. Last year not a single summer squash or zucchini was harvested because the plants were so devastated by the squash vine borers.


gardenglut said...

Wow, that IS a lot of squash/zucchini. But all explained by the presence of your nasties. Let's hope that you get a good crop. Some struggle to cope with a zucchini crop running out of ideas for their bounty. Do you have good recipes for zucchinis?

Phuong said...

I make a curried noodle dish with carrot, onion, zucchini and summer squash, extra firm tofu, and fresh packaged udon noodles. Stir fry the vegetables with curry, fish sauce and a touch of sugar, then add the tofu and udon noodles to the pot as the last step where the moisture from the vegetables cooks the noodles very quickly. If the noodles or curry begin to stick to the pot, just add a little bit of water. This is my husband's favorite zucchini dish.

janelle said...

Beautiful Okra! How long do you let the Philippine Lady Finger Okra get before you harvest them? I am growing them for the first time this year. I'm making freezer pickles out of them!