Do you grow okra in your garden? Saving okra seeds is an easy way to save money on gardening. Learn now to save okra seeds for planting next year!
Okra is a heat-loving vegetable that produces long, edible pods. When growing okra to eat you will harvest these pods when they are about 3-4 inches long and still very tender.
But if you leave the pods on the plant to continue growing you’ll get seeds that you can save for next year!
How to Save Okra Seeds for Next Year’s Garden
Okra is one of the easiest vegetables to save seeds from. All it really takes is time!
The best time to save okra seeds is near the end of the season when the plant is past it’s prime.
To save okra seeds, simply stop harvesting from the plant and allow the pods to continue to grow. They will grow very large and woody.
Eventually the okra seed pod will begin to dry out and turn brown.
Wait until the okra pod is completely dry and crunchy. You may see some splits in the side of the pod, revealing black seeds inside.
Cut the pods from the plant. Be gentle, you don’t want to break the pod or the seeds will spill.
Place the dry okra seed pod over a bowl or tray and split them open to remove the black seeds from inside the pod.
Allow the seeds to air dry on the the tray for a few days to ensure that they are completely dry before storing.
How to Store Saved Okra Seeds
Once you are sure your okra seeds are 100% dry, it’s time to store them for next season.
The best place to store your okra seeds is in a cool, dark location. You can store them in a glass jar or in a paper envelope.
Some people choose to store their seeds in the freezer. This is a good idea if your home is very humid.
Okra seeds can last up to 4 years, but quality degrades overtime. The it’s best to use seeds the next year and collect new ones each year for the next season.
Tips for Saving Okra Seeds Successfully
While saving okra seeds is one of the easiest things you’ll ever do, here are a couple of tips to ensure you are successful.
Use only heirloom and/or open pollinated seeds. You can save okra seeds from a hybrid variety, it will still grow, but you may end up with something different than the variety you began with. Hybrid plants have been bred and developed to have certain qualities or disease resistance.
These qualities don’t always carry over into the next generations of plants. Basically, the hybrid plants will lose their qualities over time. Again, you’ll still get okra from hybrid seeds, it just might not be the exactly like the plant you collected the seeds from.
Keep Your Varieties Separated. Again, if you want seeds that produce a plant that is true to it’s parent, you will need to keep any different varieties of okra you might grow separated.
Okra is pollinated by bees and other insects. Which means if you grow more than one variety of okra in your garden, chances are your collected seeds will be a hybrid. If you want a true to seed plant, consider growing only one type of okra per year.
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