Okra Hill Country Red
Okra Hill Country Red
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Okra Hill Country Red

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Heirloom Hill Country Red okra is a variety of okra that is named after the Hill Country region of Texas, where it is believed to have originated. It is a medium-sized, reddish-brown okra with a slightly ribbed texture and a mild, slightly sweet flavor. The pods are typically harvested when they are about 3-5 inches in length and are often used in dishes such as gumbo, fried okra, and stewed okra. Hill Country Red okra is known for its high yields and is prized for its tender, flavorful pods. It is also a popular choice for pickling.  

Common Okra Growing Problems

  • Seeds did not germinate:Soil is not warm enough for germination; soil temp must be at least 70°F for okra to germinate. Pre-soak seeds in water for 24 hours before sowing.
  • Plant flowers but pods do not form:Temperature fluctuations can interfere with pollinations. Pollination will be poor if temperatures rise above 90 °F or drop below 55 °F. Too little light, water stress, and excess nitrogen also inhibit pod formation.
  • Spots on leaves; spot become circular with gray centers.Leaf spot is a fungus disease. Plant resistant varieties. Rotate crops. Keep garden free of plant debris. Plant in well-drained soil.
  • Black water-soaked blotches on stems and leaves:Anthracnose is a fungus disease that spreads in high humidity & rainfall. Leaves may wither and fall. Plant may die back. Remove & discard infected plants. Avoid working in garden when it is wet which can result in spread of spores.
  • Plants stunted, leaves yellow, roots decayed:Fusarium root or stem rot is a fungal disease that favors warm soil. Remove infected plants and plant debris that harbor fungus. Rotate crops. Rotate crops regularly. Solarize the soil in late spring or summer.
  • Leaves turn yellow and then brown from the bottom up; plant loses vigor:Root knot nematode is a microscopic eelworm that attacks roots. Rotate crops. Remove old plant debris from garden.
  • Yellow leaves and curled, shiny specks on leaves: Aphids are tiny, oval, and yellowish to greenish pear-shaped insects that colonize on the undersides of leaves. They leave behind sticky excrement called honeydew which can turn into a black sooty mold. Use insecticidal soap.
  • Yellow leaves; tiny white winged insects around plants.Whiteflies will congregate on the undersides of leaves and fly up when disturbed. Remove infested leaves & the whole plant if infestation is serious.
  • Holes in pods.Corn earworm is a brown-headed caterpillar with lengthwise stripes to 2 inches long; the adult is a night-flying moth with brownish or olive wings and bright green eyes. The worm will tunnel into pods. Handpick caterpillars and destroy.
  • Deformed pods.Southern green stink bug is a light green bug to ½-inch long. Bug sucks sap from leaves and pods causing them to become twisted and deformed. Spray with insecticidal soap.
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