Cold-hardy okra seeds wanted

One of the farmers in our new Farmer Support Program will be working on an okra landrace in Quebec. Does anyone here who grows okra in a cold climate have seeds to donate or sell for this project?

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Annapolis Seeds sells a “Northern Atlantic Okra” grex selected for growing to seed maturity in Atlantic Canada.

I’m starting work on Okra in Canada as well (Southern Ontario) so if you’ve found more resources I’d love to know.

Otherwise, I will hopefully have some seeds to share next year. I’m starting with a mix of Kandahar Pendi, the Annapolis seeds grex, and a few other early okra varieties. I plan to start indoors in Winstrip trays on a heating mat in the next couple weeks and transplant out after our last frost, but before the soil properly heats up. I am starting A LOT as past smaller experiments tell me 90+% of plants will sulk, die or limp along refusing to produce when exposed to cool soil.

I tried last year the Okra ultracross at EFN, but here as with other varieties it germinates but remains blocked at the 10cm 2 leaf stage for 4 months before finally freezing.
I can’t understand what doesn’t work with okra at home in France: unsuitable climate, too early sowing in fresh soil, too dry soil in summer, too strong temperature during summer…?

I have the end of the bag to finish but I think that if it still does not work after many tests I will abandon this project.

My guess is likely too early sowing in cool soil. Historically you may have had insufficiently hot summers, but definitely in the last few years thats not been a problem >_<

My plants in past years have all germinated well and grown fast under grow lights and even in trays outdoors during hardening off… but then I try to transplant soon after the last frost and most just…stop. I’ve seen other gardeners in the community garden transplant later in the season and the plants flourish.

Okra likes it HOT and seems to just …go dormant for weeks/sometimes forever whenever it encounters temperatures under 10C.

I just struggle to resist planting out asap :stuck_out_tongue:

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I also start indoors with additional light under lamp if necessary but I must transplant too early. If this germinates this year I would keep them longer in a cold greenhouse before putting in the garden.
According to what you are saying, he arrives here several times during the summer nights under 10°C although he is more than 30°C during the day. Perhaps that is also inappropriate.

Re: transplanting okra, I have never done it. We have always direct sown it some time after Mother’s day here in 6b. We can’t claim to be prolific growers and last year was our first putting some diversity in the mix.

Unfortunately, last year is also the first year we got flowers but no pods worth eating and no mature seed. We planted into a vole-ridden lawn in late July

I prefer to start indoors and transplant wherever possible. Personal preference

In the case of okra, while some of the fastest varieties might juuust produce mature pods from a direct seeding in July here, that leaves a very production season before temperatures start dipping back down below okra’s usual range in early September. Transplanting offers a 3-4 week harvest window extention.

Try transplanting a bunch of Collards mid summer so they have heat. Just look up your yearly growing season for your area and adjust start date/s accordingly.

I also plant out entire packets, even if from EFN. I know a lot will die on me and I use numbers to get the weak genetics out and the few strong genetics plants that survive to go to seed making seeds for season two. My season two germination and growth is much better than the original seed packet/s. I have this now with the second okra variety I’m trying to naturalize in my garden. Out of the entire packet direct seeded I have maybe three seedlings to show for it and maybe one or two will make it to seed production. But if they are like my first variety, season two my own seeds grew very well compared to season one from packet seeds.

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