f of^ AGCRICUI
"/7-I Dover ARC Reseai
Okra is grc
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pods can cause
is an ideal crol
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addition of sal
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20 days. E.erge
poor below GOF <
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between 77 and
sum of the aver
harvest. For c
seeded okra and
Table 2 present
There were two:
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rURAL PESEARCI CENTER, IFAS, UnTIVESITY OF FLOPIDA
ch Report SV1974-1
.MANAGE INT OF OKRA FOR HIC" YIELDS
E. E. Albregts and C. M. Toward
rn throughout Florida and southeastern U.S. It does best
and thus is well adapted to Florida. Okra must be
1 times a week, and a well managed crop will have a season
abor to harvest okra is oftendifficult since plants and
irritation to unprotected skin, but the irritation can be
the use of rubber gloves and long sleeved clothing. Okra
for a family with labor available in the summer months.
obtain high yields a healthy, uniform stand of plants is
germination and emergence can be adversely affected by
tures, high salinity, and damning off diseases __In-o .rd---.
ffect of soil temperature and salinity on, rifinagipn, r- FD,
these two variables was initiated at .r-Ci1 inid-t'i:1
n in Table 1. The soil with lowest moisture stress (1.18)
while the soil labeled 1.75 atm was samewihab 4ry. e
moisture stress were caused by adding variou uns-
rtilizer). The larger numbers under the heading of "Total
indicate that less water was available to the plant. The
or the use of the dryer soil reduced A.bsrmen'ieefdntIda
temperature was 77F. The emergence rdte-~i-a-meaesure-
mination. High temperatures and moist, non-saline soil
nee. Similar results were obtained for plant weight after
nce was studied at other soil temperatures and was very
r above 95F, (not shown in Table 1). Therefore, for best
.rly growth the soil should be fairly moist, the seedling
ntact with fertilizer, and the soil temperature should be
of days between seeding and first harvest is a function of
with about 4600 degree-days required. Degree-days are the
Ige temperatures for all the days from seeding to first
:ntral Florida this normally calculates to 63 days for spring
56 days for late summer seeded okra.
;ive best yields when mulched with paper or polyethylene.
yield results for three trials conducted at NARC, Dover.
*ows per bed using the variety Clemson Spineless. Fully
isistently gave the highest yields. The beds should be 8
retard fertilizer leaching), the fertilizer should be
bed center and the mulch applied. Sufficient irrigation
to keep the bed and fertilizer band moist.
if fertilizer should one use? If high yields are to be
ates of fertilizer should be used. With a mulched bed at
tcre of a 10-10-10 fertilizer should be applied. Higher
higher yields (Tables 2 and 3). On unmulched beds, fertilizer
:essed often in moderate amounts, depending on rainfall, soil
of growth. On a sandy soil, fertilizer may need to be
:her week. Plants suffering from low fertility will lose
their leaves and the remaining leaves will be chlorotic.
F One of the best ways to increase yields of okra is to have dense stands.
Table 3 gives the results of two density trials without mulch. The most dense
plantings gave the highest yields, i.e., two rows per bed and one inch in the row
spacing. There is considerable competition here among plants, and moisture and
fertility need to be kept high. The two row bed was not really superior to the one
row bed in these tria s. Calculations indicated that increased yield was the result
of plant density not number of rows per bed. Table 4 gives the yield results of a
density trial using mulched beds and high fertility (4000 lbs/acre of 10-10-10).
Plants were in hills ;ix inches apart with two rows per bed. There were 3, 6, and
12 plants per hill gi ing a plant spacing in each row of one-half, one, and three
inches. In the plots which had 12 plants per hill (1/2 :), competition was severe.
About one-half of the plants in each hill were stunted and production from the
stunted plants was ni A few plants were stunted in the plots with 6 plants per
hill (1'), but this was not general. It would appear that for optimum yields there
should be three to si: plants per hill with two rous per bed. In addition to
increasing yield with increasing density, the pod size is also reduced. Pods were
about one gram smaller wheA six plants were planted per hill versus three plants per
hill. The market prefers the smaller pod.
Okra is very sus eptible to rootlnot nematode injury. Control can be
accomplished by soil umigation or by using fumigated strawberry and vegetable beds
at the end of these c op's season provided they are relatively free of nematodes.
Be sure to consul t your produce buyer before seeding your okra. lHe will inform
you of the variety wh ch he will handle as well as the pod quality needed for best
prices. Further info nation on harvesting, diseases, cultivars, and insects is
available in the Okra Production Guide, Circular 175A.
In summary, to g ow high yielding okra one should:
1. Plant in nematode free soil.
2. Use a cultivar which the market prefers.
3. Use a well fertilized mulched bed, or with an unmulched bed keep plants
growing and producing with timely fertilizer applications.
4. Plant when soil temperature is optimum for germination, i.e., from 77-86F.
5. Plant dense stands and irrigate to keep soil moist (preferably in the
evenings). Two rows per bed with one inch in the row spacing will give
the best yields if the crop is well managed.
Percent emergence, emergence rate, and fresh plant weight of Clemson
Spineless okra aftar 20 days at three temperatures and five levels of moisture.
Total moisture stress (Atm)I
Temperature 1.18 1.75 2.41 4.33 5.90 Mean
F Percent emergence
68 94.00 95.00 79.00 93.00 78.00 88.00
77 96.00 83.00 91.00 93.00 n4.00 91.00
86 98.00 94.00 95.00 00.00 50.00 85.00
Mean 96.00 01.00 88.00 92.00 74.00
68 3.16 1.68 1.55 1.77 0.70 1.77
77 4.09 2.33 2.55 2.63 1.7A 2.67
86 5.57 4.07 3.68 2.40 1.20 3.38
Mean 4.27 2.96 2.59 2.26 1.21
Average weight per plant in gram3
68 0.40 0.20 0.33 0.28 0.21 0.30
77 0.49 0.37 0.40 0.30 0.29 0.37
86 0.47 0.39 0.39 0.35 0.08 0.34
Hean 0.45 0.35 0.37 0.31 0.19
a-The ------ larger------t---e--nu---be-
The larger the number
The larger the number
3Average fresh weight
Table 2. 1
r the less moisture available to the seedling.
r the earlier the seedling emerged.
s of seedlings 20 days after seeding.
Efect of mulch and fertility on marketable yield of
Spineless okra for 1971 and 1972.
Marketable yield (bu/acre)
Spring Fall Spring
Treatment 1971 1971 1972
Unmulched 119 220 160
Strip 198 205 106
Full Bed 377 333 199
Low 210 242 151
High 246 263 160
Table 3. Effect
yield with st
of fertility and plant density on Clenson Spineless okra
rip mulch beds.
'" 2" "
20001 112 112 ,14
Fertilizer was 10-10-10
Table 4. Effect of
4lant density on yield of four cultivarc of okra with fully
Plant spacing Cultivarn
in the rowI meraid Perkins Cle-son .f Avera_
1/2' 180 161. 132 165 160
1" 174 159 156 131 155
3" 144 125 147 101 129
Average 166 148 145 133
1/2" 585 494 524 574 544
1" 569 560 600 558 572
3" 543 575 620 557 574
Average 566 543 581 563
1Planted in hills 6"
on two row beds.
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not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
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site maintained by the Florida
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