On this week’s episode, Greg and Travis discuss all things okra. They talk about their favorite varieties of okra based on several trials that they’ve conducted over the years. Although many people only grow the Clemson Spineless variety because it’s probably the most available, there are many other varieties that provide increased productivity and better texture. Chris Smith, who is with Sow True Seeds out of Asheville, NC, has around 130 varieties of okra that he has collected over the years. He’s currently has a blog and is working on a book called “In Defense of Okra” where he will elaborate on those varieties and everything okra. Okra is a crop that requires very little maintenance in the vegetable garden. It is not a heavy feeder, and so it doesn’t require much water or fertilizer relative to crops like corn or onions. Greg and Travis recommend doing several succession plantings of okra through the growing season. They transplant the okra in spring, then direct seed several other successions starting in May and throughout the summer to have the best harvests.
On the Show & Tell segment this week, Greg has just picked a bowl of fresh blackberries from his thornless blackberry patch. These blackberries are extremely prolific and great to eat raw, in smoothies or to make delicious blackberry cobbler. They also talk about the cucumber varieties they have growing this year. They grow a “pickle” variety and a “slicer” variety each year. The pickle variety they’re growing this year is called Max Pack, which is an F1 hybrid selected for productivity. The slicer variety they’re growing is called Olympian, which they have grown for several years and prefer it for it’s uniformity and excellent production. Because both varieties are hybrids, they can grow them on the same row without having to worry about cross-pollination.
On the Q & A segment, they answer questions about using Sevin Dust, a popular insecticide that can have a negative impact on pollinators and beneficial insects. They also answer a question about storing potatoes and other vegetables, and how washing these vegetables can affect their shelf life.