All you Great Pumpkin Admirers will have to look up to the latest giant vegetable on display here at Veggie Gardening Tips… it’s a monster of an okra plant grown by Terry Stout in Kiln, Mississippi.
My curiosity was piqued when Terry recently left the following comment on a previous blog entry related to growing okra in the home garden:
Ever Hear the One about the Nine Foot Okra Plant?
“I live on the gulf coast and have three okra plants growing. One of my plants has decided to take over the garden and is now 8 ½ feet tall and still growing. I measured the base of the stalk and it is 10 ½ inches. I am truly amazed and get okra everyday. Have you heard of any bigger?”
That sounded pretty impressive and my response was NO, I have never grown or even seen an okra plant that reached such monstrous proportions. Well, I have now… Terry was kind enough to share a few photos of this whopper of an okra plant and I found myself just as amazed by the size and appearance of it.
While I was halfway expecting to see a tall, spindly okra plant that could barely hold itself upright, I was pretty surprised to discover the healthy, bushy, and muscular plant that is pictured in the photos.
Growing Giant Okra Plants in the Home Garden
Various vegetable seed catalogs list a couple of heirloom okra varieties such as Cow Horn and Bowling Red okra that are reported to reach heights of seven to eight feet. But in this case the okra is from the Clemson Spineless variety that normally only grows to a maximum of four to six feet tall.
Terry has three okra plants growing in the garden but only one of them has grown into a giant. More importantly, this remarkable okra plant has been averaging eight to ten harvested okra pods each and every day! No special care was given to the plant and this is the first time that Terry has grown an okra plant like this one.
For those of you interested in growing giant okra plants of your own, I don’t have many clues as to the cultivation secrets for this monster okra plant. I’m sure that fertile soil and the long, warm summers in Mississippi had to help, but this looks like an extraordinary okra plant even for a southern climate.
So whatever you do Terry, be sure that you allow a few of those okra pods to mature on the plant and then dry them for seed. Who knows, you may have stumbled upon a freak genetic prize that is very worthy of preserving and maintaining!
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