Okra is a popular vegetable crop in many parts of the world. It’s an easy-to-grow plant that produces an abundance of edible pods. Okra also offers numerous health benefits, making it a great addition to any diet. The seeds from okra can be harvested and stored for later use.
When to Harvest Okra Seeds?
If you strictly follow the recommendations on agricultural technology of culture, the cultivation of okra will end with the collection of a rich harvest. Early ripening varieties of okra are covered with flowers already at the age of 2 months, and 5 days after that the first bright green pods can be removed from them. In the southern regions of the country, okra is harvested daily, and in regions with a temperate climate – it is once every 3-5 days. You can not be late with the terms of collection: overripe pods become hard and rough, and they are unsuitable for food. The stems and leaves of okra are covered with small bristles that can cause skin irritation. Therefore, you need to harvest carefully, trying not to touch the shoots. Cut the pods with a sharp knife. In-room conditions, they can lie for up to 10 days if placed in a dry cardboard box, making holes in it for ventilation. It is much more convenient to store the fruits in the refrigerator, where they will stay fresh longer. To obtain okra seeds, the pods are left on the plant until fully ripe. Okra bears fruit until autumn and frost come.
How to Harvest Okra Seeds?
Okra seeds can be harvested when the pods have turned brown and dried out. Before harvesting the okra, you should cut the pods away from the plants before they split open. This prevents any of the seeds from being exposed to moisture or bacteria that could damage them. When handling okra, it is important to be careful and wear protective clothing and gloves as the pods may have thorns that can irritate your skin.
Once you have harvested the okra, it should be brought inside and left in a dry place until ready to use. The next step is to prepare the okra for storage. The pods should be cut open if not already split, exposing the seeds inside. The seeds should be carefully removed from the pods by hand. It is important to remove all of the seedlings as well, as they will not store properly.
Things You Will Need
- Okra pods
- Large tray or baking sheet
- Airtight container
Seed Preparation for Storage
Once the okra seeds are completely dry, they should be separated from the chaff and any other material that may have come loose in the harvesting process. This can be done by placing them into a sieve or strainer, shaking gently to remove any debris, and then transferring them onto a large tray or baking sheet.
It is important that the okra is completely dry before it is transferred into an airtight container. This will help prevent the seeds from becoming moldy or spoiling.
Storage Conditions and Terms
When storing okra seeds, it is important to keep them in a cool and dry environment. This will help prevent the seeds from becoming moldy or spoiling. It is also recommended that okra seeds be stored in an airtight container and placed in a dark area away from direct sunlight. The optimum temperature for storing okra seeds should be between 50°F and 54°F (10°C and 12°C).
Okra seeds can last for up to 3 years when stored properly. However, it is important to check the okra seeds regularly to ensure they are still viable. If any of the okra seeds look discolored or appear to be deteriorating, then they should be discarded.