19 May 2014

Hot-weather crops

Last year was my first attempt at growing sweet potatoes. They didn't do brilliantly, due to the damp conditions we had last summer, but there were enough small potatoes to keep over the winter. I chatted to a man at the Seedy Saturday event who specialises in sweet potatoes and he agreed that last year was a particularly bad one for this crop, which encouraged me to try again this year. About a month ago I covered my pathetic little 2013 crop with compost and watered them every so often. Quite a few of them sprouted and I put them out in the upper vegetable garden the other day. I covered them with fleece on the day that it was supposed to drop to nearly freezing, which was just as well, given the slight ground frost yesterday morning. They look fine so far.

Alongside them, I've put most of my okra seedlings. This is the first time I've grown okra, which I've always assumed (as I did with sweet potatoes) I couldn't grow in our climate. They are tender, but if we have a hot summer we should get a decent crop. Growing okra and sweet potatoes together is supposed to help both crops, so I will watch this experiment with interest. I've also put two of the okra seedlings (the variety is Clemson spineless)  in the greenhouse, to see if they do better there.

I had no idea what okra plants look like and was picturing something like a pepper plant in my mind - about one or two feet tall. It was a bit startling to read that they can get up to eight feet high!


Linda aka Crafty Gardener said...

I'm trying okra seeds for the first time as well, got the seeds free at Canada Blooms. Yesterday while at a garden centre, Prosperity Acres, she had some small seedlings of okra so I was able to see them first hand. It will be an interesting experiment.

Susie said...

Oh I wish you both luck with the Okra! I've grown Okra twice (once in garden, once in container) and none got bigger than 3 feet and only a few pods on each (mine were Annie Oakley). My current batch of 7 have been nibbled down to nothing in the garden so this year is not looking good.

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