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Alabama Red Okra

Abelmoschus esculentus

Grown by: SeedEd Farm in Alexandria, VA

  • $5.00

From our growers at SeedEd:

Massive okra plant with beautiful red-tipped, abundant pods. These okra grow to 5-7 foot tall plants and make stout, 4 inch reddish-green pods. We found the crispy, young pods make for great meals fresh, fried, or in your favorite gumbo recipe. Grown with love on compost amended soil in the humid Virginia summer.

This abundant and hardy seed was brought over during the middle passage by enslaved Africans, and the seed variety was chosen for its Alabama roots shared with one of our farmers. The big leaves and large plant make for great ground cover to help keep the soil cool and with fewer weeds. In the fall, a cover crop of oats was planted with the Okra and continued to thrive. We recommend deep scarification of these seeds to increase germination rate.

Days to maturity: 50-60

Seeds per pack: 50

Germination rate: 75% on 07/14/2023

Planting / harvesting notes

Sow seeds of this heat-loving plant indoors 2-3 weeks before transplanting, which should happen several weeks after the last frost, or when soil temperatures stay above 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Our grower recommends deep scarification (sanding or nicking the tough seed coat) of these seeds to increase germination rate. Soak seeds overnight for quicker germination, and plant 3/4 inches deep. Space 18 inches in rows 12-18 inches apart. Beds should be at least 3 feet apart as plants tend to bush out widely. Okra likes fertile, well-drained soil with added compost.

Seed keeping notes

Okra is insect pollinated. Isolate different okra varieties by at least 1/8th of a mile (or up to 1/2 mile if you are truly concerned about seed purity) to avoid unwanted cross pollination. Allow pods to grow large and turn brown and woody (your neighbors may look at you funny). When you can hear the seeds rattle, harvest the pod and allow it to dry further on trays in the sun in a dry place. Remove seeds and use breath, wind, or fans to remove bits of chaff.


This product is part of the African Diaspora Collection.

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