Sea Island Red Okra
Sea Island Red is a beautiful and productive okra with slender, dark red pods that remain tender to 5 inches long. This variety comes from the Gullah Geechee community of the Georgia Sea Islands. Chris Smith, author of The Whole Okra: a Seed to Stem Celebration received this variety from a Gullah Geechee matriarch seed keeper and shared them with our friend and grower Amirah Mitchell of Sistah Seeds.
Days to maturity: 50-60
Seeds per pack: 60
Germination rate: 95% on 02/02/2023
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. 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.