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How to Preserve Okra Seeds

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How to Preserve Okra Seeds

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Overview

Okra seeds are one of the oldest heirloom seeds that can be preserved and collected. The large yellow blooms with a purple center are a part of many gardens in the South. Keeping the seed is relatively simple if you have an area in which to store the large okra pods. A minor drawback to collecting the okra is that the plant, and the vegetable, can be slightly irritating to sensitive skin. It may give the surface of your skin a minor itching sensation. Soapy water will generally take care of this mild itch, however.

Step 1

Select only the largest, most developed okra pods for preserving seeds. The pods can actually dry on the okra plant at the end of the season. The length of the pod will split open slightly, and the interior of the seedpod can be observed.

Step 2

Choose okra seed pods that reveal dark, black seeds inside. Use the scissors to cut the pod from the plant at the mating stem.

Step 3

Tie a small loop in the end of the masonry string. A good overall length for the string is approximately 4 feet long.

Step 4

Place an okra pod in the lower loop of the masonry string. Tighten the loop around the pod. Make another loop in the string. Insert another okra pod. Continue until you have enough pods for the seeds you want to preserve. In most cases, a large okra pod will hold over 50 seeds.

Step 5

Hang the filled masonry string in a warm, dry location, well away from rodents. Allow the pods to completely dry. This may take up to one month depending on local climate and the condition of the pods.

Step 6

Move the dried pods to a cool, dry area, again away from rodents. Do not allow moisture to collect on the pods as the seeds may prematurely germinate inside the pod or begin to mold.

Things You'll Need

  • Scissors
  • Masonry string
  • Warm dry area away from rodents

References

  • Clemson University: Heirloom Vegetables
  • University of Georgia: Pass Along Southern Seeds
  • University of Georgia: Maintaining Seed Purity
Keywords: heirloom seed, okra, collect seeds

About this Author

G. K. Bayne is a freelance writer, currently writing for Demand Studios where her expertise in back-to-basics, computers and electrical equipment are the basis of her body of work. Bayne began her writing career in 1975 and has written for Demand since 2007.