Query for Dan Gill: I purchased some okra transplants in giant peat pots for 3 every. The vegetation are about eight inches tall. There are about 5 vegetation in a number of the pots, and I wish to know if they are often separated after which transplanted. Or, ought to I simply skinny them by selecting the healthiest one and eradicating the others? –Phil Jensen
Reply: Sadly, many growers plant a number of seeds in pots to ensure each pot finally ends up with a plant rising in it. As soon as the seeds come up, nevertheless, all however one must be pinched off by the grower. That is typically not completed, nevertheless, possible as a result of labor prices and the truth that a small pot with a number of seedlings in it appears to be like fuller — and extra engaging to the customer — than a pot with only one. That is too dangerous, as a result of a cluster of seedlings will crowd and compete with one another and sometimes carry out extra poorly in the long term. So, ideally it is best to pinch off the additional seedlings within the pot and go away simply the strongest. That manner, the remaining younger plant’s roots are undisturbed and it’ll take off and develop quicker while you plant it within the backyard. Nonetheless, at three a pop that is so much to pay for one seedling, and dividing is feasible. Take away the clump of vegetation from the pot and gently tease the seedlings aside and pot them up in separate small pots (deal with them by their leaves or very gently by the stem; don’t crush or break the stem). Place them in a shady space for 3 or 4 days to recover from the transplant shock, then transfer them to a spot that will get solely morning solar for 3 or 4 days and eventually right into a sunny spot for 3 or 4 days (water as wanted). After that, plant the transplants spaced one foot aside within the backyard. Dividing them will initially decelerate progress because the seedlings will maintain some root harm when they’re separated. However, younger vegetation get better rapidly and that is nonetheless fairly early in okra season — so it is best to get away with it.
Dan Gill is a horticulturist with the LSU AgCenter. Electronic mail inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org or add them to the remark part under. Comply with his tales at www.nola.com/homegarden, on Fb and @nolahomegardenon Instagram.