Jersey Emerald Landrace Okra
Improvement status: Landrace
Seeds per packet: ~70
Germination tested 12/2018: 85%
Origin: Elmer, New Jersey
EFN EXCLUSIVE. 'Emerald' is a highly productive and early variety developed around 1950 by the Campbell's Soup Company, most likely not far from where we farm in southern NJ (the seeds we got were descended from those donated by the company to the USDA in 1961). It has become a popular variety across the country and remains commonly available. Our "landrace" strain started with 'Emerald' a few years ago, but was grown alongside a variety of other heirloom okras. The result is a highly diverse population with many plants featuring the best traits of the original 'Emerald,' but also many other traits (red coloration, thicker pods, etc). Okra is challenging for many gardeners, so we hope the diversity of this new landrace will help gardeners who struggle with okra to find something that works for them. Like our 'Kandahari Pendi' okra, this is a great variety for beginning plant breeders: simply save seeds from your best plants each year, and in a few years you'll have your own new variety!
GROWING TIPS: Direct seed in late May or early June after things have warmed up a bit. Or transplant healthy plant starts around this time. Plants should end up 8-18 inches apart.
Photo credit: Rob Cardillo.