Tororo-Aoi Growth

The tororo-aoi seedlings I showed in a previous post have been in the ground for a few weeks now, and, except for the one destroyed by forces unknown, all have grown several true leaves and are 10-15cm (4-6″) tall.

I planted them in the front garden of our house, which gets full sun exposure. The soil also gets good drainage due to the adjacent retaining wall and I thought I would have to water them constantly, but we’ve had regular rain most of the spring. I only watered them a few times during one dry week.

I also direct-seeded a few more plants (including a replacement for the destroyed one) and was happy to see the seeds sprout within about 4 or 5 days. I used the seeds from Richter’s which had sprouted well indoors.

The seeds I purchased through AliExpress did not sprout at all indoors, but to give them one last chance I planted a few in this same bed yesterday. I should be able to see within a week if they are at all viable.

One side of our front garden. The three large plants are sunflowers.

One side of our front garden. The three large plants are sunflowers. The four transplanted tororo-aoi plants are visible just a bit closer to the retaining wall, and three of the new seedlings are visible, one halfway between the nearer sunflowers, one in the shade of the middle sunflower, and one replacement for the lost transplant at the far end.

Seen from the side

From the side, you can see four of the new seedlings and a clear view of two transplants, with the other two hiding behind the sunflower leaves.

2 comments on “Tororo-Aoi Growth
  1. Teri power says:

    I am thinking of okra as a formation aid. I’m in Wisconsin and on a mission to only use materials at hand or in my surroundings. While okra is not really a northern Midwest native it will grow here. Not sure if tororo Aoi fits that categori or not. Any thoughts or experience in this?

    • kpmartin says:

      My understanding is that the tororo-aoi needs a fairly long hot growing season. Of course, since you’re growing it for the roots, there is no magic “ripening” point that would be lost in a shorter season, you would just get smaller roots. On the other hand, if you’re growing okra for this you might want the pods (although I would encourage you to grow at least on plant for the roots to see what the slime yield is) so a too-short season could have a heavy impact on your harvest.

      We’re at about 43 degrees North here, about the same as Madison and Milwaukee, so if I managed to grow tororo-aoi once, you should be able to as well if you’re in that area.

      I suggest removing the flowers as they bloom (they’re quite pretty), or even removing the flower buds before they develop, so more of the plant’s resources go into stem and root growth. You might also want a makeshift greenhouse around your planting bed like I had.

      I don’t know what type of soil this plant prefers. My successful harvest was in clay-silt which drains fairly well but packs hard as rock when damp. My current house has sandy silt with somewhat poor fertility so I would need to add compost to improve the soil.

      I’m pretty sure the seeds I had came from the University of Iowa Center for the Book, where Tim Barrett is. I tried collecting some seed pods from my plants but had little success with them the next year, though I don’t recall if it was poor germination or just me not caring for the plants properly.

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