Boy this okra's looking good for this time of the year. The birds are singing and it's still hot but look, this okra is big and then all at once it gets small like this. I wonder what's wrong. There's only one thing that will keep okra small, and it's usually nematodes.
When you pull the plant up the roots should be nice and white. If you see this brown coloration around the roots and they have these knots on it, or if the root is brown then you have nematode problems. You see that they don't bother certain flowers, but certain other plants, such as this chard have those little swellings around them; have knots on there and that's why your plant's not doing well here.
Well we have a beautiful plant that you can plant at this time of the year called Marigolds; plant it in the first or middle of August. Also there's a plant called marimums, Discovery Yellow or Discovery Orange.
So when you find these spots of nematodes in your garden plant marigolds or marimums now and they will bloom the most beautiful flower you've ever seen beginning in October and going all the way through to Halloween. They will also eliminate the nematode problem that you have in the garden.
So you plant those now, they'll stay there for three months, give you beautiful color, and then pull them up at the end of October. Then you can plant spinach and other cold crops, which will do well in the cool season of fall.
This is Jerry Parsons Vegetable Specialist for the Texas Agricultural Extension Service the Weekend Gardener.
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