Growing Okra, also Ladyfinger, gumbo

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01 Feb 12 Silversurfer (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I had great success planting early crop of Okra in 2011. I use the Burgundy Okra which is somewhat cold tolerant (Eden Seeds). I soaked seeds in warm water for 2 hours and heated up the ground or seed tray prior to planting (clear plastic) and maintained greenhouse conditions with a portable cover (very easy low cost cover) = significant increase in propagation. I cropped and ate these for 2 months and followed up by planting green Star of David Okra. Same method produced great propagation results BUT I have a problem with these at harvest. I'm hoping someone has an answer. The Star of David sprouted the fattest Okra Ive ever seen. I thought Id managed to grow giant Okra yet no matter how short I picked them they remained too hard to eat - huge unusable crop - I only collected seeds. U guys got any answers? I will plant a late summer crop of Burgundy Okra that can survive longest into winter. Combining the use of cold tolerant and green Okra I hope to crop for 8 months a year.
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