How to Grow Okra
Instructions for Growing Okra
in Your Garden
Okra (also known as Lady's finger) is grown as an annual garden vegetable. It has an unusually high gum content, which makes it popular as a thickener in stews/soups. It is a hot weather plant that belongs to the mallow family.
Gardening Advice Tip - Growing Okra is not a good choice for container gardening.
Dietary Fiber, Chromium, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Manganese, Protein, Vitamin A, K, C, B6, Tihamin, Folate, Phosphorus, Zinc, Copper
The perfect climate for growing okra: hot humid climates with long growing seasons, planted in very sunny locations.
Growing okra requires well-drained soil that’s neither over fertilized nor over watered. If you're gardening in a climate with lots of rain, plant okra in a raised garden bed for better drainage.
Prepare the soil one week before planting. Compost is a great addition to your garden when growing okra, as it enriches the soil and helps it manage water better. You can purchase compost, or make your own compost. Or, mix in a complete fertilizer (mixed in at least 6" deep).
Also, consider testing your soil's pH level. A pH level between 5.5-6.5 is best for growing okra.
You can sow okra seeds (in hot climates) directly in your garden from spring through early summer. Plant the seeds 3/4" deep in rows that are spaced 2 feet apart.
Don't overwater Okra. Irrigate from beneath the plant (under the leaves, not above them) to avoid possible plant diseases from growing okra.
When seed pods start to grow, apply a fertilizer on the ground around the plants and water it in (keeping the fertilizer and water off the plant directly).
Watering from above the plant can cause "stem rot." Careful watering (at ground level, beneath the leaves) in your garden will help avoid this problem. Consider using drip irrigation (seep) hoses when growing okra. These are a worthwhile investments that use less water.
Gardening Tip for Growing Okra - Practice good vegetable gardening by rotating crops throughout the garden with each new season. This prevents many plant diseases.
You can pick the pods when they are at least 2” long (normally at around 3 months). Leaving the pods to grow in the garden much longer will cause them to get tough and stringy.
Pick okra garden daily, as this keeps it producing longer during the gardening season. Leaving pods to mature on the vine, stops production.
Note: the advice and information contained herein is based upon our experience and study. As with any advice, please apply at your own discretion.