Growing Okra

by Stephanie Suesan Smith on September 30, 2010

Okra is one of the last things to bare in the Southern garden.  Originally from Africa, it just continues to make okra in through even the hottest summer.  Still bearing plants can be used as supports for the fall pole beans.

Okra does require a lot of sunlight, well drained soil, and some fertilizer to do its’ best.  The seeds need to be planted about 1 inch deep and about two inches apart in rows spaced three feet apart.  When the okra is up and growing good, thin the plants to one every foot.

Before you plant the okra area of your garden, spread 2-3 pounds of a 10-10-10 fertilizer per 100 square feet over the top of the ground.  Then mix it into the top 3-4 inches of soil.  That is all the fertilizer your okra will need until the first harvest.  Then apply one cup of fertilizer for each 10 feet of garden row between the rows of plants.

Harvest okra when the pods are 3-4 inches long.  Any longer and it gets stringy and tough.  Cut the pods from the plant with a sharp knife where the pod meets the stem.  Pulling injures the plant and will reduce yield.  When the plants are at peak production, every day or two there will be some pods ready to pick.

Okra can be kept in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.  Frying, baking, or using in gumbo are all good ways to use the okra.  If you let pods mature too much, let them dry and use them in flower arrangements.

Okra are open pollinated.  Leave some of the last few pods on the plant until they begin to dry, then pick them and bring them in.  Allow them to finish drying and put in a glass jar for next year.

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Available in print or ebook from or other retailers, this book walks you from choosing the site of your garden all the way through what to do after the harvest. Buy a copy for yourself or a friend today! 

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Orchid plants October 5, 2010 at 1:47 pm

In my country these types of, okra is very rare. If you get any picture of that, please post it.


MikeRamsey from excessive sweating October 6, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Okra is my favorite vegetable since I was a kid. Even if others hated this veggie so much because of that sticky inside once cooked. Just last summer, me and my brother planted vegetable in our empty lot. Until now, the okra is still there in our garden together with other plants.
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