How to Grow Okra
Some people do not know what Okra is! Many people say they have never eaten
it. If you have ever had a Gumbo recipe of any kind, you have had Okra. If
you've eaten any southern cooking, it's very likely that you've had Okra.
The part of the plant that you eat, is actually the Okra seed pod.
Okra is grown all over the world. It is most common in the southern part
of the U.S., and uncommon elsewhere. Now here comes the good part..... Growing
Okra is easy, and it grows quickly. It's quick maturation, makes it a vegetable
that can be grown even in areas with short seasons. So, if you have not tried
it in your garden before, give it a try this year.
Common varieties include:
Dwarf Long Pod Green
Sowing Okra Seeds:
Sow Okra seeds 1/2 inch or less deep. Space seeds 6 to 8 inches apart, in
rows 2 feet apart. A week or so after germination, thin plants to a final
spacing of 12 to 18 inches apart.
Sow seeds early, after all danger of frost has past, and the weather has
warmed. Do not rush to plant them after the last frost. The seeds prefer
warm weather and warm soil to germinate. The plants grow quickly in warm
Maturity: 50-60 days.
How to Grow Okra:
Okra plants are quick growing in hot weather. It loves the heat more
than perhaps most other vegetables. Provide full sun and rich, well drained
soil. Keep them watered, but make sure to provide good drainage, as they
do not like to keep their feet wet for extended periods. Apply both fertilizer
Harvest Okra when the pods are 3 - 4 inches long, while they are young and
Okra pods will get hard and stringy quickly. Pick the pods regularly, as
often as every other day. This encourages the plant to produce more flowers
and pods for an extended period of time.
Insects and Pests:
Aphids and other insects enjoy sucking on the juices of the plants. The first
time this author ever grew it, the Okra mainly fed the insects. Insect control
is important for a bountiful harvest.
More on Plant Problems
Commonly grown in the south, Okra is susceptible to frost. Pod production
diminishes in cool weather.
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