Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus), native to Africa and related to hibiscus, arrived in North America in the 1600s.This edible green seed pods quickly became popular in the Deep South as both a side dish and a thickening for gumbo and stews.It will grow in ordinary garden soil but does best in fertile loam, particularly where a nitrogen-fixing crop — such as early peas — grew previously.When seeding okra directly in the ground, wait until after the soil has warmed and the air temperature reaches at least 60 degrees.In areas with long, hot summers, cut the plants back almost to ground level in midsummer and fertilize to produce a second crop.They're tough when mature, so harvest daily with a sharp knife when they are no more than finger-sized and stems are still tender and easy to cut.This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. .

Growing Okra Plants

Choose your sunniest spot for growing okra, and wait until the weather is warm to set out your plants.Water the little plants if rain is not expected, but wait a few days before mulching to give the soil a chance to absorb the sun’s warmth.In addition to gaining height, okra’s leaves get bigger as the plants grow and begin producing yellow blossoms followed by tender pods. .

How to Grow Okra

Similar in taste to eggplant, okra is used in shellfish, corn, onion and tomato dishes.The annual, warm weather vegetable is related to hibiscus, hollyhock and rose of Sharon.Plant okra in the spring or early summer once the threat of frost has passed.Gardeners in cool regions may want to start okra seeds indoors in peat pots four to six weeks before the area's final frost date.If buying okra plants, purchase those that are started in containers such as peat pots that can go into the ground.Okra is susceptible to wilt, root knot nematode and Southern stem blight.It grows and bears seed pods until frost, which quickly turns them black and kills them.Pick the pods at least every other day, as they quickly turn from tender to tough the bigger they grow.Because of the long growing season and hearty production, four or five plants usually produce enough okra for most families. .

How to grow okra / RHS Gardening

When the seedlings are large enough to handle, transfer into 9cm (3½in) pots of multi-purpose compost.In the UK, okra plants are best grown in a greenhouse or polytunnel.They may also be grown in containers on a warm, sunny, sheltered patio, but need a hot summer to crop well.From late May to early June, when the young plants are 10–15cm (4–6in) tall, transplant them into 23–25cm (9–10in) pots, growing bags or a greenhouse border.Water regularly using tepid water, to keep the compost moist.Use your finger and thumb to squash aphid colonies or use biological control in the greenhouse.Okra plants produce pods from mid-summer until temperatures drop in autumn, often up to the first frost.Regular picking encourages more pods to form.Okra plants are covered in short hairs that may irritate bare skin, so wear gloves and long sleeves when harvesting or touching them.'Clemsons Spineless' A popular greenhouse variety, producing abundant pods over a long season. .

Okra Seed Starting Tips

If you sow okra seed outdoors directly in the garden, the soil temperature should be at least 75°F (24°C).Okra Sowing and Planting Tips.Grow okra from seeds or seedlings.Do not set okra outdoors until the night time temperature is consistently greater than 60°F (15°C)—even then you may want to protect plants from temperatures below 65°F (18°C).Keep the seed starting mix just moist until seeds germinate.The optimal growing soil temperature is 85°F (29°C).Seedlings started indoors should be kept under a grow light or in a sunny window after germination.Transplant seedlings to the garden when night time temperature is consistently greater than 65°.Sow seed directly in the garden when the minimum soil temperature is 75°. .

How Do I Grow Okra?

If you want to grow okra in your garden, here’s everything you need to know.When, Where and How to Plant Okra.By the end of this period the plants will be ready to receive a full day of direct sun.Whether planting seeds, store-bought seedlings or home-grown seedlings, space them 12 inches apart in soil that is well-draining and amended with lots of compost or organic matter.To check the soil’s pH and fertility, get an inexpensive soil test.Okra seedlings enjoy a soil temperature that is at least 70º.Water immediately upon planting and cover the ground with a layer of two to three inches of organic mulch.Varieties of Okra.This variety matures within 55 to 60 days of transplanting.The plants mature in 50 to 55 days of transplanting.This variety is disease resistant and highly productive.It matures in 51 days from transplanting.Clemson Spineless is an open-pollinated variety with light green pods that have between five and eight points, and cream-colored edible flowers.Jambalaya is a green hybrid okra that thrives in shorter growing seasons, maturing in 50 days from transplanting.It matures in 55 to 60 days.Simpson is an okra variety that matures in 50 days from transplanting.It is open-pollinated with green, 5-inch-long ribbed pods.Watering Okra.It’s best to water in the morning so any water on leaves will evaporate during the day.Fertilizing Okra.Okra Pests & Diseases.Bt is an organic control for moth and butterfly larvae that is safe around humans and pets and will not harm other wildlife.Most varieties are intended to be picked when the pods are no more than 3 inches long — and the pods grow fast.Picking frequently and picking pods before they grow larger will encourage the plant to produce more pods.To harvest, cut the stem of the pod, just above the pod’s cap.Episode 195: Identifying and Controlling Garden Pests Organically.joegardener blog: Powdery Mildew Prevention & Control.How Do I Grow Okra?joegardenerTV YouTube: Best Mulch for a Vegetable Garden.joegardener Online Gardening Academy™: Three popular courses on gardening fundamentals; managing pests, diseases & weeds; and seed starting!At the time of this writing, Joe Lamp’l has professional relationships with the following companies who may have products included in this post and podcast: Rain Bird, Corona Tools, Milorganite, Soil3, Exmark, Greenhouse Megastore, High Mowing Organic Seeds, Territorial Seed Company, Wild Alaskan Seafood Box and TerraThrive. .

How to Grow Okra Indoors

Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) is commonly prepared fried, pickled or roasted, and is a staple in gumbo, a flavorful southern dish.Most gardeners grow okra to harvest the green pods, but the plant's large, attractive blooms also give it ornamental value.Okra loves warm weather and grows as an annual in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 11.Do not use soil from your yard or garden outdoors, as it may contain insects or pathogens that can kill your plants.4 Increase the room temperature to 70 to 75 F or warmer after germination, as okra grows best in very warm weather.Continue giving okra seedlings eight hours of light or more per day after germination. .

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