It is thought to have originated in Africa and Asia but today it is grown across the United States, especially in temperate zones and mild seasons.Growing okra plants is not hard if you have full sun and good soil in your garden.An okra plant’s accompanying blossoms are striking in color and give off an aroma so lovely, it has been used historically as a base in perfumes.Sow some seeds and in a few months tall stalks tower up to 6 or 7 feet over you and the rest of your garden.If you’ve ever seen a row or two of okra growing in the summer, you know it can withstand the intense heat of even the deep south.If you want to grow okra and provide its soil with a healthy system in which to proliferate, try companion planting!Okra is tall and can provide shade for lower-lying greenery that covers the ground when they grow in your garden.Companion planting is an organic gardening practice of sowing seeds or transplanting different fruits, vegetables, flowers, and herbs next to one another for mutual support.This method of growing, which originated in tribal cultures, involves seeding squash, beans, and corn together.As the three grow from seed, they provide a reciprocal system that supports each in a beneficial feedback loop.In the Three Sisters method, corn is one of those tall plants that provides squash with shade to cover the ground.Okra can stand in for corn, providing vining beans with a stalk to climb and grow.The bean vines provide all three with nitrogen that helps healthy roots develop and in turn the flavor of each plant is enhanced.More generally, companions are good neighbors that can repel pest insects in a process called trap cropping.Pests end up in the trap crop, like pepper plants or tomatoes rather than feasting on the okra.It doesn’t need a lot of sun to do well and it can be planted early on in the growing season when the weather is cooler.Like basil, onion and garlic greens deter insect pests like scarab beetles and aphids.They also deter rabbits who prefer lighter tastes than the strong flavors of green onions or garlic scapes.Ground covering plants like melons and cucumber are excellent for preventing the growth of weeds that can sap nutrients from your okra.Okra grows tall providing shade for cucurbits that prefer dappled sun.More specifically, peas enjoy cooler weather, so plant them with okra in the early stages before the pods have matured enough for harvest.When their life cycle ends for the season, cut down the greens and let the decaying matter fertilize your vegetable growth.Grow other companion crops that reduce the number of nematodes in your garden before planting okra.Root knot nematodes love the same conditions that okra plants do: full sun and hot weather.In fact, marigolds will help deter detrimental nematodes that can block nutrient absorption in your okra crop. .

Best and Worst Companion Plants for Okra

While there is scientific data to confirm the benefits of companion planting, it's reassuring to know that much of this advice comes from long-time gardeners who have seen the effectiveness of this method.It's a crucial ingredient in gumbo and its rich juice is used to thicken sauces, so for those reasons alone it has star power.Don't plant them too close, as cucumbers vines spread and also need a large amount of sun to ripen.The strong fragrance of basil repels a number of pests that like okra, including flea beetles, stinkbugs, spider mites, aphids, and whiteflies.Okra's tall plants, which can grow up to six feet, can also provide some shade for this somewhat tender herb if summer days get hot.Okra thrives in hot weather, so you may grow it as a shade plant for greens that do well in partial sun (like kale and herbs including parsley, tarragon, chives, and cilantro).Just remove the pea plants after the last harvest to free up space for the okra to get bigger as the weather gets warmer. .

Companion Planting For Okra • Insteading

Selecting the right “good neighbors” for okra reduces unwanted insect predators, attracts beneficial insects, promotes pollination, enriches the soil, and adds diversity and visual interest to the garden.Plant sunflowers around the perimeter of your garden to add a splash of color and as a method of organic insect control.Because lettuce has a very shallow root system, it does not compete with okra, peppers or tomatoes for nutrients.Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) is a tall-growing annual vegetable that flourishes in warm climates, during the hottest days of summer.For homesteaders who sell their surplus crop production at the local farmers market, okra can return an income over an extended harvest period of eight to ten weeks.Okra is in the Malvaceae (mallow) family of plants, which includes Rose of Sharon, hollyhocks, cotton, and hibiscus.Native to the Nile Valley, okra cultivation by Egyptians dates back to the 12th century B.C.For homestead garden cultivation, proven producing varieties include Labadi, Lady Finger, Bombo, Quim, Astern, and Clemson Spineless.Park’s Candelabra Branching, Annie Oakley, and Louisiana Green Velvet are low-growing varieties with dependable heavy yields: ready for picking in 50-to-52 days.Take a soil sample to your local county extension service to test pH and fertility levels.To prepare the garden for planting okra, cultivate the soil to a depth of ten inches, breaking up dirt clods and removing roots, rocks, and weeds.Enhance the soil by incorporating a generous amount of organic garden compost, well-aged herbivore manure (cow, sheep, goat, horse, llama) or a balanced 10-20-10 fertilizer.While you can start okra by sowing seed directly in the soil, gardeners located in climates with cool, damp springs, get a jump on the growing season by starting indoors four to six weeks before spring planting time.While okra can tolerate drought conditions, the hardy plant produces the highest yields when provided with a minimum of one inch of water per week.Okra pest problems include cabbage loppers, aphids, stink bugs, and nematodes.Keep the soil surrounding okra plants weed free and apply additional organic compost after the first harvest.Use garden scissors to clip immature pods every other day to encourage crop production.The plant contains a mucilaginous juice prized for its thickening quality made famous by its use in Louisiana Creole gumbo dishes.Immature pods are served as a boiled, fried, or pickled vegetable; adding flavor to salads, soups, sauces, and stews.My sister Bonnie, a gourmet cook and longtime resident of New Orleans, shared with me her favorite hot and spicy gumbo recipe.Add chopped sweet peppers, celery, onion and crumbled Italian sausage to the roux and cook on low heat approximately 10-minutes until the vegetables are tender.In the meanwhile, as the roux is simmering, in a large stock or pasta pot bring water to a boil.Melt three tablespoons of bacon drippings in a skillet over medium heat, Add okra, shrimp, crabmeat, and rice wine vinegar.Add okra and seafood mixture to the gumbo pot and continue to simmer over low heat for an additional two hours to meld flavors. .

Companion Planting Information and Chart

A gardening method which makes use of the synergistic properties found in nature: cooperation between plants to achieve optimum health and viability.Vegetable/Herb Likes Dislikes Anise Coriander Basil, rue Asparagus (P) Tomato, parsley, basil Basil Tomato, sweet peppers Rue, anise Beans Beets, carrots, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, corn, cucumber, marigolds, potatoes, strawberry, summer savory Onion, garlic, gladiolus, fennel Beets Onion, kohlrabi, bush beans, lettuce, cabbage family Pole beans, mustards Borage Strawberry, fruit trees Cabbage Family (broccoli, kale, cauliflower, collards, cabbages etc.).Aromatic herbs, hyssop, thyme, wormwood, potatoes, celery, dill, chamomile, beets, onion, sage, peppermint, rosemary, oregano Strawberry, tomato, beans, mustards, pole beans Calendula (P) Garden tonic, nutrient accumulator, chard, radish, carrots, tomatoes, thyme, parsley Carrots Peas, lettuce, chives, onions, leeks, rosemary, sage, tomato, wormwood, parsley Dill Celeriac Scarlet runner beans Celery Leek, tomato, bush beans, cauliflower, cabbage Chard Roots crops, lettuce, radish, celery, mint.Leek Onions, celery, carrots Lettuce Carrots, radish, strawberry, cucumber Celery, cabbage, cress, parsley Melon Corn, sunflowers, morning glory, okra Potatoes Mint (P) Cabbage, tomatoes, nettles Chamomile Nettle Increases oil content of most herbs Okra Melons, cucumbers, sweet peppers, eggplant.Onion and garlic Beets, strawberry, tomato, lettuce, summer savory, chamomile, roses Peas, beans Parsley Tomato, asparagus, roses, carrots Peas Carrots, turnips, radish, cucumber, corn, beans, potatoes, aromatic herbs Onions, garlic, gladiolus Peppers –sweet Basil, okra Potato Beans, corn, cabbage, horseradish, marigold, eggplant Pumpkin, squash, cucumber, sunflower, tomato, raspberry Pumpkin Datura, corn, pole beans, Potato Radish Peas, nasturtium, lettuce, cucumber, beets, spinach, carrots, squash, melons, tomatoes, beans Potato, hyssop Rhubarb (P) Columbines Rue (P) Roses, raspberries, fig trees Basil Sage (P) Rosemary, cabbages, carrots, Cucumbers Savory –both (P) Onions, beans Cucumbers Spinach Strawberries, other greens Squash Nasturtium, corn, clover Strawberries (P) Beans, spinach, borage, lettuce Cabbage Sunflower Cucumber Potato Sweet potato White Hellebore Tomato Chives, onion, parsley, asparagus, marigold, nasturtium, carrot, garlic, roses, bee balm Kohlrabi, potato, fennel, cabbage, corn Turnip Peas, vetch. .

Okra Companion Plants

Oka thrives in warm regions, so your companion plants should also do well in similar conditions.Okra grows on tall stalks, often reaching 6 feet by the end of the summer. .

Okra: Planting, Growing, and Harvesting Okra Plants

This plant not only grows edible vegetables and beautiful flowers but also it is rich in vitamin A and low in calories, which makes it a great addition to your diet. .


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