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Growing & Caring for Okra

Traditionally grown in the Southern US, okra is a warmer weather plant. It’s easy to grow and is rich in Vitamin A without many calories. The beautiful white and yellow flowers add a touch of beauty to your garden.

How to Grow Okra:

Indoors

  • Seeds should be started indoors in peat pots 3-4 weeks before your last spring frost.
  • Plant the okra seed about a half inch below the surface of the soil.
  • It’s recommended to start your okra directly in your garden soil as they don’t always transplant well.

Outdoors

  • Plant directly into the garden 3-4 weeks before your last spring frost date.
  • Use a cold frame 2-3 feet tall to allow plants to grow while being protected.
  • Plant ½ inch to 1 inch deep and 6-8 inches apart in fertile, well-drained soil with full sun.
  • Thin plants to 10-18 inches apart when they reach 3 inches tall.

Transplanting

  • Begin hardening off at least 10 days before you plan to transplant.
  • Soil should be 65-70 degrees F before planting outside without a cold frame or cover of some sort.
  • Space 12-24″ apart in rows spaced 3-4 feet apart.

Harvest

  • When Okra gets to be 6-8 inch in length, harvest every other day with sharp scissors or knife just above cap.
  • After first harvest, remove lower leaves to increase production.
  • Store uncut and uncooked in freezer bags in the freezer.

Growing Tips

  • Keep young plants weeded and mulch to prevent more from growing. Side dress plants with rich compost.
  • Keep your watering consistent and water at least 1 inch per week, more if you have some exceptionally dry days.

Pests to Watch For:

  • Aphids
  • Corn Earworms
  • Stink Bugs
  • Fusarium Wilt

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