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Information About Okra

Information About Okra


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Edible Okra Leaves – Can You Eat The Leaves Of Okra

By Amy Grant

Many northerners may not have tried it, but okra is quintessentially southern and linked to the cuisine of the region. Even so, many southerners typically just use the okra pods in their dishes, but what about eating the okra leaves? Can you eat the leaves of okra? Find out here.

Okra Charcoal Rot Information: Learn About Treating Okra Charcoal Rot

By Mary Ellen Ellis

Charcoal rot can be a devastating disease for a number of crops, causing rot in the roots and stems, inhibiting growth, and lowering yield. Charcoal rot of okra has the potential to wipe out that section of your garden and even infect other vegetables. Learn more here.

Cotton Root Rot Of Okra: Managing Okra With Texas Root Rot

By Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

Cotton root rot of okra, is a nasty fungal disease that attack many species of plants. The disease, which favors highly alkaline soils and hot summers, is limited to the Southwestern United States. Learn what you can do about okra with Texas root rot in this article.

My Okra Flowers Are Falling Off: Reasons For Okra Blossom Drop

By Liz Baessler

Okra is a beloved vegetable, partly because it can live and produce happily even in extreme heat. Because it's usually so reliable, it can be especially frustrating if your okra plant doesn't produce like it should. One such problem is okra blossom drop. Learn more here.

Nematode Okra Problems – Treating Okra With Root Knot Nematodes

By Amy Grant

Southern Americans are not the only ones who love their okra; okra root knot nematodes have a penchant for it as well. Okra with root knot nematodes can cause serious losses. How can root knot nematodes on okra be managed? This article can help with that.

What Is Okra Leaf Spot: Tips For Treating Leaf Spot Of Okra

By Amy Grant

Even with centuries of cultivation, okra is still susceptible to pests and diseases. One such disease is leaf spot of okra. What is okra leaf spot and how can okra with leaf spots be managed? This article will help with these questions. Click here to learn more.

Okra Mosaic Virus Info: Learn About Mosaic Virus Of Okra Plants

By Mary Ellen Ellis

Okra mosaic virus was first seen in okra plants in Africa, but there are now reports of it popping up in the U.S. This virus is still not common, but it is devastating to crops. If you grow okra, you are not likely to see it, but if you do, this article may help.

Fusarium Wilt In Okra: Treating Okra Fusarium Wilt Disease In Gardens

By Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

Okra fusarium wilt is a likely culprit if you've noticed wilting okra plants, especially if the plants perk up when temperatures drop in evening. Your plants may not die, but the disease delays growth and decreases yields when harvest time rolls around. Learn more here.

Red Burgundy Okra: Growing Red Okra Plants In The Garden

By Amy Grant

You thought okra was green? What kind of okra is red? As the name suggests, the plant bears 2- to 5-inch long, torpedo-shaped fruit but is the red okra edible? Click this article to find out all about growing red okra plants.

Collecting Okra Seeds – How To Save Okra Seeds For Planting Later

By Teo Spengler

Okra is a warm season vegetable that produces long, thin, edible pods nicknamed ladies' fingers. If you grow okra in your garden, collecting okra seeds is a cheap and easy way to get seeds for next year's garden. Read this article to find out how to save okra seeds.

Ornamental Okra Plants: Tips On Growing Okra In Containers And Garden Beds

By Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

Okra is a nutrient-rich vegetable with a mild flavor but not everyone likes it. If you don?t want to raise the vegetable for eating, you can still grow ornamental okra plants. The big, hibiscus-like blooms are anything but unpleasant. Learn more here.

Information On How To Harvest Okra

By Kathee Mierzejewski

Growing okra is a pretty simple garden task. Harvesting okra can be tricky, however, because you have to get to them before the pods become tough. This article can help with tips on when and how to pick okra.

Planting Okra: How To Grow Okra

By Kathee Mierzejewski

Okra is a wonderful vegetable that is used in all sorts of soups and stews. It is pretty versatile, but not a lot of people actually grow it. If you are thinking about planting okra, read here for growing tips.


Pick Okra Quickly and Keep Picking Frequently

Okra is tricky. It’s actually ready to pick before the pods are fully mature. Okra produces so many pods so quickly though, that it’s easy for pods to slip past you, but mature pods are too tough and woody to eat. Leaving mature pods on the plant also slows the production of new pods, so harvest pods as you find them and compost mature ones.

When to Go on Pod Alert

Depending on the variety and the growing conditions, okra reaches maturity 50 to 65 days after you plant it. So you can count forward from the date you plant your okra and begin watching for pods about a week before that date and for signs of flowering about two weeks before that date. Pods will begin to appear five to six days after your okra flowers.

Prime Pod Watch Locations

The first flowers and pods will appear under the large leaves at the base of the plant. You will have to gently push these leaves aside when looking for pods. As you move these leaves out of the way, be careful not to knock any flower buds, flowers, or newly forming pods off of your okra plant.

As you harvest these first, low-hanging fruits, the blooms and pods will begin to appear higher on the plant.

Signs That Your Okra Pods Are Ready to Harvest

Okra pods grow quickly, and the warmer the temperatures the faster they grow. Once pods begin to appear, you should check your okra plants daily for pods that are ready for harvesting.

When searching for pods that are ready to harvest, look for:

  • Pods that are 2 to 4 inches long, about the length of your finger.
  • Pods that are 5 inches long or longer as these are likely to be too tough and woody to eat.
  • Pods that are bright green and that feel firm but tender to your touch. Be careful not to bruise the pods when testing them.
  • Pods that have turned a dull green as these have become too mature for eating and are beginning to dry and brown to form a protective casing for the seeds they contain.
  • Pods that have stems that are difficult to cut when you try to harvest them as these also are likely to be too mature for eating.

If you have longer pods and you are loathe to discard them until you have made absolutely certain that they have become too tough to eat, you have one final test that you can apply. Take the pods into your kitchen and clean them as if you are getting ready to use them. Then, take a sharp knife and try to cut the pods open.

If you can cut them open easily, they are not overly mature, but once you cut them open, you should use them immediately or within a day or two. If the pods are difficult to cut, then they have become too tough, and you should compost them.

Harvesting the Pods

To harvest your okra, simply use a knife or pruning shears to cut the stem about 1/4 inch above the pod.

When you are harvesting the first pods from low on the plant and you have your pruning shears in one hand and the branches you’ve pushed aside in the other hand, it’s okay to let the pods drop the short distance to the ground. When you are picking pods from higher on the plant, however, try to catch them to keep them from being bruised by the fall.

Once no more flowers and pods are appearing around the lower leaves, you can remove those leaves. Removing them will encourage pod production higher on the plant.

Harvesting Pods for Seeds

Toward the end of the growing season, a few weeks before the first frost date in your area, you can begin leaving mature pods on your plants if you want some pods to harvest for seeds. Leaving the pods on a single plant should provide enough seeds for the next growing season, if that’s all you want.

If, however, you are trying to maintain a particular variety, you should save the seeds from five to 10 plants. If you are trying to preserve a rare variety of okra, then you should save the seeds from 10 to 25 plants.

The pods that you save for seeds will be ready for harvesting when they turn brown and dry. Cut them from the plant and then dry them on screens or landscaping fabric until they become brittle.

When the pods have become brittle, cut them open with pruning shears and pour the seeds out, and then remove the chaff by screening and winnowing the seeds. Protect the seeds from pests, and you can store them in a cool, dry, dark space for up to three years.


Tips & Information about Okra - garden

It's time to think about fertilizing okra after the seedlings reach 6 inches tall. Okra plants do best when they receive regular water, although they are able to tolerate mild drought conditions very well.

Ideally, your okra plants need about an inch of rain per week to thrive, become large and produce lots of pods. However, okra has the ability to handle longer dry periods very well. If the plant gets rain after a couple of weeks of dry weather, it usually bounces back nicely.

Okra can be watered at the same time as other vegetable plants in your garden. Just focus your efforts at the base of the plants and water slowly enough so as not to erode the soil away. Avoid watering the tops of the plants as wet foliage is a breeding ground for fungi. It's a good idea to water in the early morning hours, that way the afternoon sun will evaporate any excess water that was not absorbed into the soil.

A layer of mulch can be applied around your okra plants after they are several inches tall. This will keep the soil moist and cool and prevent weed growth. Grass clippings, chopped up leaves or straw all work well as mulch and can be tilled into the soil at the end of the growing season.

Most of the time, okra will do just fine in nutrient-rich soil. However, if you your garden soil isn't ideal, you may want to think about fertilizing okra plants.

Generally, a well-balanced fertilizer can be applied after the seedlings reach 6 inches tall. If you want to use a granular type fertilizer, a 10-10-10 formula works well. Just scatter the granules on the ground around the plants at a rate suggested by the fertilizer manufacturer. Generally, the application rate is about 1 pound every 100 square feet. Try not to let the granules come in contact with the plants as they may burn. Once the granules are scattered, water them in well.

Another convenient option is to use a water soluble fertilizer and apply it when you water your plants. Just mix the fertilizer with water in a jug, watering can or hose-end sprayer according to the manufacturer's recommendations. You should only need to use a water soluble fertilizer every 4-6 weeks after the plants reach 6 inches in height.

In our own garden, we apply a balanced granular fertilizer a few days before we even plant our okra seeds. We scatter it on the soil, water it in well and then till the soil one last time before planting. After that, we switch to a water-soluble product and fertilize a couple of times during the growing season.

If you are interested in growing okra organically, you can amend the soil with compost or composted manure before planting. There are also a variety of organic fertilizer products available at your local garden center. Fish emulsions are a good organic fertilizer option.

Now that you know about watering and fertilizing okra, it's time to think about harvesting those tender pods.


About 50 to 60 days after planting, edible pods will start to appear. 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. Pick frequently and the plants will keep producing until killed by frost. Be sure to remove and compost any mature pods you might have missed earlier.

Many people find their skins are sensitive to the pods' prickly spines, so wear gloves and long sleeves when harvesting, or plant a spineless variety such as Clemson Spineless.


Right here's how to develop okra crops in your own garden! Plant that thrives in heat climate. Companion planting is a gardening knowledge that has says that when sure crops are grown collectively, you possibly can get elevated yields, higher taste, much less illness and fewer pests.

A free companion planting information to 67 crops, herbs and bushes + companion panting chart.

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