How to Plant Okra Seed


Okra is a nutritious vegetable, full of fiber, nutrients and vitamins. Okra pods are often cubed and put into soups and other recipes, or they are boiled or fried as a separate side dish. Okra grows well with warm temperatures, so if you live in a warm area you will have success with okra in your garden. Don't try to get a jump start on the season by starting okra indoors, as they don't survive transplanting very well. Okra grows best when directly sown into warm soil.

Step 1

Loosen the soil with a shovel or rototiller in a location that receives full sun and has adequate drainage. The garden soil should be moist, but not wet.

Step 2

Work 10-10-10 fertilizer into the dirt. The amount of fertilizer you will use will depend upon the size of your rows. As a general rule, use 1 to 2 lbs. of fertilizer per 100 square feet of garden. Check the package of your particular brand of fertilizer for exact amounts.

Step 3

Build the row up into a small hill with a rake. If you are planting more than one row, space the rows 3 feet apart.

Step 4

Fill a bowl with lukewarm water and place your okra seeds in it. Allow them to soak the night before you plant them, to aid germination.

Step 5

Plant your okra seeds 1 inch deep into the soil, and allow 6 inches of space between each seed. When the okra seedlings are 3 inches tall, thin them to 18 inches apart.

Step 6

Water your seeds after planting. The mounded row should be moist, but not soaked. Water weekly, moistening the soil 1 inch deep if there has been no rain.

Tips and Warnings

  • Okra will not survive a frost. If an unexpected frost is announced for your area, harvest as many pods as possible, or cover the ground with a 3-inch layer of mulch and the tops of the okra plants with a covering or blanket.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel or rototiller
  • 10-10-10 fertilizer
  • Rake
  • Okra seeds
  • Bowl of water


  • Iowa State University Extension: Growing Okra in the Home Garden
  • University of Illinois Extension: Watch Your Garden Grow--Okra

Who Can Help

  • Veggie Gardening Tips: Growing Okra
Keywords: planting okra seeds, grow okra, starting okra seed

About this Author

A freelance writer for more than 12 years, Traci Vandermark has written extensively on health and fitness topics. She is a student of health, fitness and nutrition at the International Institute Of Holistic Healing, certified by the American Association of Nutritional Consultants. Her articles have appeared in Catskill Country Magazine, The Lookout Magazine, Capper's, Birds and Blooms and Country Discoveries, to name a few.