Okra is grown for its immature seed pods. The seed pods are dried or used commonly in stews or soups. The okra plant will grow 3 to 5 feet high, and its flowers develop into long slender seed pods. Although the pods will reach 7 to 9-inches in length, they are best when harvested between 2 to 3 inches long. The okra is a warm weather plant.
Regions that Experience Frost
Sow the seeds in peat pots, with two seeds per pot, ½-inch deep. Do this about a month before the night temperatures stay above 50 degrees.
Water the peat pots thoroughly, and allow them to drain. Keep in a sunny window or hotbed.
Remove the weakest of the two seedlings, in each pot, after they reach 1 inch tall.
Plant the peat pots and their seeds in the garden when night temperatures reach 50 degrees or higher. Space the pots 18 inches apart, making a row. Space rows 3 feet apart.
Fertilize when the seedlings are 8-12 inches high. Use 5 ounces of 5-10-5 fertilizer for every 10-foot row of okra. Spread the fertilizer by scattering it around the base of each plant.
In Frost-Free Regions
Till the soil to a depth of 8-10 inches deep and amend soil if necessary. Okra prefers organic soil that is well-draining.
Sow three or four seeds in one area, ½ inch deep. Space groupings 18 inches apart, making a row. Space rows 3 feet apart. Plant during the spring.
Water thoroughly. Do not get it soggy.
Cut off the weakest of the seedlings, in each grouping, after they reach 1 inch tall. Leave one hearty seedling per grouping.
Fertilize when the seedlings are 8-12 inches high. Use 5 ounces of 5-10-5 fertilizer for every 10-foot row of okra. Spread the fertilizer by scattering around the base of each plant.
About this Author
Ann Johnson was the editor of a community magazine in Southern California for more than 10 years and was an active real estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelors of Art degree in communications from California State University of Fullerton. Today she is a freelance writer and photographer, and part owner of an Arizona real estate company.