Growing Okra- Gardening & Landscaping

Okra is one of those interesting vegetables like Cowpeas that for some reason you seldom discover growing in backyard vegetable gardens. Also like those Black Eyed Peas, okra is more popular as a Southern specialty crop; however it will grow perfectly well even in Northern gardens. If you can

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Thread: Growing Okra

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    Default Growing Okra


    Okra is one of those interesting vegetables like Cowpeas that for some reason you seldom discover growing in backyard vegetable gardens.

    Also like those Black Eyed Peas, okra is more popular as a Southern specialty crop; however it will grow perfectly well even in Northern gardens. If you can raise tomatoes and peppers in your garden you should have no trouble growing a healthy and productive crop of okra.

    Plant the large, green, round seeds about three quarters of an inch deep after the soil has warmed in mid spring.

    Okra plants prefer warm temperatures and grow quickly so thereís no rush to plant them before the weather has settled. Okra can be planted in rows twelve to eighteen inches apart and thinned to stand six inches apart in the row. Or plant the seeds in raised beds using a matrix spacing allowing six to eight inches between the plants in each direction.

    A well fertilized or composted bed will supply all the nutrients that the okra plants need to grow and bear a productive harvest of delicious pods. Provide water as needed to support the plants growth and keep the weeds under control until the okra plants are established and tall enough to shade the ground and prevent additional weeds from germinating.

    Okra will grow very quickly and before you know it your plants will be over four feet tall with some varieties reaching seven or eight feet in height by the time they are fully grown. Take care to position the plants in an area of the garden where they wonít cast a shadow over shorter neighboring plants.


    Keep an eye out for the large pinkish or yellow blossoms that will be produced along the tips of the plants. These attractive flowers will soon be followed by the edible okra pods. Itís important to harvest the okra when the pods are young as they become tough, woody, and inedible if left on the plant until they mature.

    To harvest the okra use a knife or a pair of pruners to cut the pods from the stem connecting them to the plant. Some varieties have small spines protruding from the leaves and stems that can cause irritation so protect your hands or wear gloves during harvesting. Each plant will continue to produce numerous pods over the long growing season and by keeping the pods picked you will encourage additional production.

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    Default Re: Growing Okra


    From experience: Okra should be planted when the ground temp is at least 70 degrees F (21 degrees C) sow 2 inches apart, 1/2 inch deep then thin to 6 inches apart. When harvesting you want to clip the pods when small 3 inches to 4 inches is best, not over 6 inches as they get tough. You will need to clip them every other day or so. We have clipped them everyday and still had some get away. Thanks; Virginia

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    Default Re: Growing Okra


    I think you might be interested in this tid bit: When I was growing up, my parents had a garden every year. Something that they did was to soak okra seeds in milk over night. They said it helps soften the seeds. Don`t ask me why they used milk.
    Yvonne

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    I've never heard of anyone growing okra in the Ohio! A good friend of mine is just starting her own garden and she's originally from the south so she was wondering about okra. I'm going to print this off and give it to her. Thanks so much.

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    Default Re: Growing Okra


    Hey Katie, I grew okra in OH with no problems.

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    Default Re: Growing Okra


    Jaime, Do you order your seeds or plants. Or are you able to find them around here? If you order them where do you get them from?

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    Default Re: Growing Okra


    Quote Originally Posted by Katie31 View Post
    I've never heard of anyone growing okra in the Ohio! A good friend of mine is just starting her own garden and she's originally from the south so she was wondering about okra. I'm going to print this off and give it to her. Thanks so much.
    You are very welcome! I'm from the South too & that's why I was interested in okra too!

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    Default Re: Growing Okra


    Most garden stores in Illinois sell Okra Seed. Thanks; Virginia

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    Default Re: Growing Okra


    I grow one or two plants each year but put them in a half barrel tub. I try to get them each day early but sometimes they just get away from me! The big ones I freeze and during the winter we make paper out of them! I saw them do it once many years ago on the Disney channel and we've been doing it ever since! I just use a seed or two and they grow just fine here in extreme North Missouri. We don't eat a lot of fried foods but we do like our fried okra each summer! We also make our own Chicken Gumbo Soup to can each year too!

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    Tell us how to make paper out of Okra please! Thanks; Virginia

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    Default Re: Growing Okra


    We love okra in SW Missouri too. I'll be growing some this year, if I can keep some of it away from everyone, I might have enough to can some too.

    Never heard of making paper from okra, so how does this work?
    Tonia

    Wisdom is doing now what you will be happy with later on.

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    Default Re: Growing Okra


    Katie, I usually go to Alta to get my plants...I have trouble starting things from seed since I have no windows that would allow the right sunlight. Check there...they usually have a bunch. I do most of my planting Memorial Day weekend and it has worked great.

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    Default Re: Growing Okra


    Quote Originally Posted by Virginia View Post
    Tell us how to make paper out of Okra please! Thanks; Virginia
    Oh my! It's quite a process and will take time to explain which I don't have right now. I made me a note and posted it above my computer so I won't forget and the next time i have a free day I'll write it all out and share with you all! I looked online in hopes it was out there already explained but didn't find it so will do so somewhere down the road!

    Cherlynn

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    Default Re: Growing Okra


    Thanks! I appreciate it and look forward to learning how. Thanks; Virginia

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    Default Re: Growing Okra


    I growed around 10 okra at my garden few month ago. The plant grow tall however it under constant attack by unknown worm that attack the pods and joint. Wish brother in the forum can help me to identified what type of worm is that. attach is the photo. Imageshack - damagepuds.jpg, Imageshack - worme.jpg

 

 
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