Okra, a vegetable that grows well in many parts of the world, can be a bit finicky to grow. Here are some tips to make sure your okra crop is thriving:
Use good soil.
To get the most out of your okra plants, use good soil. Good soil will provide your plants with the nutrients they need to grow and produce more fruits.
Use a soil with a high organic matter content (at least 2%). It should also be well drained so that it doesn’t become waterlogged or dry out too much between watering cycles.
Okra plants grow best in soil that is well drained, high in organic matter and has a pH between 6.0 and 6.5. If your soil is sandy or clayey, add compost to improve drainage or till in some peat moss before planting.
Okra is a heavy feeder; it needs lots of fertilizer throughout its growth cycle in order to thrive and produce large yields.
A balanced fertilizer for vegetables and flowers is recommended for okra; 1/4 cup per plant will suffice when planting out your seedlings into their final container size or garden bed if you choose to transplant them instead.
Plant in spring.
Planting okra in spring is the best way to ensure that your plants produce as much as possible. Okra grows well in warm weather, so this is the perfect time for planting.
Spring also marks the beginning of the growing season, which means that your soil will be soft enough to dig up without having to worry about damaging roots or bulbs. There are a few different ways you can plant okra seeds.
You can choose to sow them directly in the ground, which is fine if you have loose soil that drains well and is not prone to drying out. If your garden bed has recently been tilled, then it will be ready for planting.
Give them lots of sun.
Okra needs at least 6 hours of sun a day. If you live in a cooler climate or an area with less sunlight, you can grow okra in the partial shade.
In an area with lots of sun, plant okra plants in the morning or late afternoon so they don’t get too hot during the day—this will help prevent diseases and keep the leaves from burning up.
Water them liberally.
Watering: Water regularly, especially when the soil is dry. Okra plants need about 1 inch of water per week.
Watering in the morning or evening will help keep your plant’s leaves clean and avoid disease problems.
Watering can be challenging because it’s hard to tell when your plant needs water—it doesn’t usually wilt like other plants might do if they’re thirsty.
So, you may need to become familiar with what “wet” looks like on your okra leaves. The best way to check is by gently pressing down on one of the leaves between your thumb and forefinger; if it crumples easily (like an old wet paper towel), then it’s time for a drink.
Keep plants growing fast during the season.
Make sure you water your okra plants regularly. But don’t over-water them, or they will rot. Keep the soil moist, but not wet.
Apply fertilizer at least once per month to help the plant grow faster and produce more pods.
Make sure it gets enough sun, but not too much—the leaves should be light green with no yellowing or brown spots on them before you begin harvesting your crop for eating later in the season.
Okra produces a lot if you take care of it well.
Okra is a hot-weather crop and produces best when the weather is warm, so plant it in spring.
To grow your okra plants to their full potential, you should use good soil and make sure they get lots of sun. Water them liberally when they’re not being watered by rain.
The biggest thing that will increase your harvest size is keeping them well-watered during their growing season.
As long as you have a steady supply of water available to them, they’ll keep producing more fruits for you.
Okra is a vigorous plant that grows well in warm weather. If you have a garden and you want to grow okra, start with some seeds this spring. Make sure you choose a variety that is well suited for your climate and growing season, and follow our tips for caring for your plants.