What to Plant:  Seeds; transplants with extreme caution (roots must not be damaged during transplanting)
Dates:  See Vegetable Planting Calendars
Season:  Warm
Group:  8
Rotation:  Fruit
Edible:  Pods
Nutrition:  Vit C, Vit K, Folate, Manganese, Calcium, Magnesium
Seeds/oz:  500
Seed Viability:  2 years
Soil Temp:  70º F – 95º F (80º F)
Planting Depth:  1/2″ – 1″
Germination:  76 – 18days
Spacing:  12″ – 24″
SqFt Spacing: 1/square (or every other square with field peas, or basil planted between)
Days to Harvest:  50 – 60 days
Length of Harvest:  10 – 12 weeks
Origin:  Africa

Bed prep:  Prepare beds by adding compost at 1/3 of volume and SROF at ½ cup per square foot.  Mix well by spading.

Planting:  Soak seeds overnight to improve germination.  Plant into a moist seedbed and water well after planting.  Okra seeds have a hard seed coat and sufficient water must be available to complete germination.

Watering:  Keep seedbed moist until germination.  Water deeply once a week without sufficient rainfall.

Aftercare: Keep bed free of weeds – mulch.  Watch for disease or pests.

Harvest:  Harvest pods when they are 2″ – 5″ long.  You should be able to easily pierce the skin right below the cap with your thumbnail.  Okra becomes tough and inedible when the pods are allowed to grow too long.  Harvest daily for the best results.

Okra Pests:  Wrap a 4″ band of aluminum foil around the trunk when bloom buds begin to form.  Apply a thin coat of Tanglefoot to the foil to deter ants.

Additional Information:

History:  Okra was grown by the Egyptians and Moors in the 12th and 13th centuries.  They used the Arabic name for the plant, which indicates it came to them from the east.  Okra came to the Americas in trading ships and was documented in Brazil in 1658.  It appears in the Southeastern US in the early 1700’s.  Thomas Jefferson noted that it was established in Virginia in 1781.  Cultivars began to appear as early as 1806.