Okra was brought to America from Africa by slaves and has been a favorite of Southern cuisine since the 1700s. When cut, okra releases a sticky substance with thickening properties. Related to the hibiscus and to cotton it is a Southern treat – essential for gumbo, but also added to all manner of soups, stews curries and catsup. Or try dipping in corn meal and frying for a real treat! Also makes excellent pickles. A unique vegetable with mild flavor it is also highly ornamental with large yellow flowers. One important note: Okra should be eaten when fresh – preferably freshly picked or no more than a few days old. If you have experienced a tired batch sitting on a grocer’s shelf you have missed out! Some folks save the seeds to grind and brew as a coffee substitute!
Okra is surprisingly nutritious and beneficial. Just half a cup provides 20% of your daily value for vitamin C and calcium. Okra is also a good source of magnesium, vitamin B6, potassium and more. It also is a exceptional digestive detoxifier.
Optimum Soil Ph: 5.5 to 6.8
Days To Maturity: 56
Sowing Method: Outdoors
- Okra is from Africa. Okra loves heat. Days must be over 80F to produce decent crops. The soil must be over 70F. If you have cool summers wait to plant Okra at the end of May or 1st week in June. Sow seeds 1″ deep. If possible, plant next to heat sinks like rock walls or south sides of structures. Try placing a few bricks or rocks at the base of established plants as heat sinks.
- Once established Okra is very drought tolerant. However, watering every 7-10 will produce higher yields. However don’t over water. Okra does like drier soils than most of your veggies.
- Ovoid planting Okra in wet, soggy soils.
- Okra will grow best in soil that has been worked down to a level of 10″.
- Thin plants to about a 12″ apart.
- Fertilize your bed with composted manure before hand, but do not feed too much nitrogen was established. This will cause luxuriant growth and few blooms/pods.