How Long Does Okra Take to Grow?
How Long Does Okra Take to Grow? Okra, a close relative of the hibiscus plant, thrives in the summer heat. This heat-loving, fast-growing, bushy plant can reach five feet in height and produces edible pods that are widely used in kitchens around the world. Soups, grilled and sautéed side dishes, stews, and relishes all feature tender okra pods.
How Long Does Okra Take to Grow?
We will take you on a learning journey about growing okra, showing you how quickly and easily you can go from seed to harvest in your own backyard.
Okra Growing Soil Composition and pH:
Okra, like most other vegetable plants, prefers a nutrient-rich, well-draining soil mix. Growing okra will be more successful if the soil contains some clay, so adding native soil to the garden bed is recommended. In addition to native soil, before planting, enrich your soil with tonnes of organic matter, as it is a heavy feeder of nutrients.
Okra prefers soil that is slightly acidic, ideally measuring 5.5 -5.8 on the pH scale. If you are unsure about the type, quality, or pH of your soil, contact your local extension office for a soil test or a pH test from a garden centre or nursery.
Temperature and Light Requirements for Okra:
Temperatures below 65 degrees Fahrenheit are intolerable for okra, which does best in warm, humid environments. Okra should be planted in a garden area that receives full direct sunlight for at least 6 to 8 hours each day.
Only when it is warm outside should plants be planted or seeded. Attempt to achieve evening lows of 65 degrees and highs of 75 to 95 degrees during the day. Make sure that the sunlight directly faces the plants without casting shadows on them since this tall plant does not tolerate shade and occasionally can shade out its neighbouring okra plants.
Where to Plant Okra:
Okra is a warm-weather crop that is frequently cultivated successfully in southern gardens because of its love of the sun and tolerance of dryness. However, it is likely to yield smaller pods if cultivated in more northern regions during the shorter window of time when summers are hot.
For the majority of kinds, planting okra in-ground is the ideal option because plants typically grow pretty tall and wide. However, some species are bred expressly to thrive in containers. Consider including some okra companion plants in your garden to reduce pests and increase plant productivity.
How to Grow Okra:
Plants should be started indoors or directly planted into the garden bed because they require about two months to mature.
- When starting seeds indoors, plant them in biodegradable pots 6–8 weeks before the intended date of transplanting them outside, bearing in mind the appropriate growing temperatures.
- Transplanting seedlings can be tricky. Plants being moved outside in peat pots will experience less shock.
- Before transplanting indoors or directly spreading seeds into your garden bed, wait until the weather is consistently warm, which is roughly two weeks after your last anticipated frost date.
- Despite generating fewer pods, the plants continue to grow throughout the summer. Gardeners in warmer climates can plant a succession crop in the late summer for harvest in the fall.
Garden Okra Spacing:
For okra to be properly grown, proper spacing is essential. If not given enough room to grow, plants can become fairly tall and branch out, obstructing the growth of surrounding plants. As the plant develops, think about staking it to encourage a neater growth habit.
- Okra seeds should be sown six to eight inches apart, one inch deep.
- Plant seedlings or transplants in rows that are three feet apart, spaced 18 to 24 inches apart.
Recommended Okra Varieties:
Consider some of these tried-and-true favourite okra varieties:
Choose from a large selection of okra plants that come in different sizes and colours. Okra may produce pods of various colours, but once cooked, it all becomes green. There are varieties available that have fewer spines than other types, which can be less irritating to the skin. However, it should be noted that this does not mean that they are completely devoid of spines.
- ‘Baby Bubba’
- ‘Go Big’
- ‘Red Velvet’
- ‘White Velvet’