Okra is sensitive to frost and does best with starting temperatures of 65 degrees F or over. Choose a garden location that will get full sun, good air and water drainage, and where the vigorous 4-ft. high plants will not shade surrounding garden plants.
Mature plants can be planted in the garden after the last frost date. Consider adding a balanced fertilizer into the dirt to encourage root growth. Dig a 4″ hole and set plants in the dirt up to the first set of leaves. Fill in remaining hole and water well once a week. Once established, okra tolerates drought and heat, but still needs adequate moisture to produce a vegetable harvest. Matures in 56 days.
Pick pods young, while still tender (2 ½ -3” long). Larger pods become woody and inedible. Applying a balanced fertilizer when plants first set fruit will encourage good fruit production.
Okra abelmoschus esculentus
One of most productive of the red okra varieties.
Large, tender 6-8″ crimson pods on vigorous
plants with beautiful red stems and veining.
Ornamental and edible. Open pollinated.
Harvest 65 days.
Clemson Spineless Okra
Dark green, spineless variety with beautiful emerald
green pods 3-4” long. Productive with open habit
making harvest easy. Drought and heat resistant. Harvest 55 days.
Very productive, compact plant with
tender, meaty 4-5” pods. Evenly sized,
this variety is great for canning or pickling.
Harvest 50 days.
Okra culture –
Okra is grown for its edible fruit pods. The fruits are harvested when immature and eaten as a vegetable. The pods can be canned, fried, roasted or boiled and are a favorite in traditional Southern cooking for gumbo, stews, and, of course, fried okra. In the garden, okra’s beautiful hibiscus-like flower okra makes it a nice ornamental plant as well.
Okra is a popular health food due to its high fiber, vitamin C, and folate content. Okra is also known for being high in antioxidants and is a good source of calcium and potassium.