Okra is possibly one of the easiest crops to grow at home.
Over time, we get questions such as “how long does it take to plant okra? Is it difficult to grow okra seed? How do you grow the seed of okra at home? And a lot more. So, this article will provide you with everything you need to know about growing an okra seed right at home.
This article would help you understand, and possibly put an end to, your curiosity, but first, let’s talk about okra a little bit and why we love it.
Okra which is also called “lady’s finger” is a warm-season tropical vegetable that is also grown for ornamental purposes. Okra is a vegetable rich in vitamins A, C and P, calcium and many minerals. It is also very low in calories (25 to 40 kcal per 100g). Growing okra doesn’t require a lot of space and it is easy too if you complete all of the planting requirements.
Let’s get started!
Growing Okra at home
Choosing Variety: The first step for growing okra is to get the seed. It is always advisable to get varieties of okra that will not grow above 5 feet tall. As much as you can grow any variety, we would suggest you choose the dwarf type because it matures faster. Planting of okra should be done at the end of spring or during the raining season.
Position: Pick a spot that allows a good amount of sunshine and space the okra seed 1 to 2 feet apart to give them room to grow properly. Okra seeds need about ½ to 1 inch deep and 12 to 18 inches apart in a row. You can soak the seeds overnight in water to help speed up germination.
Soil: Loamy and crumbly soil should be used but must be well-drained. Choose a mix rich in organic matter. You can add a lot of compost or manure to provide the constant supply of nutrients to your okra plant.
- First, eliminate the weeds when the plants are young, then mulch heavily to prevent more weeds from growing. Apply a layer of mulch 2 to 3 inches high.
- Feed the plant with low in nitrogen fertilizer NPK (10-10-10), aged manure or rich compost.
- You can also apply a liquid fertilizer monthly.
- Water regularly to keep the soil uniformly moist and particularly more from the beginning of the flowering period until the end of production.
NB: Okra is self-pollinating so you don’t need to care about pollination.
Pest and Diseases
Okra rarely succumbs to diseases or pests. Handpick any stink bugs that seem to be causing misfits. Earworms of wheat, loopers of cabbage, aphids and flea beetles can also become a problem. Simply pull and kill infected plants if the disease causes leaves to yellow and wilt. The main prevention approach is the rotation of crops.
- Okra requires frequent harvesting. About 50 to 60 days after planting, edible pods will start to appear. Harvest the okra when it’s about 2 to 3 inches long every other day.
- Cut the stem just above the cap with a knife; if the stem is too hard to cut, the pod is probably too old and should be tossed.
- Wear gloves and long sleeves when cutting the okra because most varieties are covered with tiny spines that will irritate your skin unless you have a spineless variety. Do not worry: this irritation will not happen when you eat them.
Okra can be consumed in a number of ways—raw, pickled, stir-fried—you name it!
Let’s know if you have any more questions on okra farming you would love to know about.