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Okra

An African native, Okra was introduced to US kitchens in the 18th century, soon becoming a cornerstone in southern cuisine. A warm-weather crop, it requires a long and warm growing season; in colder climates, it should be started indoors four to six weeks before the last frost date. Okra is a heavy feeder so be sure to fertilize for optimum yield. Pick daily while the pods are young and tender before they turn woody. (Plants will stop producing if the pods are allowed to ripen.) Caribbean cuisine has created an Okra rebirth which is now popular beyond its importance in gumbo.

Average seed life: 2 years.

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Gardening Tips

Okra Sowing Instructions
Planting Depth
:1/2”-3/4”
Row Spacing:24”-36”
Plant Spacing:24”
Days to Germination:7-14 days
Germination Temperature:65°-70°F

Except in the warmest climates, Okra must be started indoors as it needs a long, warm growing season. Sow Okra in a good seed-starting medium 4 to 6 weeks prior to the last frost date. Use deep pots to accommodate its long taproots. Provide even moisture, strong light and good ventilation. Prior to transplanting, acclimate the seedlings by gradually exposing them to outside conditions for 1 to 2 weeks. After the soil has warmed up, gently transplant the seedlings 24" apart in a sunny spot with fertile, well-draining soil. Okra is a heavy feeder so fertilize regularly to increase harvest yields. Five to 7 days after flowering, pods will form on the plants, which grow to over 3' tall. Pick pods daily while young and tender; if pods mature, they become quite woody and pod production diminishes considerably.