Growing Okra, also Ladyfinger, gumbo

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
    S   P              

(Best months for growing Okra in USA - Zone 5a regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays P = Sow seed

  • Grow in seed trays, and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 68°F and 95°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 14 - 24 inches apart
  • Harvest in 11-14 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Peppers (Capsicum, Chili), Eggplant (Aubergine)
  • Okra on flowering plant

Raise seedlings in a similar way to capsicums - warmth is essential. Pick pods when they are about 5 - 8 cm (2-4 inches) long. Cut the stem below the pod with a knife. If the stem is too tough to cut then the pod is probably inedible!

Wear gloves when picking as okra are often covered in tiny irritating hairs (which disappear when cooked)

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Okra

Use pods cut or whole in soups or casseroles as a boiled vegetable, or stirfry. Freeze uncut okra pods for using later - they'll keep for months frozen.

Your comments and tips

07 Jun 21, Tim (USA - Zone 9a climate)
I am in a small garden in zone 9a, has anyone ever planted squash (yellow, zucchini, and patty pan) at the base of okra plants. It is overbearingly hot and sunny on the squash plants and I am trying to use the okra as just a wee bit of extra shade during the hottest part of the day. It also gives me an little "extra veggie" in the okra row. I try to squeeze out every useable square inch in my little garden. Have you ever heard of this being done or has anyone tried it? Good or bad idea? I've looked and I don't see them listed as incompatible or even compatible in the companions listings. Just asking, I'm trying it now, just wanted to see if had been done before. If it works well, I'll let you know, if not and it's a disaster, I'll let you know that too! Tim
13 Jun 21, Sandra G (USA - Zone 10b climate)
It’s not a good idea because zucchini takes up a lot of space at the bottom, and the roots will compete for space, I’ve grown okra and it needs space and sun to produce. Why not grow zucchini in the middle of any plant that will get burned by the summer heat, if you cut the bottom layers of the zucchini and put sticks to train it up, it’ll provide shade for lettuce, celery, anything that can grow in partial shade, zucchini can be used as an umbrella with plenty of room to plant on the ground around it.
01 Jun 21, G'Day Farm (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
We start seeds in early august in the green house. They need around 27C to sprout. We transplant out in late September. We have been saving our own seeds, however our first batch of seeds came from Boondie Seeds. They have heirloom seeds so they are ideal for saving. Personally I prefer the Clemson Spineless as they seem to be more prolific with pod production. The others tend to just produce amazing looking leafy plants, but not as prolific pod wise.
23 Mar 21, Garry Moylan (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Where can I buy seeds and what is the best time to plant - thank you
25 Jan 21, Taryn (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I got mine from Bunnings, i I only planted about 5 plants, but they sure have produced a lot. I have another 12 i just planted, i'll do more in the next few weeks. They produce a lot in Brisbane, so if you need a lot of seeds, you may want a pack from bunnings or ebay, let the first crop go to seed, and next season you have loads of seeds to use?
17 Feb 21, Ben (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi Taryn, when did you plant your seeds? Are you harvesting the fruits already? I've just planted in couple of seeds (I'm in Brisbane). Am i to late? Ta
13 Dec 20, Peter Widdows (Australia - temperate climate)
I want very much to get enough seeds to put on a property but I'd like to know where I can get them there are a lot of people out here who have diabetes and I've heard that the seeds are even good to eat and helps people who have diabetes so please where can I buy them
13 Dec 20, Pete (Australia - temperate climate)
Im interested in growing the okra plant where can I get the seeds from is it true you can eat the whole plant and is there anyone growing them in Australia as produce
01 Feb 21, Maxine dean (USA - Zone 8b climate)
I have penty of seed...send your address and I will send you some
13 Dec 20, Peter Widdows (Australia - temperate climate)
Where would I be able to get the seeds to grow the okra plant from whats the best way to grow the plant and are they already being grown in Australia as a food source
Showing 1 - 10 of 337 comments

Go the okra page. Then I suggest you go through all the different climate zones for south Africa and see if it says plant in winter.

- Anonymous

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