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.
16 Aug 20, Rachelle Brunetta (USA - Zone 10b climate)
I am in San Diego zone 10b, is it too late to plant okra in mid August ? (Gardenate : Check here www.gardenate.com/plant/Okra?zone=100 )
09 Sep 20, Sandra (USA - Zone 10b climate)
You can continue to plant okra so long as your weather stays warm to hot, so I just planted out 3 plants about two inches tall, they should produce until it’s too cold for them, they may live through the cold and maybe not. But do plant them where they get full sun all day whether the weather is cold or hot, they tolerate drought, very tough plant. Freeze anything you don’t eat right away. Pick often to produce more.
22 Aug 20, colleen (USA - Zone 10b climate)
Hi! I'm also in San Diego 10b. Sometimes my okra makes it all the way through the winter and sometimes it doesn't (same with my eggplants), as they're both perennials that hate frost. So much of it is luck--or where they're planted in the yard. If they're near my South wall they always make it. I say give it a shot! They'll grow FAST at first, much faster than when planted in March. You'll get a small harvest in November, and then the plants will not grow much until the weather warms back up in Feb/March, if they make it. I suggest cutting them to 1-2 feet tall in late November and covering them with garden fleece anytime light frost is threatened. If they survive the winter they'll come back in a bushier form and you'll be way ahead for next year.
18 Aug 20, (USA - Zone 10b climate)
Give it a try if you like. Look at your local conditions. They require warm/hot conditions by the look of it. If you don't produce a good crop then next year plant earlier as they suggest here.
05 Jul 20, Mairlyn (USA - Zone 8a climate)
Is early July too late to sow okra in zone 8a (Virginia)? (www.gardenate.com/plant/Okra?zone=13)
07 Jul 20, Matt Holloway (USA - Zone 8b climate)
Nope, get em in the ground!
29 May 20, Maggie Sorrels (USA - Zone 8b climate)
Is it too late to plant okra seeds ? How long till harvest?
17 May 20, Chuck Celestine (USA - Zone 8b climate)
it's May 16th and I'm wanting to sow some okra seeds. Has anyone had success in zone 8b? Would love some tips, for i don't have much room so I do mostly containers, but I can make space if needed. Thanks so much Chuck Celestine
Showing 1 - 10 of 18 comments

Is it too late to plant okra seeds ? How long till harvest?

- Maggie Sorrels

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