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Growing Okra, also Ladyfinger, gumbo

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

Not recommended for growing in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions

  • 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 in same bed): Peppers (Capsicum, Chili), Eggplant (Aubergine)
  • Okra on flowering plant
    Okra on flowering plant

In warm districts okra can be sown in garden beds. Raise seedlings in a similar way to capsicums - warmth is essential. Pick pods within a week of flowers opening - at about 5 - 8 cm long. Pods become tough and inedible if left too long.

Pods have a high gum content so do not appeal to everyone.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Okra

Use pods fresh or dried in soups or casseroles or as a boiled vegetable.

Your comments and tips

19 Mar 17, (Australia - temperate climate)
First time growing okra. plants about 15 cm tall but seem spindly.New leaves and growing.Do they need staking?Howhigh do they grow?
20 Mar 17, mick cunningham (Australia - arid climate)
I grow them in Newcastle and they grew spindley I didn't realise until I grew them here in Tamworth it must have been lack of sunshine as here shorter more dense and prolific fruit. Possibly sunshine is issue
20 Mar 17, Jack (Australia - temperate climate)
I have had Okra plants 2 metres high. They were in a block and were unstaked
19 Mar 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Okra needs a long hot season to perform at its best. I planted it one time in January and there just wasn't enough season left. The plants were flowering and I did get a few but the main crop didn't grow and ripen because the weather had cooled down. try planting the seed in small pots earlier so that they can be planted out in late October or early November to achieve a long growing season. In the southern states the soil temperature often doesn't reach 15-17 degrees till about then.
05 Feb 17, John droppers (Australia - temperate climate)
How to cook it is have tried it it seems to be guey slimey
09 Feb 17, David (Australia - temperate climate)
How to Cook Okra Without the Sliminess:
06 Feb 17, Flo (Australia - temperate climate)
It is always slimy when boiled or steamed. It is often used in curries etc, masks the sliminess a bit.
06 Feb 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
I have worked in a community garden with South Sudanese and they use okra in stews as it is to create a thickening effect. They also say that it is soothing for gastric problems. A lot of people say to soak it in vinegar for half an hour then pat dry and cook. Trust this helps.
20 Jan 17, lucy (Australia - temperate climate)
I have been trying to grow an Okra plant many times &I'm very devastated when it's time of flowering, it seems, ants attract the flower ,ended up no produce at the end...what is the best advise u can share & give???& what organic fertilizer best2 okra...thanks
07 Jan 17, Lotus (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
1. When can I grow okra in Polokwane,Limpopo province? Where can I find seeds ?
Showing 1 - 10 of 196 comments

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. GardenGrow is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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