• Selina Kyle

How to Grow a Ton of Okra in Your Backyard

The fact that you are reading this article means you already eat Okra part of your diet, so I won't bore you with Okra's history etc. but jump right into the details around growing a ton organically. Okra is relatively easy to grow and when done right, the plant keeps on giving excellent harvest. My goal in this article is to share some tips to grow Okra and get a good harvest in your own backyard.

Okra grows best in hot climates (we are from Florida so there is enough sun and heat) so your mileage from following these tips may vary depending on where you live. With that said, let's get into the details.

#1 Setup:

Okra plants grow fast and reasonably big (up to 6-8 feet tall) so plan to keep good spacing between the plants. The roots of these plant goes deep (up to 4 feet) so if you are planning on container or raised garden, ensure that there is enough depth of the container for the plant to establish well.

Tip: if you are using a garden bed, plant these on the sides of the bed so that you will not lose too much workable space in the bed for other plants (see our picture below).

#2 Conditions:

Okra needs full sun and hot conditions. Coming to soil, it grows in ordinary garden soil but works best in balanced soil (mix of sand, silt, and clay). Not all of us have the luxury of the balanced soil so add good amount of compost to whatever soil you have and nature does the rest for us.

Tip: As with all plants, crop rotation is a good way to ensure that soil is in good condition for the plant. A nitrogen-fixing crop like peas or beans growing previously helps the plans grow better.

#3 Watering:

Regular watering is needed for Okra especially during flowering and pod development. If the conditions are extremely dry for a longer period, deep soaking once in a while is beneficial. One general tip is to mulch the plant base to reduce the excessive drying of the soil.

#4 Feeding:

Okra is no exception in demanding a rich soil packed with nutrients. So keep adding the organic matter like manure, compost, bone meal, blood meal etc. to the beds on a regular basis (monthly is working fine for us). Bone meal also helps with excellent harvest.

Tip: If you don't have luxury of your county providing free compost, our article with details around the no nonsense composting can be found here.

#5 Pest Control:

As with every plant - if they are healthy and fed well, they have natural tendency to take care of themselves from pests. However keep an eye out to ensure the situation is not out of your hands. Aphids and stinkbugs are common bugs that attack Okra plants and if you need some tips to control pests organically check out our article here.

Finally Harvesting:

Once the first okra pod emerges and matures, we can start the harvesting process on a regular basis. Okra is more tastier when they are young so make sure that you start the harvest when they reach like 2-3 inch in size. Depending on the plant health, you might want to do the scouting for fresh Okra twice a day as they grow super fast.

On a side note, let us know what tips worked for you (if you already are an experienced gardener) in the comments below for all of us to learn.

That's all from me and hope this was helpful to you. Peace !!!