Growing Okra from Seed to Harvest Posted on 10 Jun 07:45 , 0 comments
Okra is a beautiful, heat loving plant that is oh-so-easy to grow from seed. Fun fact, Okra belongs to the same plant family as hibiscus. Check out the beautiful bloom on this Burgundy Okra below!
Okra is the seed pod of the Abelmoschus esculentus plant. It's filled with tiny white seeds and is sometimes called lady's fingers due to its long, slender, tubelike shape.
Okra is a fruit, though it is eaten as a vegetable. Okra can be cooked whole or sliced and can be prepared in a number of unique ways including frying, grilling, sautéeing, pan-roasting and even pickled.
Growing Okra from Seed
Prior to planting, soak the okra seeds in water for 12 to 18 hours to soften its hard seed coat. Soaking aids moisture absorption and germination.
Sow Okra seeds in warm soil approx 1/2 to 1 inch deep in coconut coir, seed starting medium or directly in the garden. If planting directly in the garden, space seeds 6-12 inches apart.
Okra seeds can germinate in as few as 2 days and as many as 12 days. Soil should be warm and moist but not soggy.
Plant okra in full sun and water regularly, especially during flowering and pod development.
This heat loving crop is ready to harvest in as few as 60 days. Use scissors to harvest Okra pods from the stem. Pulling them off may damage the plant.
Start harvesting a few days after the okra blooms fade. At that point the seed pods should be soft and two to three inches long. Harvest daily or every other day to avoid woody/tough pods.
Harvesting Okra Seeds
Okra seeds are very easy to harvest. Very important: harvest seeds from your healthiest plant and make sure the pod is overripe.
Store harvested seeds in envelopes or jars. Label your storage containers with the variety of seeds and date harvested.
Roasted Okra is probably one of the easiest recipes. Roast them whole or slice.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
Arrange the okra slices in one layer on a foil lined cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. *Add additional spices to your liking* Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes.