Okra on a cutting board
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Reap The Benefits Of Homegrown Okra With These Gardening Tips
Directly sown okra can take up to 90 days to ripen, but you can actually shorten the garden-to-table cycle to approximately 40 to 70 days by beginning with seedlings.
First, verify the seeds are new by checking the label because the ones nearing expiry are unlikely to sprout. Next, soak them overnight in water or sand them down.
Put them in the ground around two to three weeks after the last frost. Okra needs full sun for healthy growth, so be sure to plant its seeds east to west in rows for full exposure.
When the seedlings are 3 inches high, thin them to 18 inches apart. Soil temperatures must be 65 degrees Fahrenheit, down to a depth of 4 inches, in order for them to stay alive.
Grow your okra in well-draining, organically-rich soils. When the seedlings are ready to bud, side-dress with a nitrogen-heavy fertilizer (21-0-0), but don’t go overboard.
Although okra plants are prized for their drought tolerance, they must be soaked 6 inches deep with 1 to 1 ½ inches of water every 7 to 10 days if it hasn't rained.
Water them daily if the temperatures exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit, especially during pod development. Yellow flowers imply your pods will be out in another two to three days.
Check the plant every other day and harvest the tender pods, which should be 2 to 4 inches long. Or bend the pod; if it breaks, it's good to be pickled, fried, or enjoyed raw.