How to Grow Okra
Okra is a warm-weather vegetable that can be grown in containers. When planting seeds, wait until the soil is warm enough to support germination. Then, slowly introduce the plants to the sun, starting with half an hour a day. After that, increase the time in the sun each day until the seedlings are exposed to a full day of direct sunlight. Plant the seeds in rows about 12 inches apart. You should also use well-draining soil and amend it with compost to enhance the fertility of the soil.
Harmful insects for Okra
Okra needs proper watering, at least an inch per week, to stay healthy. Also, it is susceptible to soil-borne diseases, such as root knot nematode, which can cause the plants to wilt and die. Insect pests can also damage plants. Fire ants are a common pest, as they can get on the plant and steal nectar, but they rarely cause any serious damage. Other pests that can affect the okra crop include Japanese beetles, aphids, and flea beetles.
How to fertilize Okra
After the first harvest, you should fertilize the okra plants with organic fertilizer. The fertilizer should be mixed in the top half-inch of soil. Afterwards, water the plants to allow the fertilizer to penetrate the soil. Once the pods begin to ripen, you can harvest them three to four times a week. When harvesting, it’s important to pick the pods early enough before they mature, since they get tougher as they mature. To avoid skin irritation, wear rubber gloves or long sleeves. You can also use shears to cut through the fibrous stems.
Container Suitable to grow Okra
To grow okra, you need a container with sufficient moisture and warmth. A dark plastic or ceramic pot works well as it absorbs heat. It should have good drainage. You can also use soilless potting mix. It is also important to soak the seeds in water overnight. After that, you can start germination.
Climate that suits Okra for Better growth
Once planted, okra grows quickly. Once it reaches fifty to sixty days, it is almost ready to harvest. However, you must make sure you plant them in a location with the right climate. Okra plants need a warm climate, ideally full sun. In shady areas, they can wilt.
Effect of climate on Okra Production
Depending on the region you live in, one or two plants can produce about 20-30 pods per season. In colder climates, okra plants will produce fewer pods. But they will remain productive in warmer areas and can be grown successfully in containers. The plant is easily transplanted to pots and can be grown from seed to harvest.
Best Soil for Okra growth
If you grow okra in a container, you should prepare the soil with the correct soil pH. The pH should be around 6.5 to 7.0. Its growth will be best if the soil is rich in organic matter.