A step-by-step information to rising okra in pots in your patio or deck
Right here’s the factor about okra: It LOVES warmth. Rising okra in pots is completely attainable, but it surely does greatest in heat climates. That’s why it’s a staple of Southern delicacies (mmm gumbo! Fried okra, pickled okra … ) and fewer usually grown up north.
Okra is a member of the mallow household, which additionally consists of cotton and hibiscus. Technically a fruit, okra produces massive blooms of showy flowers, together with the acquainted edible pods.
So for those who’re on the lookout for a singular vegetable to develop in your container backyard, and also you’re in a heat local weather, okra is a superb possibility!
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Some issues to bear in mind: okra likes warmth, it wants constant watering, and it may well develop as excessive as 4 to six ft tall. (!)
That mentioned, there are dwarf varieties that develop about half that dimension and nonetheless produce loads of pods, some as quickly as 50-55 days. These work very effectively in containers and pots … so go for it!
Learn on for all the main points you want about planting okra from seed, rising okra in pots and containers, when to reap okra, and extra!
Learn how to plant okra in a pot
As a result of it places down a taproot like a carrot and might be delicate to transplanting, okra is greatest grown from seed. That mentioned, it may be grown from seedlings for those who choose or for those who’re in a cooler local weather with brief summers.
If you happen to’re in a cooler local weather, then it’s undoubtedly higher to start out from seed to get a head begin whereas ready for temps to rise. In that case, sow seeds indoors a few month earlier than your final anticipated frost date.
Learn how to develop okra from seed
Okra wants heat soil to germinate and develop, so wait till air temperatures persistently attain at the least 65 to 70 levels F at evening. Cool temperatures will inhibit progress and ultimately pod manufacturing.
TIP: Some rising directions say wait till SOIL temperatures persistently attain 65 levels at a 4 inch depth. I listed air temperature right here for 2 causes. 1. Many small-scale gardeners may not have soil thermometers and a couple of. Container soil heats up (and cools down) sooner than backyard soil. So for a plant like okra that wants regular warmth, air temperature is a extra constant strategy to measure it.
(If that is piquing your backyard nerd curiosity, right here’s an easy-to-follow scientific description of soil vs air temperatures.)
- Because you gained’t be transplanting the seedlings, sow okra seeds within the container you propose to maintain them in.
- I get mine from Botanical Pursuits. They’ve a tremendous choice and the most effective seed packets! Like little artistic endeavors with a lot of useful data.
- Select a container at the least 12 inches deep and vast, corresponding to a 5-gallon pot. Think about getting a darkish plastic or ceramic pot, which can assist maintain in warmth and hold the soil heat.
- Talking of soil — you’ll want a good high quality, loamy potting soil that permits for good drainage. A soilless potting combine may work effectively too for rising okra from seed.
How to plant okra seeds
- Soak the seeds in water in a single day to arrange them for germination.Throw out any that float to the floor.
- Subsequent, sow just a few seeds in every pot, about ½ to 1 inch deep. Hold the soil persistently moist however not soggy, and most essential (you possibly can most likely guess what I’m about to say ….) ensure that the pot is in a heat spot.
- It is best to see seedlings in a few week. As soon as they get to be just a few inches tall, skinny to at least one per pot.
Or you should purchase seedlings from an area farmers market, nursery or backyard retailer.
That is sooner and simpler than beginning okra from seed, in fact, and you may usually discover robust, wholesome seedlings which can be every week or extra forward of freshly planted seeds.
TIP: Farmers markets are superior locations to search out good high quality seedlings. They’re usually grown organically and are already acclimated to your native temperature. The growers can provide you particulars in regards to the selection, whether or not it’s been hardened off, and ideas for transplanting and rising in your local weather.… Discover your farmers market right here!
If you happen to go together with seedlings they usually haven’t been hardened off (otherwise you’re unsure they’ve been), regularly expose them to the outside earlier than transferring them to their everlasting spot in your patio, deck or balcony.
Discover a sunny spot in your okra to stay
- Okra likes: a lot of warmth, ample solar, room to develop, regular water
- Okra doesn’t like: chilly temperatures, shallow containers, shade
These are key elements when deciding the place you’re rising okra in containers.
After your seeds have sprouted and also you thinned and hardened them off, discover a spot in your patio, deck or balcony that will get full solar at the least 6-8 hours per day.
Learn how to care for a potted okra plant
Learn how to water okra in a pot
Okra does greatest when persistently watered. Don’t let the soil dry out; water when the soil feels dry to the contact. Throughout dry spells, you should definitely give okra an intensive soak.
An inch of water per week is an efficient quantity to goal for. Extra for those who stay in a really dry, scorching local weather.
Fertilizer directions for potted okra
Though okra can do effectively in poor soil, it makes use of a whole lot of vitality to provide pods, so fertilizer helps encourage manufacturing in a pot or container:
- First, combine in a handful of aged manure or compost within the potting soil if you sow seeds.
- Then, each 4-6 weeks, add one other handful on high of the soil and water completely. This is named side-dressing and offers your okra a steady enhance all through the season.
- An alternative choice is a dose of water-soluble fertilizer given month-to-month.
When do I harvest okra?
Your okra vegetation will flower first, about 50-65 days after planting. Then, inside every week the pods will begin to type on the base of the blooms.
The pods have a candy spot — they’re greatest after they attain 2 to 4 inches lengthy. After that, they get powerful and stringy.
So you should definitely harvest your okra when the pods are just a few inches lengthy, otherwise you’ll miss out!
To reap the pods, minimize the stem with a knife. If any pods get too lengthy and hard, you should definitely snip them off too, to encourage continued manufacturing.
TIP: Most okra varieties have tiny spines throughout, which might irritate the pores and skin. Put on gloves when dealing with pods, or put together to itch …
How usually ought to I harvest okra?
As soon as the plant begins to provide, snip new pods day by day or two. They develop again shortly, and continuous harvest is one of the best ways to take advantage of the rising season.
Right here’s a fast tutorial on how and when to reap okra:
How can I get okra to provide extra?
In case your okra isn’t producing as a lot as you anticipated (or hoped), it is likely to be considered one of these causes:
- Cool temperatures. Not a lot you are able to do about this one, assuming you have already got it within the sunniest, warmest spot attainable in your deck or patio. If not, transfer it into extra full solar.
- Inadequate water. Okra spends a whole lot of vitality rising flowers and pods, so it wants to remain hydrated. Bear in mind, goal for at the least an inch of water per week, extra for those who’re in a extremely popular and dry local weather.
- Insufficient diet. One other attainable challenge is lack of fertilization. If you happen to suspect that is the issue, facet gown with some compost or manure. After that, add a water-soluble fertilizer month-to-month.
- Gradual harvesting and outdated pods. Are you leaving outdated pods on the plant, after they’re previous the perfect dimension? Sustain with progress and encourage extra manufacturing by clipping pods as quickly as they attain just a few inches lengthy.
How a lot okra ought to I develop?
Okra takes up house, rising as a lot as 3 to six ft tall and a couple of ft vast. So for those who’re working with a small house in your deck or backyard, you may not have room for a couple of or two okra vegetation.
All issues thought-about, one or two vegetation might be sufficient. In good rising situations (which means loads of warmth, solar and constant watering), every plant can produce about 20 to 30 pods per season. Colder temperatures or a shorter season will produce fairly a bit much less. Areas with year-round warmth will be capable to lengthen the rising season and harvest extra.
However for those who’re planning to protect some by pickling or freezing, along with utilizing some contemporary within the kitchen, you may want two vegetation to be sure you’re coated.
Okra is among the best greens to develop in pots and containers.
If you happen to’re on the lookout for a singular possibility in your deck or patio backyard, it’s definitely an incredible one to think about.