Nutrient Rich Vegetable Okra Plants
Growing okra plants can be a simple garden task. Okra matures quickly, especially if you have a summer of hot weather which the plants prefer. These plants are in the mallow family, making it a relative of cotton, hibiscus, and cocoa, among other well-known crops. Okra plants can grow to 6 feet (2 meters) tall, and sometimes even higher, in the right conditions. The plants produce large white to yellow flowers that develop into ridged pentagonal pods. This is the part of the plant which is most commonly used, typically while the pods are still immature and tender. The leaves are also edible. Spread 2 or 3 inches of organic mulch around the plants when the seedlings are about 3 inches tall. Mulch, such as straw or shredded bark, will discourage growth of weeds and keep the soil warm if temperatures are chilly in early spring.
Be careful not to overwater. Okra is a drought-tolerant plant that does just fine with about ½ inch of water every week. If you skip a week here and there, no worries. Feed the plants occasionally throughout the growing season, using a balanced garden fertilizer. You’ll probably need to stake the plant. Most varieties become top heavy as they grow.