Emerald Okra Guide

This is an early maturing heirloom okra from the 1950’s. Best harvested when the pods (aka lady fingers) reach 3-4 inches. Delicious any way you prepare it, whether fried, roasted, stewed, pickled or thrown in some gumbo! True to its name, Emerald okra will remain a beautiful green color even when cooked.

TO SOW

Okra grows best in very warm weather between 75°F-95°F. They do great in containers and small gardens. Bank on Seeds recommends transplanting.

If Direct Seeding

  • Direct seed outside 6 weeks after last frost date; or
  • Direct seed into a container 10-12 inches deep and wide anytime of the year. It can be placed outside when the temperature is between 75°F-95°F; or

If Transplanting

Begin the growing season early and start the okra seeds indoors in trays or pods 1-2 weeks after the last frost date. Germination is best and fastest between 80°F-85°F. You can even use a heating mat underneath the seedlings to reach the desired temperature. It can be transplanted outside 5-6 weeks later.

Sow seeds 1/2 inch deep and 12-18 inches apart with rows spaced 18-24 inches apart. Germination will take 6-14 days.

TO GROW

Okra likes well-draining, light soil free of weeds. They also love full sun and warm weather. Water regularly to keep the soil lightly moist, not soggy. Check the top 2-3 inches of soil and if it’s dry, then water it. Make sure to water at the base and not from above the plant to prevent rot or disease.

Adding a layer of mulch helps in retaining moisture, regulating temperature, and preventing weed growth. Use 10-10-10 or 5-10-10 fertilizer at bloom time for a boost.

TO REAP

Emerald okra develops in 55 days. Pick the pods when they reach 3-4 inches by snipping them off with scissors or a sharp knife. Continuous harvesting will encourage more pod production.

PESTS/DISEASES

Aphids, mites, anthracnose – insecticidal soap, neem oil, organic pesticide, manual picking, keep free of weeds and debris, rotate crop, avoid overwatering, don’t water from above the foliage

*Companion plant okra with basil, calendula, cucumbers, eggplants, melon, and peppers. Avoid planting with squash.*


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