The first thing you must always remember or know about okra production is that it grows best only in warm season.
Okra seeds germinate and grow faster on well-drained, fertile soil. The soil’s pH should be close to neutral between 6.5 and 7.6. If the soil is not rich enough, you can use compost or organic manure to make the ground more fertile.
Okra is then planted using the seeds and directly in your farm or garden. The seeds can be soaked in water overnight before planting, some does for 24hrs before the planting to reduce the dormancy and this process helps to speed up the germination time.
When you are planting okra seeds, make sure to leave a space of about 1 to 2 feet between each plant on the same row. And a space of about 3 to 4 feet in between two rows. Okra plants might be tall depending on the species of the okra you are planting, so they need enough room to grow well.
It is advisable that you make ridges before planting okra. It has been observed that okra grow better on ridges than on flat land.
You should remove weeds as often as possible. Also, you might have to water them if you are planting during the dry season.
Okra grows slowly at the early stage but as the temperature becomes warmer, it begins to grow faster. In the later stage, as the okra plant grow taller, the leaves become bigger and it starts to produce yellow flowers. The appearance of flowers is followed by the pods. They can reach full size in 2 or 3 days if the weather is warm enough.
The average length of a full-size pod is about 2 – 4 inches. As soon as they begin to reach full size, it is advisable to begin harvesting. If they stay longer than they should, the pods will become more fibrous and tough. Most species of okra plant takes an average of 45 to 60 days to grow to maturity.
Also, thinning is important once the plant begin to sprout. On the other hand, you need to look out for diseases and pests and control them to avoid ruining your plans for your farm.
About two months from the planting date and you can be harvesting every three days.
NOTE: After the first harvest, remove the lower leaves to help speed up production.