Time to Harvest Okra!

Okra can be sowed March 15 – June 15. Okra enjoys fertile, well–composted soil and needs moisture, warmth and full sun to thrive. They like the heat. Next season you might want to soak the seeds overnight before directly sowing into warm soil 1/2 inch deep. Thin seedlings to 12-18 inches apart.

If you planted seeds this spring, your okra might be ready for harvest! Some folks grow it for the beautiful flowers. Others love to cook and eat the pods.

The pod will develop after the flower fades and falls off. Once mature, harvest pods every other day during the growing season for tender, edible pods and better ongoing harvest.

Seed Saving:
When growing for seed, allow pods to get as big as possible. You can let the pod dry and brown on the plant. Or, to keep the plant producing, you can clip the pod and allow it to dry on its own. When it’s completely dry, you’ll notice the pod is lighter and the edges will start to split. Pull apart the split and drop seeds into a container. Allow seeds to dry another week before storing.

Common Name: Okra

Scientific Name: Abelmoschus esculentus

Seed Saving Level: Advanced

Below is a Cajun Stew recipe from Martha Stewart’s One Pot (2014)

Food Revoluation.org offers more extensive information about the many uses and nutritional benefits of okra.

Recipe:  Cajun Stew


2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tbsp all-purpose flour

1 red onion, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped

1 red or green bell pepper, coarsely chopped

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

course salt

1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes

1½ cups water

¾ pound Andouille or kielbasa, sliced into ½-inch thick rounds

2 cups sliced okra

½ pound

large shrimp, peeled and deveined


Heat a braiser or medium Dutch oven over medium heat. Add oil and flour; cook, whisking constantly, until golden brown, 5-7 minutes. Add onion, garlic, celery, and bell pepper; cook until crisp-tender, about 7 minutes. Add cayenne and ½ tsp salt. Stir in tomatoes (with liquid), the water, and sausage. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, partially covered, until slightly thickened, about 25 minutes. Add okra and simmer 3 minutes. Add shrimp and cook until opaque, 3-4 minutes more. Season with salt.


The Complete Guide to Saving Seeds

One Pot