Okra, or "Gumbo," has its roots in Northeast Africa. Cultivation spread into the eastern Mediterranean regions. It has been used for thousands of years. A member of the mallow family, it is closely related to flowering hibiscus. One of the earliest accounts of okra is by a Spanish Moor who visited Egypt in 1216. It was introduced to Brazil in the mid-1600s and it is likely that the French colonists of Louisiana introduced it to America.
[ - More - ] Each packet contains two grams, which is approximately 30 seeds.
Popular in the Southern United States it can be served breaded and fried, or as a component of a recipe such as soups, stews or relishes. Okra is a typical ingredient of Cajun and Creole dishes. Because it is considered too gooey, it is rarely served alone.
Harvest the pods young before they are too large, usually at two to four inches long. After that they become fibrous. Harvest often to increase production. Okra should be used as soon as it is harvested; Consume, can, freeze or dry.
Okra likes fertile, well-composted soil and needs moisture and warmth to thrive. Soak seeds for overnight before directly sowing into warm soil or started indoors three to four weeks prior to your last expected frost (refer to the hardiness zone map). You must be careful not to damage the roots during transplanting. Although okra typically has no problems with disease or pests, it is very sensitive to frost. Click here for seed starting ideas.
Okra easily cross-pollinates so if you are planning to save seed, either plant only one variety or separate by up to one mile. Four to six plants are usually enough for most families; way too many for others :)