Monday, June 17, 2013

How to Grow Okra In Minnesota

How to grow Okra in Minnesota. Okra is known as a southern grown vegetable, but you can grow it just fine in Minnesota. It is slow to germinate so if you direct seed usually the weeds take over. So what  should you do?

I have some flats that were used for perennials (they have large pockets). I start the Okra in these flats and then move to the field toward the end of May or early June when all danger of frost is past. We planted 14 flats about 300 plants the last weekend in April.

Okra Plants at the Farmer's Market
We dig a trench with the tiller and then fill the trench with compost. We plant the 6 inch tall okra in the composted row. No weeds and the larger okra plants will soon shade the ground.

Grown this way the okra is very tasty. The newer hybrids yield well and are more tender than the previous open pollinated varieties. This is one case where planting the newer hybrids really pays off.

As the season progresses the plants branch, so the harvest multiplies week to week.

Okra is like basil in that it absolutely abhors frost. Like basil it is dead at first frost. In a home garden you can cover it for the first few light frosts.

Fresh okra far out shines the frozen style in the freezer section. I never see fresh okra in the stores here as I think it is too perishable to ship.

See us as the farmers market for your okra needs or to buy plants in the spring. Simply delicious.

If you want to sample fried Okra year around. Try "John Hardys" Barbeque Restaurant.

1 comment:

  1. Are you in zone 3,4 or 5 in Minnesota? BTW how does okra grow in these zones? I assume there are differences between zones 3-5 in the state! Are raised beds/plastic mulch black painted rocks & other heat absorbing items used say in the cooler areas? BTW the south is becoming an olive & olive oil producing area zone 8 Georgia/Alabama/north & panhandle Florida! Also citrus that can take temps down to 10 degrees & avocados to 14 degrees! I live in zone 10 south Florida & ben a back yard gardener many years! September thru May for both warm & cool weather veggies! The summers are too hot even for tomatoes/peppers/eggplant, they will survive but go into a green dormacy, also in the winter if it gets too cold! Cool weather veggies, the enviroment is marginal & grown small in size! Can go 10-12 years without a frost & it is light & patchy! BTW veggie growing conditions are the same in the Bahama Islands, Cuba, Jamaica, Hispanolia like in south Florida the semi-tropics & upper tropics!April is the last month for cool veggies & May is the last month for warm veggies!Decidious trees grow different & mock tropical trees in the semi-tropics & down into the tropics & in the sub-tropics they are semi-decidious & never totally dormant like in central & north Florida!