Okra is a warm season vegetable that can be grown throughout much of the United States. It thrives in warm, dry conditions and when mature, can be prepared in a variety of ways to be eaten, especially in soups, boiled or fried. Because it is a fairly drought-hardy vegetable, you don't need to obsess over its water needs. With the proper schedule and technique, you can provide sufficient water for your okra to thrive in your vegetable garden.
Things You'll Need
- Watering hose
- Sprinkler nozzle
- Soaker nozzle
Poke your finger into the soil where the okra seedlings are growing. If the soil is dry at a depth of 1 to 2 inches, then the soil needs water. If the soil is still moist, then wait two more days before testing the soil's moisture again. Generally, if your okra is growing in a sandy soil, it will need to be watered more frequently than if it is growing in a soil with a high clay percentage.
Water the soil with a watering can or hose with a sprinkler nozzle so that the water penetrates the first 2 inches of the soil. During warmer weather, you may need to water once every three days. During cooler periods, you may only need to water once a week. The best time of the day to water is during the early morning before the temperature begins to rise.
Soak the soil deeply, up to 3 inches, during periods of extended drought. You may need to soak the soil every seven to 10 days during these conditions. You can use either a hose with a sprinkler nozzle or a water soaker nozzle.
Don't overwater your plants. If you notice that the water is sitting on the soil or that that soil is becoming muddy, then you are overwatering. Always err on the side of under-watering the plants, as they have a better chance of surviving lack of water than too much water.
- University of Illinois Extension; Okra; Ron Wolford, et al.
- Iowa State University Extension; Growing Okra in the Home Garden; Richard Jauron; April 2005
- NC State University Extension; Home Vegetable Gardening; Larry Bass; January 2000
- University of Illinois Extension; Watering Correctly Saves Time, Money, and Plants; Sharon A. Yiesla; August/September 2001
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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