Okra is one of the most beloved vegetables in the American South. It is a hardy and nutritious vegetable that, when cooked correctly, can be delicious and filling. It’s also easy to grow at home.
To grow your own okra indoors, you will need the following supplies: high-quality soil, reliable seeds, plentiful water, a grow light, and extra pots, because you will eventually need to repot them.
Okra can grow to be an enormous plant, so go clear some space and get planting. Read on to learn how to grow and repot okra indoors.
Buy Proper Soil
To properly grow okra, you will need a high-quality vegetable garden soil. Avoid purchasing cheap, low-quality mixes – be conscientious about your purchasing choices. This is because you want your okra plants to be able to absorb the ideal amount of nutrients and, if they are being grown in poor-quality soil, then they will likely end up lacking in essential nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and calcium.
There are a couple of different avenues you can take to procure high-quality soil for your indoor garden. The first way you can obtain high-quality soil for your okra plants is to contact a local farmer or gardener who has a compost pile. Local compost is some of the best soil you can grow your okra in because it contains nutrients and beneficial bacteria that are native to your area.
The second way you can obtain high-quality soil is to purchase a top-notch organic gardening soil from a distributor. One of the best potting mixes you can get for growing okra indoors is Epsoma’s Organic Seed Starter. This is a blend of peat moss, humus, and pearlite with the addition of an organic nutrient blend that helps seeds take root more easily.
As for pots, since you are starting your seeds indoors, you will want to pick out a multi-pot, which is a bunch of small seedling pots that are all connected. A multi-pot is helpful because it allows you to keep all your plants together in one place and move them as a whole instead of having to do so one by one.
Purchase High-Quality Seeds
To make sure that your okra plants grow up to be strong, healthy, and well-producing, you will need to start from the ground up with good seeds. What defines a “good seed” is multi-faceted. You will first need to make sure that your seeds are resistant to pests and diseases, if at all possible. This will give your indoor garden the best chance to beat any diseases that may occur from the soil, watering, or the elements.
The second defining trait of a good seed is its ability to take root. You don’t want to purchase seeds that are past-date or from last season. Even though you may get a good deal on them at a big-name superstore, you should pass up on any seeds that are expired.
This is because old seeds that are kept in paper packets are too dry to grow properly and may have lost their ability to germinate. Buy seeds that are seasonal and fresh – check out your local farm supply store for okra seeds that are hardy and new.
The third defining trait of a good seed is its distribution from a reputable source. While it might be tempting to pick the seeds out of okra plants you buy at the grocery store, that is not such a good idea. Okra plants that are grown for selling at grocery stores aren’t always able to be germinated and propagated at home. This is because some varieties of plants are grown for use as seed crops, while others are grown as produce.
Some varieties of okra seeds that meet these criteria are these Burpee Clemson Spineless Okra Seeds. Burpee is one of the most reputable seed companies in the country, and their products have been feeding families for generations. Pick these seeds for a nearly-guaranteed way to grow plentiful okra indoors this year.
Water Them Regularly and Use a Grow Light
The best way to ensure that your indoor okra plants get the attention they need is by regularly watering them. When you are growing plants indoors, you need to make sure that they are getting plenty of water because they won’t be able to get any of the rain that outdoor plants would. This is especially true for okra plants as they are a crop that’s mainly grown in hot climates such as the South as well as in Africa and India.
Okra needs a plentiful amount of water to be able to grow. You will want to target your watering directly at the roots of the plant to avoid the spread of disease and mold. Watering from above is one of the most common ways that spores travel from plant to plant. The soil should remain moist at all times.
Since okra needs full sun to be able to thrive, you will need a grow light to be able to help your okra plants flourish. As mentioned before, okra is a plant that is most commonly grown in hot, sunny climates. Because of this, okra won’t grow well indoors unless you supplement it with some rays. This is easy to accomplish with the use of a supplemental lighting device such as this MARS HYDRO 4×4 Grow Lamp unit.
Repot When They Outgrow the Multi-Pot
Okra is a quickly-growing plant. They okra can grow up to six feet tall, so, along with making sure you have enough space for them in your home, you will also need to be prepared to perform some serious repotting. The okra plants will quickly outgrow the multi-pot that you’re starting them in, so be prepared with enough terra cotta pots for each of the plants you are propagating.
Terra cotta is a helpful option for your home garden because they are earth-friendly, inexpensive, and help regulate the temperature and moisture of the soil. You should purchase a couple of different sizes of pots in incrementally larger sizes so you can continue to repot your okra as it shoots upward. Make sure to continue to use high-quality soil during this process – don’t skimp.
When you’re repotting your okra plants, be mindful of the root structure. You should do your best to work gently around them by scooping out the entire root structure with a small spoon or trowel. Then, take the plant and place it in the new pot, which should already be approximately half full with new soil. From there, you can fill in the edges around the root structure. Give the plant a big drink of water, and you’ve successfully replanted your okra.
To successfully grow okra indoors and to replant it properly, you will need the right supplies that are high-quality and will last you the whole season. You will first need some high-quality soil like local compost or organic vegetable gardening mix to start your seeds in. You will also need to make sure that your seeds are from a reliable and reputable source.
A multi-pot will come in handy when you plant your seeds because it allows you to grow a bunch of seedlings in one place. Use a grow light to help the okra sprout, and water them amply. Be prepared for tons of okra – these plants could grow to be taller than you!
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