Out of all of the seeds we planted in our garden, the okra was one of the few that really took off. Okra are very easy going plants, so all we had to do was plant them, water them, and watch them grow. The plants shot up and were bearing okra before we knew it. Also, the okra pods grew so quickly that by the time we realized we were going to have okra, we found pods that were six inches long! This is a wonderful plant for any beginner gardener.
Upon further reading about okra, I found that most sources say that harvesting okra is best with pods about 2-3 inches long. I read one way to tell if they are ready is, when you cut the pod from the plant, use a kitchen knife and if it is too hard to cut through the stem of the pod then the pod is too old and should be discarded. (The Old Farmer’s Almanac) With that being said, these pods I found could be too old to harvest for use. Although, if the pods are still tender, then they should be fine to keep.
What to look for in ripe pods:
- Firm, but still tender
- Easy to cut from plant with a knife, just above the pod cap
- Bright green color, not dull green
Make sure to keep harvesting your plant on a regular basis. Okra pods are produced at the top of the plant. The stalks of the plant remain relatively thin so the weight of your okra pods could weigh the plant down if you do not harvest ripe pods regularly.