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What is the best Fertilizer for Okra?

Posted by hettar7 6 (My Page) on
Sun, Jul 13, 08 at 18:33

I'm so confused on what fertilizer to put on my okra. It's not growing big at all (it's very short, though it has formed one good sized pod) and really needs a boost. I've tried to do some research, but keep coming across conflicting "facts" and guidelines on what to fertilize it with.

I'd like to do organic as much as possible in my garden, but I'm open to non-organic. I just want to know what really works for other gardeners. So what do you all use to grow tall productive okra?


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RE: What is the best Fertilizer for Okra?

I can tell you what works for me and has for many years. Prior to planting I apply one quart of 8-24-24 to a 100 foot row. I work this well into the soil a week or so before planting. Then after the first pods have set I sidedress with about one pound of either ammonium nitrate or I have used about three pounds of 8-8-8 fertilizer to sidedress. I will repeat the sidedressing about every two months.I continue to cut okra until the first frost. I am growing the "LongHorn" variety and the plants grow very tall. In late summer I will cut the plants back to about 3 to 4 ft and they will grow side sprots and up they go again.
We use alot of okra here at home. Hope this is helpful to you.

Happy Gardening


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RE: What is the best Fertilizer for Okra?

I had read that okra needs more phosphorous (the middle number) than other veggies, but when I looked at miracle grow boxes that had higher phosphorous content, they all said they were for flowers, not veggies, so I was doubtful. But if that's what someone else uses with success I'll try it.

Since I've already planted them I can't do the first part of your suggestion, but I can start "side dressing". Thanks. I LOVE Okra and really want mine to do better. One or two pods just aren't enough!


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RE: What is the best Fertilizer for Okra?

  • Posted by aulani 6 E. Kansas (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 14, 08 at 22:19

I'm so glad to see this thread. Thanks, hettar. Justuscountryfolks, your advice is sorely needed in my garden. My okra looks really good, but too much nitrogen I think, and real slow to set on pods. Tiny ones are just now starting to set so I'm going to sidedress as you advise. I'm so pleased you posted this message. Thank you.


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RE: What is the best Fertilizer for Okra?

If you stop and think about it, the okra pod is produced from a flower bloom. The more blooms you have, the more okra you should have. The flower fertilizer with the higher phosphorus would be ideal.


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RE: What is the best Fertilizer for Okra?

  • Posted by aulani 6 E. Kansas (My Page) on
    Tue, Jul 15, 08 at 9:24

Very true, ronnywil. Of course, that is also true of any other veggie, right? Fruit too.


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RE: What is the best Fertilizer for Okra?

Here is a link (from the University of Florida) showing the actual nutrients various veggies use and in what ratios. It's lengthy so I will summarize.

It is *not* true that okra, or anything else really, needs the middle number (phosphorous) higher than the rest. It is also a myth commonly propagated that high P promotes more flowers.

What okra uses is very similar to what all veggies use. 3 - .5 -3 is what okra uses (roughly). note the middle number is point 5, not 5.

The *best* fertilizer then is whatever results in the growing soil having available nutrients in this ratio. This can only be determined by a soil test showing what is already in the soil so we just add what might be lacking. Also, it isn't necessary to have the nutrients in the soil match this ratio exactly. This is simply what the plant uses. If the ratio in the soil is a bit off the plant will still do fine as long as there isn't a lack of something or a serious imbalance between antagonistic minerals.


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RE: What is the best Fertilizer for Okra?

Nope, only fruiting vegetables, leafy and root vegetables have slighly different requirements but most are sufficiently flexible that specific fertilization is not necessary. Just remember that okra needs heat and is very slow until it gets it. With heat and water it will grow in just about any soil. Emerald


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RE: What is the best Fertilizer for Okra?

  • Posted by aulani 6 E. Kansas (My Page) on
    Wed, Jul 16, 08 at 17:37

Good answer, farmerdilla. And now I don't feel so bad after seeing your beautiful okra because mine looks almost exactly like it except for the pods. My pods are real tiny right now. This is my first year growing it so I was being impatient. Thanks for the picture.


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RE: What is the best Fertilizer for Okra?

Hi Hettar7,

You said "...I had read that okra needs more phosphorous (the middle number) than other veggies, but when I looked at miracle grow boxes that had higher phosphorous content, they all said they were for flowers, not veggies, so I was doubtful...".

Keep in mind that okra is closely related to "flowers" and is a member of the same family as Hollyhock, Hibiscus and Rose of Sharon.

As far as what fertilizer to use, I use the Espoma line of organic products. Below is a link to their explanation of plant nutrition. (And no, I'm not affiliated with them in any way).

Good Luck and Happy Growing!

Here is a link that might be useful: Plant Nutrition


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