Okra is a favourite vegetable, particularly in the South, where sustained warm climates allow for the healthy growth of the plant. Because okra does not deal well with cooler temperatures and will die in frost, temperature control is a necessity for a fruitful crop. Individuals who do not live in warm climates will often want to grow okra from seed indoors. With dedication, good seed and proper planting, okra can flourish inside ever better than outside.
Growing the Seeds
Some insist that okra is grown best outside, from seeds planted in your own garden. Outdoor planting may be problematic for those whose climate does not allow for outdoor growth. Greenhouses will work fine, as long as the okra gets plenty of sunlight. This means not planting the seed near taller plants in the greenhouse and allowing the sun to reach them at all angles.
To begin growing, you need potting mix, peat pots, a germination area that will provide an even temperature day and night (use bottom heat if available) and hardened seeds. Sprinkle seeds no less than quarter of an inch apart into soil that is moist but not wet. At least one inch of soil should cover these seeds, and the soil on top should be tamped down firmly. Covering with plastic wrap will retain moisture.
Feeding the Process
The soil in which you plant indoor okra should be well-fertilised, sterile and moist. Overwatering will destroy the okra seedlings, so make every attempt at providing plenty of moisture without letting the seeds drown. A good rule of thumb is to provide at least an inch of water per week, and more depending on the moisture retention of the soil in which seed is planted. Temperatures for growing okra seeds should be 18.3 degrees C or slightly lower for the first six weeks or so.
Flowers usually appear just before okra is ready to for harvest. Make special note of these flowers and monitor the plants carefully to ensure that you harvest them at the proper time. Three or four days after the flowers die, the plant is usually ready. Pods that measure between two and four inches long usually will be just tender and ripe enough for you to pick and eat. The plants may grow four or five feet tall---and some varieties can grow twice as high---so you must collect pods every few days to encourage continual growth. Harvesting when the pods are larger will result in a tough, inedible plant.