Okra - grow in container?

kelleyp125May 3, 2011

I know that okra will grow to be pretty large. Would a large kitty litter bin (holds 27lb of litter) be a large enough container to grow it in? I have 2 okra plants and 2 empty kitty litter bins, which is perfect. If not, I'll have to go get something. Also, any other tips for growing okra successfully are appreciated. Thank you!!!


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I don't know about container planting, but would/could you get enough off of 2 plants to do anything with? If so, I may do this myself...

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 12:11PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Kelly, I think it will be fine. Do you remember which specific variety of okra you have?

I have grown almost everything under the sun in Tidy-Cat litter buckets over the years. I have saved the litter buckets ever since we moved here, so I have a huge collection by now, although eventually they get brittle and break after a few years and have to be replaced.

Erod, It would depend on the variety you grow because some varieties produce more heavily than others.

I grow dwarf varieties like Baby Bubba and Little Lucy in pots some years and they both produce pretty heavily. Some other dwarf okras produce pretty heavily too, as does Stewart's Zeebest (which is not a dwarf---it is a huge bushy tree), although I've never tried it in a container. If you planted only one Stewart's Zeebest, it might provide all the okra you can eat as it is an incredibly heavy producer. However if I was planting a Stewart's Zeebest in a container, I'd put it in an 18-gallon Rubbermaid storage tote with drainage holes drilled in it or something the size of a whiskey barrel.


    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 12:29PM
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They're both orange jing okra. It's honestly okay if they don't produce a whole lot. I am so new at gardening that the stories I hear of people carrying in buckets and buckets of vegetables and having way too much are very overwhelming! Would you recommend some supports (like a tomato cage?)

I have a trip to Lowe's in my future for some more potting soil, I think!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 12:51PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

I think Jing Orange will produce just fine, and it will be highly ornamental as are all the red okras. I think it will appear more reddish-orange than true orange. It is supposed to be a moderate producer so I think you'll be pleased with it. Just remember to harvest the pods regularly while they are at the optimal size so that the plant will keep producing. If you leave the pods on too long they get tough and woody (although moisture and heat stress also play a role in the toughness and woodiness of okra pods) and production will slow down.

I'm one of the people who expects (nay, demands!) high harvests so I am able to can, freeze, dehydrate, and otherwise preserve lots of food to eat in the non-gardening season.

I don't think you'll be overwhelmed with huge amounts of anything unless you plant lots and lots of plants. Those of us who get large harvests get them because we want them and plant accordingly. You work your way up to that kind of gardening (some might call it "over-planting") over the years, and it isn't for everyone. Some people are content to have a little fresh food here and there, but there are others, like me, who try to grow and preserve as much as possible so we can eat from the garden year-round. Different strokes for different folks!

When we lived in town and had an almost completely shady yard, I was happy with six tomato plants, some lettuce, a few onions and garlic and maybe 6 okra plants. Of course I wanted much, much more but you have to work with what you have, and I had heavy shade. In anticipation of our move here, I "took over" my brother's large rural garden for a couple of years before we moved here so I could figure out how much to plant on a large scale. That's where I perfected my double-digging technique and the buildling of raised beds because he had more rock than soil. By the time we moved here, I thought I knew how big my garden would be. Now it is approximately 4 times larger than that and I'd like to make it twice as large as it is now, although I don't think I could manage to keep a larger garden weeded and harvested and all that. So, maybe it never will be larger than it is now.

I've mostly expanded my growing space by growing in containers...just like you're doing with the okra plants. It started innocently enough in 2007 when heavy rainfall and flooding made it impossible to plant in the ground so I filled up containers and planted everything in them. Now I add more containers every year, but it is a lot easier than breaking up new clay and amending it, and there's not a lot of weeding needed with containers!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 1:10PM
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seeker1122(7a ok)

I need to get into containers more this year.I grow so much to try and get my deep freezer as full as possible and to share with those who either can't garden anymore or can't afford it.
I've learned over the years you can freeze more kinds of veggies than you think, you just have to use them differently.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 3:02PM
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I grew 3-4 Stewart's Zeebest plants in our front herb/flower bed and, not only did they produce a lot of okra, they got more compliments than anything else--including the roses.
Okra can be so pretty when it's flowering.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 3:49PM
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Well that's good enough for me, I'm gonna put okra in containers. I have 2 giant empty ones right now that will be perfect

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 5:05PM
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Since we are talking about okra...what does everyone think about growing pole beans with okra? In other words, using the large, tall okra stalks as a "pole" for the beans? I'm pretty new at the gardening biz but my okra plants last year were huge and seemed like they could withstand some extra work. This could be space-saving...just wanted to get your feedback:)

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 8:31PM
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