Q: I have always wanted to plant some okra. I once visited a vegetable farm where the farmer was pruning his okra. It looked as it was setting the pods closer together with this practice and was much easier to harvest with less foliage. What are your thoughts on this practice ?
A: Yes, you can prune okra but you have to do it right.
As you know, an okra plant can grow above your head, making it hard to reach the pods.
Start by planting the okra seed 12″ apart. When they sprout, pull every other one so the final spacing is 24″. If you have skips, you can transplant the small plants that would otherwise have been pulled.
Fertilize regularly, harvesting okra as you normally would in mid-summer. As the stalks reach 6′ tall, clip them at 4′.
This will stop all growth for two weeks but new leaves will soon appear at stem joints. Apply liquid fertilizer (Miracle Gro) at this time to stimulate vigorous growth.
Four weeks after clipping you should see new flowers and you’ll be able to harvest okra at a convenient height until frost.