After transplanting okra, it is ready to start harvesting in about 60 days. If you are not growing the spineless variety, you may want to use gardening gloves when harvesting!
A word of advice – don’t pick the okra flower because it produces the okra which comes out after the flower. As I mentioned the other day, this plant is self-pollinating. See my sow and grow post for more information and for a picture of the okra flower.
I have been harvesting okra since the middle of July. I’ve been getting a few every day – even now in mid-September. When I harvest, I use sharp scissors and cut the stem about ¼ to ½ inch below the base of the okra. Okra should be harvested often and when the okra is around 4 inches or less. Once the flower blooms, it only takes about 3 days for the okra to mature. It is amazing how fast they grow. If you don’t harvest often, you can stunt the plant’s growth.
I usually accumulate about 8 to10 okras and store them on the counter if the kitchen is cool or in the refrigerator for about one week. Then I get my okra ready to store in the freezer for future frying by coating it in corn meal. Please see a prior blog for an easy okra recipe. We love to fry okra during football season.