Okra or okro as it is often called by many English-speaking countries is a plant that makes a great companion plant to many crops. Companion planting is an organic method adopted by farmers over the years for controlling pests and diseases in your vegetable garden.
While there is no scientific evidence to back up most of the information on companion planting but gardeners do consider it effective and beneficial.
What is the best companion planting for okra? Okra is a plant that is fairly easy to plant, it is a vegetable you either love or hate but never indifferent to. Okra is a plant that likes rich and well-drained soil and this is why they are the best companion to plants that need lots of water.
Selecting the right companion for your okra is important, it helps reduce unwanted insect predators, promotes pollination, and enriches the soil.
10 Best Companion Plants For Okra
It’s okay to have trials and errors before finding the right companion planting but to make things easier and save time, you need a companion planting chart. Okra is a prolific grower and also very tough, with the right condition, it is sure to thrive. So, to make the most of your okra this season, here are the best companion plants to try.
Cucumbers love water and good soil just like okra so they will definitely do well together as companions. However, ensure not to plant too close as cucumbers need a large amount of sun to ripen. This cooler-weather crop does well as a beneficial plant to okra and it needs plenty of water just like okra which is why it’s a great companion plant to it.
Herbs like basil can also be a great companion plant to your okra plant. Basil can be planted near your okra to help repel flea beetles, white lilies, stinkbugs and reduce the chance of damages to your okra. Okra’s tall plant can also provide some shade for basil when summer days get hot.
Melons are a great companion plant to okra just like cucumbers, they need lots of water and sun but be sure okra won’t shade your melons too much. It’s best to plant on the east of the okra so the melons can benefit from the morning sun or the west side for the afternoon sun.
Lettuces have shallow roots hence they won’t compete for nutrients with your okra which makes them perfect companion plants. Okra also shades lettuce from the sun.
Another plant that makes a great companion plant to okra is the tomato. Tomatoes can help repel stink bugs which are essential for okra.
Cabbage worms love to feed on young okra foliage but this can be prevented by planting pepper near. Planting okra near pepper can help draw it away from stink bugs and other pests that like to feed on it.
These sunflowers act as a companion plant to attract pollinators to the garden and these pollinators encourage the okra flowers to bloom. Okra itself is also a great windbreaker for delicate flowers.
Peas are cooler weather crops that thrive when interplanted in the shade of okra. The okra seedlings won’t crowd the spring plants which allows them to get enough sun and peas are fast-growing crops that can be harvested while okra is still maturing.
Eggplants are nightshade vegetables like peppers but they are also great companion plants to okra. Both okra and eggplant benefits from the nutrients both release into the soil which causes both to become healthier and stronger.
Another spring crop you can plant in close proximity to your okra is radish. Plant both okra and radish seed together and you can have pepper planted in this circle as well, 3 to 4 inches apart in a row.
What Not To Plant Next To Okra
Companion plants are very important for okra, it helps with pest and disease prevention. Okra plant makes a good companion plant to many tender crops and it doesn’t really have any bad companion but there are also plants you should keep far away from them. Below are plants that are considered bad companions to okra.
1. Sweet Potatoes
Planting sweet potatoes and okra together can increase the number of nematodes in your garden. Most gardeners consider nematodes beneficial to the garden but they can be detrimental to okra plants. Nematodes can easily feed on the young roots of okra plants.
Planting squash in the same garden as okra can increase nematodes in the soil and while this is beneficial in growing squash and potatoes, it can feed on okra instead.
Let us know in the comment section if you have any more questions about companion planting for Okra.
Can okra be planted directly?
Okra can be planted directly into the growing but ensure the temperature is warm enough and the air temperature should also be at least 60 degrees. You can also plant okra seed directly into a garden bed.
How often should I water my okra plants?
Okra plant needs frequent watering during germination and flowering but after that, you can waterless. A deep soaking of okra every 10 days should be sufficient.
What is the best fertilizer for okra?
To ensure your okra gets the best amount of fertilizer, it should be side dressed with 3 to 6 pounds of calcium nitrate, and make sure to spread it evenly for a great harvest.
Is Epsom salt good for okra plants?
Epsom salt is not exactly recommended for your okra plants although okra can benefit from it when over-applied, it can easily kill your okra plants.
Does okra need full sun?
Yes, okra’s are warm weathered plants that will definitely appreciate the full sun. It grows well in moist soil that is rich in organic matter as well.
How do you germinate okra seeds fast?
To speed up the okra germination process, soak the seeds overnight in warm water. Okras are quite easy to grow but it does have a hard coat that can slow germination but soaking in warm water or moist paper towel can help.
How long does okra take to grow?
Okra is very easy to grow and it reaches maturity in 50 to 65 days.
How do you care for an okra plant?
Okra plant is actually easy to grow. It can be grown in many soil types so you need to mulch and fertilize as needed. Regular watering is also essential and side-dress with compost every three to four weeks.
Does okra grow back every year?
Okra plant might be a perennial plant but it becomes annual in a more temperate climate and needs to be replanted every year.
Just like every other plant, okra thrives when the right plant is grown near it. It also releases chemicals that are to the plants that are growing nearby. You must keep in mind that not all plants work well as companions. Keeping the right companion plants in your garden can help prevent fungal attacks and improve your plant’s health.
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