Can I Grow Okra in a 5 Gallon Bucket?
Five gallon buckets are great containers for growing vegetables. First used by urban dwellers that wanted to grow some vegetables and other plants in limited spaces such as patios and balconies, container gardening has become a popular way to grow food no matter where you live.
Whether you want to grow one specific vegetable or an assortment, 5-gallon buckets fit the bill. Today we will discuss whether or not you can grow okra in a 5-gallon bucket.
So, can you grow okra in a 5 gallon bucket?
For those of you who are wondering if you can grow okra in a 5-gallon bucket the answer is a resounding Yes! However, it is best to choose one of the dwarf varieties of this vegetable since they don’t grow higher than 5 feet tall, making them the perfect height to grow in a bucket.
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Why Grow Okra in 5-Gallon Buckets?
There are several reasons why you may want to grow okra in a bucket. For starters, many people do not have dedicated vegetable gardens and containers give them a way to grow their favorite vegetables in a very limited space.
In addition, not all parts of the country have the type of weather conducive for growing okra, so using portable containers gives them the opportunity to grow this vegetable indoors or out.
The portability of containers also allows for a longer growing season and more okra for your family to enjoy.
This isn’t as bad as it sounds since you get 20 to 30 pods per plant and it is the pods that you want to eat.
How Many Okra Plants Per 5 Gallon Bucket?
You do need to pay attention to the fact that if you want to be successful growing okra in a 5-gallon bucket, you should limit yourself to growing a single plant in each bucket.
Things to Consider Before Growing Okra in a 5-Gallon Bucket
There are definitely some things you want to consider before growing okra in a container.
- Type and Amount of Okra – You will first want to decide the type and amount of okra you want to grow.
- Buckets – Next, you are going to need dark buckets (not white, although you can paint them dark) that are at least 10 to 12 inches deep and 10 to 12 inches around.
- Soil – You then will need to consider the type of soil you need to grow your vegetable as well as the amount of light your plant needs each day.
- Temperature Requirement – Then you need to decide if you can maintain the temperatures that okra needs to grow in.
- Location – Of course, you will also need to consider where you want to grow your plants and if you have adequate space to grow the number of plants you want to grow.
What You Will Need to Grow Your Okra
There are several things you will need in order to grow okra in a 5-gallon bucket. Here is a list of what you are going to need.
- Dark Colored Buckets – Dark colored buckets will help hold in heat and okra likes warm temperatures. Keep in mind that there are places where you may be able to get buckets for free, saving you money.
- Drill and Bit – While it is possible to make drain holes in your bucket using a knife or a large nail and hammer, the job is much easier if you use a drill. You are going to need 7 to 10 evenly spaced holes per bucket in order for your plants to drain as they should.
- Drainage Material – You are going to need gravel or wood nuggets as drainage material for the bottom of your bucket. Not only does this material help your soil drain properly, but it also prevents your soil from seeping out of the holes in the bottom of the buckets.
- Soil Mixture – Potting soil is not the best for growing okra. You really need a mixture of peat, sand, vermiculite, Nitrogen rich fertilizer and compost.
- Okra Seeds – Of course, you want a package of okra seeds in the variety of okra you want to grow.
- Bypass Pruners – Bypass pruners will help to thin out the plants once they begin to grow.
Growing Okra in 5 Gallon Buckets – Basic Directions
If your package of okra seeds comes with directions for planting and growing your crop, then follow the directions on the package for your specific variety of seeds.
However, to help you get a clearer idea of what is involved in growing okra we thought we would include some general directions.
Step 1 – Make sure that your 5-gallon buckets are cleaned (don’t use any buckets that once contained toxic material.) and drill 7 to 10 holes in the bottom and the bottom sides of each bucket.
Step 2 – Fill the bottom of the bucket with drainage material. Make sure that your drainage material evenly covers the bottom of the bucket.
Step 3 – Mix your planting soil. (You can also purchase pre-mixed soil that is designed for growing vegetables such as okra.) Allow the soil to sit a day or two so it settles naturally. It may help to water the soil before planting.
Step 4 – Plant your seeds when the soil temperature is consistently between 55 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant 2 or 3 seeds ½ to 1 inch deep near the center of the container. This improves the chances of you getting a plant per bucket since not all seeds sprout.
Step 5 – Water your plants regularly maintaining a soil that is scarcely moist. Make sure you water the soil and not the plant itself.
Step 6 – Place your bucket in a warm location that gets at least 5 to 6 hours of light per day. Okra can do well in warmer temperatures, but may fail to grow if the temperatures are too cold.
Step 7 – Once your plants sprout, thin the seedlings so that there is only one plant per bucket. Crowding the plants will inhibit proper growth of your okra.
Step 8 – It will take about 2 months for your Okra to grow, but once it does you will want to harvest it regularly while the pods are still tender.
Can You Grow Okra in a 5 Gallon Buckets? Conclusion
Yes, you can grow okra in a 5 gallon bucket. And while growing okra takes little maintenance, making sure you follow directions is important to growing healthy plants that will produce an abundance of pods.