When should I harvest okra?
Harvest pods when 2 to 4 inches long. (This is usually 5 to 6 days after flowering.) Use a sharp knife or hand shears. Handle the pods carefully as they bruise easily. Since the pods develop rapidly, it’s often necessary to harvest pods every other day in July and August.
Pods that are more than 5 inches in length become tough and stringy. While the larger pods are still edible, their quality is usually considered unacceptable. Pods that have become too large to use should be promptly picked and discarded. Pods that are allowed to mature on the plant will reduce additional flowering and fruiting.
Some individuals are sensitive to the small spines on the okra’s leaves and stems and may develop a rash or itch. Sensitive individuals should wear gloves and a long-sleeved shirt when harvesting the pods.