Okra needs full sun, and will grow in ordinary garden soil, but does best in fertile loam, particularly where a nitrogen-fixing crop previously grew. A soil neutral pH between 6.5-7 is best. About 50 to 60 days after planting, edible pods will start to appear. They are tough when mature, so harvest daily with a sharp knife when they are no more than finger sized and when stems are still tender and easy to cut. Early growth often slow, but gets faster once summer comes. The plants grow and begin producing yellow blossoms followed by tender pods. Cut the pods every day or two and they will keep growing back.
The Luffa or Loofah is thought to originate in India and is commonly used for eating throughout Asia and parts of Africa. There are a number of distinct varieties of edible Luffa sold in southeast Asia and India, where the greatest genetic diversity is found. There are varieties with angular or ridged fruit and smooth cylindrical types. They are most often considered two different species. It is in the cucurbit family, along with cucumbers and is a type of gourd.