My okra was stunted this year, producing very little. The leaves got brown around the edges, turned yellow and dropped off. I did have a problem with aphids; however, the leaves did the same last year and I had a tall, well producing crop. Any ideas as to cause?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
The brown edges and yellow leaves is typically an indication that the plant is not getting enough water. A less common reason would be issues with the roots, but because this has happened in more than one year, I would go with not enough water.
If you water frequently, you may want to try watering less frequently but for longer periods of time. This will allow the water to get deeper into the soil, which not only encourages the roots to go deeper so the can find more water, but also ensures that the water will not evaporate quickly from the soil surface.
As for the production issue, this may have been caused by a pollination issue. Bad weather, either too hot, too windy or too rainy, can keep pollinators away from the plants and cause pollen to clump, making it harder to transfer. Also, pesticide use in the garden can kill or deter pollinators.