I usually start a couple of okra seeds inside in April, the same time I start my tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers. Sometimes they'll take forever to sprout, sometimes the seeds are up and growing quickly. Often they'll get too big and die back before the weather gets warm enough for them. The young plants are super-tender too. I've had little okra plants freeze inside their Wall-o-waters when nothing else was even fazed. They can really tricky to harden off and transplant even when the weather does warm up.
This spring, I started seeds twice, and both times they died before even making it into the garden. I just figured I wouldn't have any okra this year (again). Then, in early July, I had a bit of empty space after I cleared out some early greens. I thought I'd try direct-seeding six Clemson Spineless seeds - it was certainly hot enough by then that maybe they'd germinate outside. The seed packet said 60 days to harvest. If the fall freezes held off 'til mid-September, I just might get a few pods.
All six germinated, and grew quickly. By the end of September, I had a little over a quart of pods in the freezer - enough for maybe three batches of my favorite lentil & okra stew this winter. I was pleasantly surprised that I got anything at all.
The first week of October, when the night temps dropped into the 20's, I figured that was it. I picked all the okra pods, but didn't pull the plants. I figured I'd get around to it after they froze. They didn't freeze! The last cucumber and squash plants are all shriveled; the last bit of basil black and crispy; the tomato and chile plants are already in the compost bin. After struggling to keep the extremely tender young okra plants alive each spring, I'm amazed to see that these mature plants are STILL blooming and growing strong into late October. Who knew? From now on, okra will be a mid-summer into fall plant in this northern Nevada garden.