When the seedlings reach approximately 2" tall, thin the plants to one every foot. Apply a generous layer of mulch around the plants, but do not let the mulch come in contact with the stems. Okra grows very rapidly in hot weather, and the leafy plants do a great job of shading out competing weeds. Frequent watering is necessary during the germination and flowering stages, but after that okra can tolerate dry conditions. However, during extended dry periods, a deep soaking once every 10 days should be adequate.