Okra likes warm soil and warm weather. Here in the south, our okra grows from April to November and can get very tall simply because of the season duration. Some people "crop" the bottom stems, but that simply makes the plant taller. It doesn't really make the okra any more productive -- kind of like how suckering tomatoes just makes the plant larger.
Okra seems to be more productive if you starve the plants a little. It will actually begin making more okra if we have a dry spell, which isn't uncommon here in 8b. So we usually put a separate valve on the okra rows in our drip irrigation system and water them much less frequently than the other plants.
Okra also doesn't need much soil fertility to grow. We don't waste time fertilizing it -- just apply some compost at transplanting and that's about it.
Some people have to wear long sleeves, long pants and gloves to cut okra because they have a reaction to touching the plants. However, we know some people who can cut rows and rows of it in flip flops and short sleeves with no reaction at all.
These twine knives (https://hosstools.com/product/handy-twine-knife/
) are the best okra harvesting tool we've found. Makes it really easy to cut the okra pod without damaging the rest of the plant. And it makes for much faster harvesting because you wear the knife on your hand instead of carrying it.
If you've never tried the "Jambalaya" variety, definitely give it a try. It's the most prolific variety we've found and it will start producing pods when plants are only 1" tall. The red okra varieties are our second favorite, but the Jambalaya takes the cake as far as productivity.