Before planting okra seeds, soak them in lukewarm water for at least 12 hours but no longer than 18 hours. Soaking softens an okra seed's hard coating, allowing the seed to absorb more water and sprout more quickly.
Soaking the seeds speeds up the reaction to the weather patterns that seeds would experience in nature. Without any intervention, a seed that falls to the ground experiences several months of precipitation, slowly softening and losing any coatings that keep it from sprouting. After soaking okra seeds, plant them indoors about five weeks before the last frost or directly in the ground after the last frost.