Gardeners within the southern United States normally reserve a spot to develop okra, as a result of it is a staple in southern cooking. Northerners have come to know and revel in its refined style, too. Comparable in style to eggplant, okra is utilized in shellfish, corn, onion and tomato dishes. It is usually often called “gumbo”. When cooked, okra’s liquid generally is gumbo’s thickening agent.
The annual, heat climate vegetable is expounded to hibiscus, hollyhock and rose of Sharon. Native to Africa, it’s straightforward to develop this distinctive vegetable.
You're reading: how to plant okra seeds in garden
Previous to planting, soak the okra seeds in water for 12 to 18 hours to melt its exhausting seed coat. Soaking aids moisture absorption and germination.
Plant okra within the spring or early summer time as soon as the specter of frost has handed. To forestall the seeds from rotting, the soil ought to have warmed to not less than 65 levels. Gardeners in cool areas could wish to begin okra seeds indoors in peat pots 4 to 6 weeks earlier than the realm’s last frost date.
If shopping for okra crops, buy these which might be began in containers equivalent to peat pots that may go into the bottom. Disturbing okra’s roots hampers development.
Okra can develop from three to 6 ft tall. Select a backyard spot the place its shade is not going to hurt different solar loving crops. Sow the seeds one inch deep in rows which might be three ft aside. The seeds usually germinate in two to 12 days. Okra will develop in lots of soil sorts, so mulch and fertilize as wanted.
As soon as the crops begin to develop, skinny them so they’re spaced 12 to 18 inches aside.
Okra thrives within the full, scorching solar. Common watering is required and is especially vital throughout flowering and pod improvement. Throughout prolonged dry spells, a weekly deep soaking is helpful.
Crop rotation and good soil administration assist management ailments. Okra is prone to wilt, root knot nematode and Southern stem blight. It’s not uncommon for okra to draw numerous beetles and worms. Watch commonly for infestations and deal with appropriately.
Okra reaches maturity in 50 to 65 days. The crops can produce for ten to 12 weeks. It grows and bears seed pods till frost, which rapidly turns them black and kills them.
Begin harvesting a number of days after the okra blooms fade. At that time the seed pods ought to be smooth and two to a few inches lengthy. Decide the pods not less than each different day, as they rapidly flip from tender to robust the larger they develop. Deal with okra gently. The pods bruise simply.
Take away previous seed pods so they don’t inhibit new pods from creating. For max yield, prune older limbs beneath the already harvested pods.
All okra varieties have spines, so put on gloves when choosing the pods. The spineless varieties have fewer spines on the pods themselves, however spines on different components of the plant make carrying gloves and lengthy sleeves a good suggestion.
Storing and utilizing okra
Don’t wash okra. Moist pods grow to be slimy and mildew rapidly. Refrigerate dry okra in perforated plastic baggage. Use inside a number of days earlier than the pods’ ridges and ideas begin to flip darkish.
Due to the lengthy rising season and hearty manufacturing, 4 or 5 crops normally produce sufficient okra for many households. Extra crops could also be wanted, although, to can or freeze okra to be used through the winter.
Whereas previous seed pods can’t be eaten, they’re excellent for dried flower preparations.
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