Okra is somewhat an acquired taste, but it’s popular in many warmer parts of the country because it will tolerate the southern heat well, and can be incredibly prolific as well. It can grow to heights of 6 feet or more, and can bear daily once it gets going. Here are some tips for how to get okra growing in your vegetable garden.
Title: How to Properly Cultivate Okra
Author: Brian Jones
Article: Okra offers a lot of health benefits aside from the fact that they are a good crop to grow especially in warm climates. By using Okra seedlings, you can shorten the waiting time for the plant to grow to three weeks from the usual waiting time. As long as the plant’s seedlings are treated with care, they can be placed directly into your garden or into big pots at start of the summer season.
PLANTING AND CARING FOR OKRA
Pick the area that receives a lot of sunlight for your crop and plant it until the weather is relatively warm. Generally, plants thrive in a sixty degrees temperature during night and eighty-five degrees temperature during morning.
In the northern portion of the world, gardening enthusiasts wait until the month of June to plant the crop since Okra pods develop within two months. The plant will grow best in a land that contains a 6.5 to seven neutral ph. Mixed in different kinds of organic matter in your plot since it will benefit the okra plant.
If your garden soil is not good enough for the crop, you can place fertilizer in it in four-six-six proportion or you can follow the recommended proportion on the fertilizer bag. The seedlings of okra possess taproots that are not easily damaged. Place an adequate amount of H20 in your seedlings for about 1 hour before transferring them into the plot.
Carefully cut the seedlings’ sides and lower portion of their containers and place them in a one and a half inch hole in the ground. Water the seedlings if the weather is too dry. Gardening enthusiasts value okra for its durability to thrive in extreme heat, but to ensure the crops’ excellent growth, water it at least a week.
The growth of the crop is slow but they will develop faster once the summer season sets in. Aside from acquiring additional weight, the leaves of the plant will grow bigger and produce flowers followed by pods.
DEALING WITH PROBLEMS
Frost is the main enemy of okra plant and affected crops may acquire soil-related diseases like verticillium wilts. Another serious problem that can affect the plan is root knot nematode. Aphids, beetles, corn earworms and other pests can also be a big problem for your plants.
PROPERLY HARVESTING AND STORING OKRA
A dry weather helps okra pods to grow quickly so you have to keep an eye on the crops once it begins producing the vegetable itself. The pod can mature in two to three days. It will appear at the lower portion of the crop so expect to harvest the fruits of your hard work by the end of the waiting period.
The ideal size for pods are two to four inches long. Do not leave it too long on the okra plant since it will lose its freshness and it will also affect the productivity of the crop. Remember to wear gloves and a long-sleeved garment when taking out the pods since your hands might get irritated from the hairs and use shears to cut it with a small stem still attached to it.
In areas with warmer temperature, okra plants can grow as much as six to eight ft. tall. You also have to remember that this crop will bear pods again and again after you have cut it every two days so you will have a steady supply of this vegetable crop.