A staple of American country-fried dinners and Creole gumbos, okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) is a summertime vegetable that wishes at the least 55 days with temperatures above 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Indian cultures name okra “girl’s arms” due to the lengthy, narrow pods, which might be the suitable for eating part of the okra plant. Most areas can grow the yearly vegetable, but in heat climates inclusive of U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones eight to 10, okra can develop tree-sized and convey pods for as much as one year.
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Test your soil with a package from the garden middle to decide your lawn bed’s pH stage. If it is better than 6.8, use sulfur or peat moss to lower it to the marginally acidic stage okra prefers. If it’s miles decrease than 6.0, use limestone to elevate the pH stage in order that it is not overly acidic.
Work a 3-inch layer of compost into the pinnacle 6 to 8 inches of soil to add fertility and enhance drainage.
Sow lady’s finger seeds in early summer, as a minimum four weeks in any case chance of frost has handed. Night temperatures must not fall beneath 60 tiers Fahrenheit. Plant them at a depth of 0.Five inch, at a spacing of 6 inches aside within rows. Rows ought to be as a minimum 24 inches aside. Water the planting region gently.
Thin woman’s finger seedlings to at least 12 inches apart while they may be three inches tall. Choose the hardiest searching seedlings, and cast off the relaxation by way of slicing the seedlings on the soil line.
Keep the soil within the okra bed always moist till the plant flowers. Supplement water with a hose or drip irrigation gadget in the course of periods of low rainfall.
Water okra plants much less frequently once they produce flowers. The stems are liable to rotting if soil conditions are too damp.
Side-get dressed the vegetation with additional compost about 30 days after sowing seeds. Lay a slender band of compost a few inches in the front of each lady’s finger row, then water to allow the vitamins to start leeching into the soil.
Monitor plant life for signs of aphids and flea beetles, which include chewed-looking foliage and stunted plant increase. Set a hose to a robust spray to knock those flying pests from the flowers. Remove diseased or infested stems and leaves.
Begin choosing okra about 50 days after sowing seeds, after the flowers’ petals fall. To lower the pods’ tendency to have a “slimy” texture, they need to be now not than four inches at harvest. Remove the pods with about 1 inch of stem attached, using sharp pruning shears.
Continue harvesting girl’s fingers as long as the plant life retain to provide pods, which may be as much as a year in warm climates. If you harvest each other day, you may maintain the vegetation producing — in any other case, over-ripened pods will signal the vegetation to prevent bearing okra.
Things You Will Need
Soil test kit
Sulfur or limestone (as wished)
Unless you grow a spineless range, remove fuzz from the the pods with a thick material towel earlier than cooking them. To cook lady’s fingers, rinse the pods, and reduce off the tops and bottoms of every pod. Slice them move-smart to avoid exposing the seeds. Okra works nicely uncooked in salad, or steamed, baked or fried as a aspect-dish. It is the vegetable of desire to thicken gumbos, curries and Southern-style stews.