Growing Okra-Tips and Techniques
Growing okra is a pleasant task indeed especially when you look forwards to the long and slender green vegetables hanging from the plants. A North African staple, it is used extensively by the African American community to prepare their stews and sauces. The vegetable has also acquired much fame south of the Mason Dixon line where it is grown extensively.
Articles Required For Growing Okra
- Okra seeds or plants
- Garden spades, pruners and trowels
- Compost Makers
- Row coverings
How To Grow Okra
- A sunny site for a hot climate friendly crop is imperative. You must be extra careful about the shadow of a mature tree falling on the growing okra plants. The plants can grow up to 6 feet in height so it is best to leave them facing the sun completely.
- A pH between 6 to 8 is considered to be sufficient for okra plants. It has to be tilled deeply and prepared with plenty of organic matter before the seeds or plants can take root.
- The temperature needs to be take into consideration before sowing the seeds as cold climate are likely to rot the plants.
- You can either start your own plants from the seeds or buy the young plants from the nearest nurseries for transplantation.
- It is also important to harden the plants ad then plant them in the garden when the season of frost is long gone.
- Adding a good amount of bone meal and compost to each plant hole before transplanting will keep the soil fertile.
- Covering the plants with floating rows or cloches will help to protect them and adding mulch to the soil should only be considered once the weather turns warmer.
- Watering is an important pat of growing okras too. Allow the plants to get an inch of water each week.
- Picking okras can commence once the flowers fall off. 2-3 inches long okras taste the best but they turn stringy and fibrous if left on the plant for a prolonged period.
- Okra plants can double up as ornamental borders for flower beds too.
- Handling the plants with gloves on is usually a wise move as it may cause irritation and rashes on coming in contact with the bare skin.
The vegetable has been grown in America since 1600 and you will have the satisfaction of handling a historical plant once you master the technique of growing okra.
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