This amazing plant is known and loved in many countries. Its ovaries are very tasty and nutritious, they cook all sorts of dishes. And at the time of flowering okra is very decorative and can decorate any flower bed or front garden.
Okra is also called differently: "okra", "gombo“Her relatives are decorative mallow and fodder, Chinese rose, or decorative hibiscus. At home, in Africa, this plant is cultivated as a perennial, in our country okra is grown through seedlings as an annual plant.
Okra, like eggplants, is demanding of heat. Therefore, it is cultivated only in the southern regions. But fans can grow it in the middle lane. So, at the dawn of the 20th century, Anton Pavlovich Chekhov successfully grew it in the Moscow region.
Sowing Okra Seeds
Okra is usually sown in early April. Seeds for seedlings are best sown in separate cups of 1-2 pieces, because root of okra weakly branching, pivotal. The plant does not tolerate transplant. Before sowing, it is better to soak the seeds for a day in warm water.
They germinate well at a temperature of 20-22 ° C. In the middle lane, they are usually sown in March. Shoots appear in 10-15 days.
Seedlings are planted in the ground at the end of May, when the soil warms up well (approximately 45-50 days after sowing). Plants are placed in one row at a distance of 30 cm from each other.
Okra grows better on light, fertile soils, planting cucumber may be precursors. It is not a bad idea to add humus mixed with mineral fertilizers.
For growth and fruiting plants need a temperature not lower than 20 ° C. In dry weather, one should not forget about watering, especially during the fruit picking period. With a lack of moisture okra fruits quickly grow coarse.
Okra needs warmth and timely watering
Under the film shelters moisture in the soil lasts longer, but the humidity is higher there. Therefore, it is often necessary to air, lifting the film from the leeward side. The air temperature under the film should not be allowed to rise above 30 ° C.
In dry and hot weather, plants can attack the plant louse, so with the appearance of the first pests, it urgently needs to be treated with special preparations.
Feed the okra with a combined mineral fertilizer, for example, Nitrophoska (2 tablespoons per 10 liters of water). And in the period of fruiting - potassium nitrate (in the same proportion).
Within two months after germination, the early ripening varieties of okra bloom, and after another five days, fruit picking can begin.
Gathering okra ovaries
3-5 edible ovaries of fruits that have not yet become covered with stiff hairs, like the rest of the plant, are edible. By the way, it is necessary to take care of the crop carefully: the plants are covered with thick fine pubescence and itch may appear on the skin when they come in contact with them.
The young ovary is cut with a knife or scissors. It is advisable to use the collected fruits immediately. They can be stored in the refrigerator for no more than 2-3 days.
Okra fruits are not stored for a long time.
In the south, the ovary is harvested every other day, in the middle lane - every 3-5 days.
Remember: fruits not taken in time become inedible!
Fruiting lasts until the onset of frost. An adult plant can withstand temperatures down to -2 ° C, but with the onset of cold weather, fruit growth slows down dramatically.
On the plants left for the seeds, the first two ovaries are allowed to eat, the next ones are left until the seeds are fully ripe inside the fruit-box. When these boxes are completely dry, the seeds are picked and threshed, cleaned of impurities and stored in paper bags or cloth bags in a dry, ventilated room.
Try to grow okra on your site. You will surely enjoy the fruits of this unusual plant.