Growing Okra Vegetable (Lady Finger)

Kitchen Gardening
// August 12, 2016
Ladies Finger

Okra, popularly known as ‘Lady Finger’ due to its distinct shape of pods, is a favorite fruiting vegetable in India. The Scientific name of this delicious green vegetable is Abelmoschus Esculentus, & it belongs to Family Malvaceae (Hibiscus or Mallow family). Although Okra is a summer vegetable, it is cultivated in India throughout the year.

Okra – The Green delicacy:

Lady Finger is eaten as cooked vegetable in Indian cuisine. Green pods are chopped & stirred fried with spices in various dry or gravy preparations.

‘Bhindi Masala,’ ‘stuffed Bhindi,’ ‘Bhindi Sambar’ are some of the very popular Okra recipes in India.

lady fingers

Nutritional value of Okra:

Okra is a health food. It’s rich in dietary fiber content, plus there is a large amount of slimy and soluble fiber in the pods.

Okra contains Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, Iron, Vitamins A, B & C. It is also known for its antioxidant properties.

okra vegetable

How to Grow Okra from Seeds?

  • Okra is a sun loving plant. It can be grown in raised beds as well as in containers kept under open sunlight.
  • It is grown by direct seed sowing in containers or beds, as most of the okra varieties cannot withstand transplantation shock.
  • Okra needs 2 x 2 ft spacing between plants on raised beds. Grow the single plant in regular 14-16 inch pot.
  • Sow okra seeds in well-drained soil rich in added organic manure like compost or vermicompost.

okra plant

Germination Time and Harvesting of Okra:

Okra plant will start flowering at the beginning of the 2nd month; Raw Okra pods can be harvested within 40-50 days from the sowing of seeds & harvesting season can continue for next three months or so.

Watering Okra:

Water your potted Okra plant every day in summer & every alternate day in winter. Water at the soil near the plant. Use a watering can to make certain that the plants get water in the form of the shower & not by a single flow. You can also make provision for watering by drip irrigation system on your raised beds.

growing okra

Okra pests and diseases:

Pesky pests like Aphids, Stinkbugs, Corn Earworms, Cabbage Loopers and Flea Beetles. A soilborne disease – Fusarium Wilt too poses a threat to the green veggie. If the Okra leaves turn yellow and wilt, discard and destroy the plant completely.

Fertilizer for Okra:

If you have rich, organic soil, then you do not need any fertilizer. However, feeding the plant with seaweed / fish fertilizer will boost the plant’s growth.

Okra companion plants:

Okra thrives well besides Melons, Eggplant, Cucumbers, and Sweet Peppers.

okra vegetable

Varieties of Okra:

  1. ‘Annie Oakley’, grows about 5 feet tall. It has spineless pods and takes 52 days to mature.
  2. ‘Park’s Candelabra Branching’, branches at the base.
  3. ‘Louisiana Green Velvet’, this smooth and spineless Okra variety vigorous and grows up to 6 feet.

Check out the seeds of different Okra varieties:  Okra (Lady Finger), HYBRID BHENDI (OKRA)-JENIFER, HYBRID BHENDI (OKRA)-SANIYA.

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