Wednesday, November 16, 2022


OKRA OR LADY FINGER (Hibiscus esculentus) or in  Malaysia better known as BENDI are easy to grow. Okra planting need small area at home to grow and space okra plants 10 inches apart in a very sunny area that has fertile, well-drained soil with a neutral pH of 6.5 to 7.0 or in the pots. Improve native soil by mixing in several inches of aged compost or other rich organic matter. Okra loves the heat and can withstand a dry spell, but do your best to give plants 1 inch of water every week. Promote a more abundant harvest by regularly feeding with a continuous-release plant food. To harvest okra pods when they are 2 to 4 inches long and not too young or over aged. The recommended condition to grow okra is to choose your sunniest spot for growing okra in which plants like this need sunlight. Okra grows best in soil with a near-neutral pH between 6.5 and 7.0, although it will do fine in a pH as high as 7.6. Plants benefit from a generous amount of compost or other rich organic matter in which should be thoroughly mixed into the soil before planting. Or, you can improve the nutrition and texture of your native soil by mixing in aged compost-enriched compost or cocopeat with the top few inches. For an even better chance at a big harvest, you’ll also want to make sure your okra plants get all the nutrients they need throughout the season by feeding them with a continuous-release fertilizer. This blog in "Anim Agriculture Technology" we discuss about guide to grow okra. 

Okra seedlings have fragile taproots that you need to be careful not to damage. Thoroughly water your seedlings an hour before you plant them. Gently remove them from the pot, separate the seedlings, and set them about 10 inches apart. Plant slightly deeper (about ½ inch) than they grew in their pots. Water the little plants if rain is not expected, but wait a few days before mulching to give the soil a chance to absorb the sun’s warmth. Okra is appreciated for its ability to withstand drought compared to other vegetables, but for good growth and production, you’ll need to water at least an inch a week, just as with other vegetables. Just know that if you run into an extended dry period and can’t seem to water enough, okra will be the last to suffer. 
The early growth of okra is often slow, but the plants grow much faster once manuring and watering done accordingly. In addition to gaining height, okra’s leaves get bigger as the plants grow and begin producing yellow blossoms followed by tender pods. Plants are erect with a main trunk, making them look a little tree-like in the garden. Monsoon weather is okra’s number-one enemy, and stressed plants may fall victim to verticillium and fusarium wilts in which are soil-borne diseases that cause them to wilt and die. Another serious pest is root knot nematode. Ants often climb up plants to steal sips of nectar but seldom cause serious damage. Fire ants are the exception, as they can cause damage to developing flowers that forces them to abort. Other pests that you may run into include Japanese beetles, stink bugs, aphids, corn earworms, and flea beetles. Regular agronomic practices able to help pods grow quickly and regularly check plants every day once they start producing. A pod can grow from nothing to full size in 2 or 3 days. Pods first appear at the base of the plant up so that by the end of the season you could be on your tiptoes to harvest. Pods are ideal when 2 to 4 inches long in which it get very tough and stringy if allowed to stay on the plant. Always remove any that are too big to eat because they keep the plant from producing. Use pruning shears to cut the pods with a short stub of stem attached. Some people may sometimes suffer uncomfortable itching from contact with okra’s stiff leaf hairs. So you may want to wear gloves and a long-sleeved shirt when gathering your okra. If a few pods slip by you and grow into giants, cut them off to keep them from exhausting the plant. Okra will grow up 6 to 8 feet tall. Some people prune by cutting back about one-third of the plants’ tops. Buds along the main stem then grow and produce a late crop. Okra is a “cut-and-come-again” vegetable. Keep cutting the pods every day or two, and they will keep on coming. Thanks...

M Anem,
(Febuary 2021).
Updated on 16 November 2022.

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