How to Grow Okra in Home – Sowing, Basic Problems, Harvesting
Grow Okra / Lady Finger in your home or on terrace garden easily . In this post we will guide you through how to sow Okra seeds and watering , basic diseases in okra / lady finger farming . Follow the article and learn how easily you can grow Okra (Lady Finger) in your Home or Terrace garden.
||South India : January, March-April-May, November
North India : February, June-July
||5 to 10 days|
|Harvest Time||50 to 60 days|
Soil Requirement for Okra
Soil mixing for the Okra plant is very important to nourish the seeds. Soil Mixing stimulates growth process by providing essential nutrients, protecting the seeds and retaining moisture in a healthy way.
Mix 1 part of red soil with 1 part of vermicompost and 1 part of cocopeat. Also add handful of Neem power. Neem cake powder has insect controlling properties along with several nutrients useful for the soil and plants. Adding Neem powder to the soil mixing helps in elimination of harmful fungi and insects.
How To Sow Okra Seeds ?
Fill the Grow bag with soil-mix and sow the Okra seeds at a depth of 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) at a distance of 12 inches (10.2 cm). We should keep the seeds moist during germination. We can sow okra / lady finger seeds directly.
It will take few days to few weeks for the seeds begin to push tiny sprouts through the soil. At this point, they should be moved to natural sunlight.
A 24*12 Inch Grow bag or 12*12 Inch grow bag would be ideal for growing Okra / Lady Finger. So, once the seeds have germinated, pick out the saplings and plant them separately in Grow Bag. Use 12*12 Grow bag for each plant or use 24*12 Grow bag for 4-5 plants for good yielding.
Flowering begins 1–2 months after transplanting taking another month for green fruits.
What are Sun Light and Water requirements for Okra Plant ?
Place them in an area that receives at least 6-8 hours of sunlight every day.
Water on a regular basis with garden sprayer so that the potting mixture is always moist but never soaking. Keep soil moist, check daily and provide extra water during a heat wave. Too much water will drown out the okra and cause them to grow less.
How To Care for Okra Plants ?
Once the first fruit have set pinch out the growing tip of the first flowering shoots to promote more branching and a better harvest.
After your plants reach about 3 feet tall, remove the leaves from the bottom foot of the stem. These are the oldest leaves, and they are usually the first leaves to develop fungus problems. As the plants fill out, the bottom leaves get the least amount of sun and airflow.
How To Harvest Okra ?
In around two months time (50-60 days) your okra should be ready to harvest. When you are ready to pick a okra, gently pull and twist the okra off the plant making sure you hold the main plant stem so that you don’t snap it. In Okra, first picking should be done at green stage to stimulate further growth of flowers and fruit set.
Harvest the okra when it’s about 2 to 3 inches long. Harvest it every other day. Cut the stem just above the cap with a knife; if the stem is too hard to cut, the pod is probably too old and should be tossed.
Basic Diseases In Okra Plant Farming ?
In every plant we will see many types of insects and diseases . In okra plant farming we will observe the below mentioned diseases.
Cool, cloudy weather, high humidity, wet soils, compacted soil, and overcrowding especially favor development of damping-off. Damping-off kills seedlings before or soon after they emerge. Infection before seedling emergence results in poor germination.
Excessive irrigation should be avoided to reduce humidity around the plants. The field should be regularly inspected for the disease-affected seedlings. Such seedlings should be removed and destroyed.
Powdery Mildew :
The disease is found mainly on the older leaves and stems of plants. Yields of many of the infected vegetables are reduced due to premature foliage loss. Increased humidity can increase the severity of the disease, and infection is enhanced during periods of heavy dew. A large part of the talc-like powder on the leaf surface is composed of spores. These spores are easily blown by winds to nearby susceptible plants. Heavily infected leaves become yellow, then become dry and brown.
Healthy, vigorous leaves and stems are less prone to infection. Plants under nutritional stress in most cases will develop powdery mildew much sooner than plants the same age grown under a good nutritional program. Hence the plant should be well manured and application of fertilizers should be done on the basis of standard recommendations.
Cercospora Leaf Spot:
Brown, irregular spots and sooty black angular spots on the leaf is caused by Cercospora abelmoschi and C. malayensis. The disease causes severe defoliation during humid seasons.
Since the fungus survives on the diseased plant material, removal and destruction and of diseased plant material helps to check the spread of the disease.
Yellow Vein Mosaic Virus:
This is the most important and destructive viral disease in bhendi. The disease infects at all the stages of crop growth and severely reduces growth and yield. The disease is transmitted by white fly.The characteristic symptoms of the disease are a homogenous interwoven network of yellow veins enclosing islands of green tissues.
Removal and destruction of virus affected plants and planting of disease resistance varieties reduces the disease incidence. Controlling the whitefly population minimizes the incidence of YVMV.
Enation Leaf Curl of Okra:
The natural transmission of the disease occurs through whitefly. The disease symptoms appear prominently on the lower surface of the leaf as small, pin head enations. These later on become warty and rough textured. Size of the leaf is reduced. The most characteristic symptoms of the disease are twisting of the main stem and lateral branches along with enations.
Removal and destruction of virus affected plants reduces the disease incidence. Controlling the whitefly population minimizes the incidence of Enation Leaf Curl.