Bhindi is grow for its long, pointed seed pods, which are used in gumbos and soups. Okra is in the same family as cotton, hollyhocks and hibiscus.
It can, however, thrive in any climate where corn will grow. Depending on the cultivar, the large-flowered, fast-growing plants reach 2 to 6 feet tall. Varieties with colourful stems and leaves, such as Burgundy , make attractive garden borders.
Okra is a tropical plant that is grown as an annual vegetable. The seed pods are especially useful for thickening stews because of their gummy mucilage. Okra plants are extremely drought and heat resistant and okra is a popular vegetable in many countries with difficult growing conditions.
Common name: Okra, Gumbo, Ladyfinger, Bhindi
Height: Grows more than 4 feet and can spread 3 feet wide.
Difficulty level: Easy
Planting & Care
You can start okra seeds indoors in peat pots under full light 3 to 4 weeks before the last spring frost date.
You can also start okra directly in your garden 3 to 4 weeks before the last spring frost date as long as you cover the plants with a cold frame or grow tunnel until the weather warms up. Make sure that the covering is 2 to 3 feet tall so that the plants have room to grow.
If you do not start your okra plants early, wait until there is stable warm weather. You can plant okra in the garden when the soil has warmed to 65° to 70°F.
Plant okra in fertile, well-drained soil in full light about 1/2 to 1 inch deep and 12 to 18 inches apart. You can soak the seeds overnight in tepid water to help speed up germination.
If you are planting okra transplants, be sure to space them 1 to 2 feet apart to give them ample room to grow.
Okra plants are tall, so be sure to space out the rows 3 to 4 feet apart.
Sunlight: The plant require to be grown in full sun of at lease 6 hrs a day.
Soil: Lady s Finger performs best in well-drained, fertile soils in full sun. Avoid wet, poorly drained sites. Soil pH is generally not a problem as okra grows well in soils that are slightly acidic to slightly alkaline (pH 6.5 to 7.5).
Water: Lady s Finger can tolerate dry conditions. However, watering may be necessary during extended dry periods. It needs to be evenly moist throughout the growing season.
Temprature: It is a warm season vegetable crop and requires a long warm growing season.
Fertilizer: Before planting, apply 1 to 2 pounds of an all-purpose garden fertilizer, such as 10-10-10. When harvesting begins, sprinkle a small amount of nitrogen around each plant. However, avoid heavy nitrogen applications, which may promote vegetative growth and reduce crop yields.
Harvesting: The first harvest will be ready about 2 months after planting. Harvest the okra when its 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. Wear gloves and long sleeves when cutting the okra because most varieties are covered with tiny spines that will irritate your skin, unless you have a spineless variety. Do not worry: this irritation will not happen when you eat them. To store okra, put the uncut and uncooked pods into freezer bags and keep them in the freezer. You can then prepare the okra any way you like throughout the winter months
- Eliminate weeds when the plants are young, then mulch heavily to prevent more weeds from growing.
- Apply a layer of mulch 4 to 8 inches high.
- You should also side-dress the plants with 10-10-10, aged manure, or rich compost (1/2 pound per 25 feet of row).
- You could also apply a balanced liquid fertilizer monthly.
- When the seedlings are about 3 inches tall, thin the plants so that they are 10 to 18 inches apart.
- Keep the plants well watered throughout the summer months; 1 inch of water per week is ideal, but use more if you are in a hot, arid region.
- After the first harvest, remove the lower leaves to help speed up production.
- Lady s Finger does not like to have its roots disturbed.
- To maintain the best nutritional value of okra, it is suggested not to overcook it.
The pods are among the very low calorie vegetables.
- They provide just 30 calories per 100 g besides containing no saturated fats or cholesterol.
- Nonetheless, they are rich sources of dietary fibre, minerals, and vitamins; often recommended by nutritionists in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.
The rich fibre and mucilaginous content in okra pods help in smooth peristalsis of digested food particles and relieve constipation condition.
The pods contain healthy amounts of vitamin A, and flavonoid anti-oxidants such as beta carotenes, xanthin and lutein.
- It is one of the green vegetables with highest levels of these anti-oxidants.
- These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties and are essential for vision.
Vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin.
- Consumption of natural vegetables and fruits rich in flavonoids helps to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
Fresh pods are the good source of foliates; provide about 22% of RDA per 100 g.
- Consumption of foods rich in foliates, especially during the pre-conception period helps decrease the incidence of neural tube defects in the offspring.
The gumbo pods are also an excellent source of anti-oxidant vitamin, vitamin-C, providing about 36% of daily-recommended levels.
Research suggests that consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the body develop immunity against infectious agents, reduce episodes of cold and cough and protect the body from harmful free radicals.
The veggies are rich in B-complex group of vitamins like niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin and pantothenic acid.
- The pods also contain good amounts of vitamin K.
- Vitamin K is a co-factor for blood clotting enzymes and is required for strengthening of bones.
The pods are an also good source of many important minerals such as iron, calcium, manganese and magnesium.
- Okra is a plant that produces an edible pod that is eaten as a vegetable.
Bhendi exude a gelatinous substance when sliced.
- This substance is called mucilage.
- It is the mucilage which contributes to the slime factor in it.
For medicinal use, please consult appropriate doctor / physician before use.
What Customer says ?
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Good but after two moths i will see the result
All the seeds germinated. Now I have way too many seedlings.
Came on time... and the plant seems to be growing really fast. Hope I get a vegetable soon.
All seeds germinated waiting to grow 2 weeks over growing nicely
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Any query about okra red burgundy - seeds