Growing okra from seeds: planting rules and plant care
Growing okra from seeds can be done at home without special skills. By choosing the right soil, planting material, as well as following the care recommendations, it will be easy to get the desired result.
Which grade of okra to choose
It is best to grow bush species. They perfectly tolerate not hot and short summers. Such plants are resistant to various diseases and not prolonged droughts..
The best varieties for the Moscow region:
- Green and white velvet. Seeds can be sown directly into open ground. With proper care, the bushes will begin to bear fruit as early as 65 days. You can pick vegetables before the onset of frost.
- Bombay. A popular variety that fructifies 75 days after germination. Bushes reach 60 cm in height.
- Vlada. The plant can grow from 0.4 to 0.64 m in height. The first collection falls on the 65th day.
- Juno. Perfect for growing in the Moscow region. This is a late-ripening variety. Harvesting can only be carried out 90 days after germination. The height of an adult bush can reach 1.2 m.
Also very popular White cylindrical, tall and dwarf okra.
Growing okra from seeds: getting seedlings
In order for an exotic plant to develop well and give a high-quality harvest, it is necessary to provide it with the correct lighting, since a lot will depend on this..
When is it better to plant seeds for seedlings
Sowing okra should be done after the soil has warmed up well. This is often the beginning of June. In warm regions, the process can be postponed to May.
Before sowing grains, you must remember that the age of seedlings for planting should be within 1.5 months. Therefore, it is not worth delaying the sowing of seeds..
Planting material processing rules
In order for the grains to sprout quickly and well, they must be properly prepared. For this, the seeds are soaked in warm water for a day. You can also use special preparations that improve and accelerate germination..
Choosing a container for growing seedlings
Sowing okra for seedlings is recommended only in deep containers. Small pots are not suitable for the plant as the crop has long taproots. Individual vessels are also a good option. It can be both plastic cups and peat vases. It is not recommended to use common boxes, as it is very difficult to transfer okra.
Soil for growing seedlings
Before growing okra, you need to choose the right substrate. This is very important, since many types of soil will not allow plants to fully develop..
It is worth sowing grains only in light soils, which are rich in various nutrients. You can buy the required substrate at any specialized store. A good option is universal mixes designed for vegetable crops..
It is not necessary to additionally fertilize the purchased soil before use. As this can lead to excess of certain minerals.
Planting scheme for okra seedlings
It is necessary to deepen the grains to a depth of about 3 cm. No more than 2 seeds should be placed in each container. In order for the seedlings to appear faster, it is necessary to cover the container with transparent plastic or glass. If this is not done, then the first shoots can be observed in 3 weeks..
Okra: care and planting of seedlings
It is recommended to feed only the emerging seedlings with mixtures with a large amount of phosphorus in the composition. An excellent option is nitrophoska. To do this, use a mixture with 1 tbsp. l of the drug and 5 l of pure water. Mix everything thoroughly and water the plants. You need to fertilize the seedlings periodically until several pairs of full-fledged leaves appear..
Don’t forget about irrigation. The soil in the container must be constantly moist. Use water for irrigation only at separated and room temperature..
Planting seedlings in a permanent place
It is necessary to transplant plants into open ground after several pairs of leaves appear. In this case, the soil should be warm, about +150 C. If you plant the plants in unheated soil, then they will root poorly or dry out altogether.
It is recommended to choose only those seedlings that are not elongated and do not have signs of disease..
Okra is a plant that is very fond of light. Therefore, the site must be chosen one that is located in the center of the garden or one that is reliably protected from drafts. Do not plant seedlings in the shade of partial shade. Solanaceous crops are good predecessors..
The planting site is prepared in autumn or early spring. The site must be carefully dug up, all weeds, dry leaves and grass must be removed. Then add fertilizer to the soil. It can be compost, humus, ash or mineral mixtures (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium).
Okra grows very poorly in acidic soils. Therefore, such soil is best to produce lime..
Seedling planting scheme
Okra does not like “crowding” on the site. Therefore, it is necessary to plant seedlings in such a way that each instance has enough space and light. He considers the optimal distance between the bushes to be 0.3 m, and between the rows – 0.5 m.
Outdoor seedling care
It is necessary to water the culture every other day. If the air temperature is high for a long time outside, then the procedure is carried out once a day. This should be done in the field of sunset or early in the morning.
Weeding should be carried out systematically. Thus, the soil will allow air to flow well, which is very important for okra..
During the period of active growth, the fruits are fed with organic mixtures. You can also use complex mineral preparations. After the first fruits appear, the plants are fertilized with mixtures that contain a lot of potassium..
Possible growing difficulties
Like all exotic plants, powdery mildew can attack okra. If nothing is done, then the bushes will disrupt photosynthesis, which will lead to yellowing of the leaves..
With improper care, okra can suffer from brown spot. Excess moisture in the soil often leads to this. Thrips, caterpillars and cabbage scoops can also be observed on the leaves..
Everyone can handle the cultivation of okra from seeds. The main thing is to plant the seeds in a timely manner, to properly care for the seedlings.