Okra: growing from seed, photo, properties. Okra - what is it?
Now many gardeners often have questions when meeting with unfamiliar and exotic plants. Okra - what is it? A very unusual plant for our regions, which is already cultivated in the Krasnodar and Stavropol Territories. However, it cannot be said that they are not trying to grow it anywhere else. This vegetable is thermophilic, but does it stop lovers of summer cottages and gardens? Okra - a plant that is eaten and used in cosmetology. So let's talk about this unusual innovation in our area.
What is this exotic
Okra, the photo of which is presented in this article, is a grassy annual plant belonging to the family Malvaceae. Initially, it grew in the open spaces of Africa, but today it can be found in many parts of the world. First, okra came to Europe (thanks to the Arabs). By the 18th century, it was successfully used in cooking culinary masterpieces in America, Europe and Asia. But in Russia, it took root a long time ago. Just this plant is not very common.
What looks like okra
Okra - what is it? There is nothing unusual in the appearance of this plant. It can reach a height of two meters. Although there are dwarf varieties, growing not more than 50 centimeters. The size of the fruit also depends on the type of plant. It can reach up to 25 centimeters at the maximum, and the minimum figures - 10 centimeters. The stem of the okra is very thick and at the base can have several branches (up to 7 stems). The leaves of the plant have large, painted in light or dark green color. Flowers in okra are large, yellowish-cream. They are arranged in a single order. The most important advantage of this plant is its fruits. They resemble bean pods or green peppers and have a slightly pyramidal shape. Covered with fine hairs. This is the look that okra has. What is this plant and how it looks, we decided.
What is the okra
Now answer the question of whether okra is useful. This plant, of course, has a certain chemical composition. Okra contains many nutrients. It contains compounds of calcium, iron, folic acid, potassium, a large amount of ascorbic acid and vitamins. But dietary fiber and protein compounds are of particular value.Therefore, the okra is bred not only because of its taste, but also for its beneficial properties.
The benefits of okra
This vegetable can be called very healing. First, fiber, available in large quantities, improves digestion. Eating okra helps to remove cholesterol and toxins from the body. The work of the heart is normalized. This plant allows you to get rid of lung diseases, flu symptoms, bronchitis and tonsillitis. Dishes made from okra are rejuvenating and toning. Due to the presence of folic acid, they are useful for pregnant and lactating women.With all this, okra contains only 30 calories for every 100 grams of product. Therefore, it is successfully used in diets. Recent studies have shown that the plant counteracts the formation of certain types of malignant tumors. Eating okra reduces the risk of atherosclerosis. Contraindications use of this plant has not. Today it is comprehensively studied by scientists. Okra is a plant that is unique in its performance.
Okra in cooking
Especially often this plant is used in cooking.In food are unrevealed fruits that resemble green beans. Usually they ripen in 4-5 days. The fruiting period lasts all summer until late autumn. The young leaves of the okra plant are also consumed. What is it - culinary research, fashion, or perhaps the reason lies in something else? It's all about taste. Fruits resemble asparagus or eggplant. After processing, they secrete some amount of mucus. This property is used in the preparation of soups or vegetable dishes. Okra is extinguished, frozen and even preserved.This vegetable is cooked very quickly. Its tender fruits do not need to be subjected to prolonged heat treatment. Okra is combined with tomatoes, onions, ginger, garlic, pepper, various spices and lemon juice. Season the dishes should be with butter. Dish from lamb, fish and poultry will become more expressive if you add this vegetable. Young leaves of the plant are used in fresh salads. Okra, whose properties are known to many nations, is used in various cuisines of the world.
Okra and beauty
According to historical data, many ancient beauties (for example, Cleopatra) were very fond of okra.They ate dishes from this plant, and also made broths and masks for hair from it.In India, they prepared face creams with okra extracts, which eliminated acne and prevented their appearance. Therefore, this plant can be used in traditional medicine. Funds based on it help to improve the structure of the hair, and therefore will be very useful.
There are several varieties of this plant. Among them are the Lady's fingers, White velvet and White cylindrical okra. These varieties are most often grown in our country. It should be noted that this culture is becoming increasingly popular among summer residents. This is due to its taste and, of course, useful properties. Several new varieties have been developed that can be recommended for cultivation in the conditions of our regions. This is Bombay and Juno.
Features of growing
It should be noted that growing okra is not an easy task. This is due to the climatic features of some regions. Okra is a thermophilic and light-loving plant. Therefore, to grow it in Central Russia in the open field will not work.But the cultivation of okra is possible in room environment. In such conditions, it develops well and gives rich harvests.For germination is better to use peat pots. Okra loves light and fertile soil. It is also recommended to use a large amount of organic fertilizer. If the climate allows, then the seedlings are planted in open ground or in the greenhouse.
Okra, whose seeds germinate very slowly, requires a lot of heat. Therefore, it is necessary to create all the necessary conditions for it. To speed up the emergence of shoots, you need to soak the seeds before planting in warm water for a day. For seedlings we use peat pots. The soil can be taken ready or garden. The important point is the presence of a large amount of organic and mineral fertilizers. Seeds begin to germinate at a minimum temperature of 18 degrees. Three or four seeds are placed in each pot. The depth of landing should be no more than 3 centimeters. In two weeks, the first shoots will appear. Thinning seedlings is a must.In the future, good okra will grow out of it. Growing from seed does not require any particular effort.The main thing is heat (20-22 degrees). Naturally, the plant requires watering as the soil dries. But you should not overdo it. Okra does not like excessive moisture. This is a drought resistant plant. It will be useful to feed the seedlings with phosphate fertilizers.
After a month and a half, you can transplant seedlings to a permanent place. In warm countries it can be open ground. The main thing when planting - a small density. To get a good harvest, you should plant the plants at a distance of 30-50 centimeters from each other.Between the rows should be at least 60 centimeters. The landing is made in the first half of June. If okra is cultivated in a greenhouse, then sufficient ventilation should be provided. The plant does not like high humidity and strong overheating. Okra, the cultivation of the seeds of which is the most common way, is well developed in room conditions. For planting use a large capacity and place it on the south side.
Okra (the photo allows you to make a certain idea about the plant) will please with its fruits, if you observe all the conditions for its growth.Wherever this vegetable is cultivated, it needs warmth. But to prevent overheating is also not worth it. Watering is carried out as the soil dries. It is impossible to moisten the ground too much. Okra loves light soils. Therefore, soil loosening is vital for it. You also need to monitor the emergence of weeds and time to remove them. The plant needs and feeding. To do this, use organic fertilizers that are best applied to the soil before planting. You can also use mineral products. Growing okra very quickly. Already 2 months after planting the seeds you can get the first fruits. Harvesting is necessary regularly. Eat only unripe fruits. To harvest seeds, you need to leave a few pods and let them ripen completely.