Lets Get Growing-Planting Okra with Quint Hodges

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The
first week of May is when I like to plant Okra. Okra likes hot weather. I
always plant the seeds. Okra seeds have a hard outer shell. Some people will
soak their seeds in bleach diluted with water overnight before planting.
They say this softens the outer shell and allows the seed to sprout sooner. It
doesn’t affect the taste. If you don’t want to use bleach you can soak the
seeds in plain water overnight. I usually don’t soak mine at all.

Pick out where
you want to plant the okra. Remove all the clumps of grass and rocks. Use the
hoe handle and drag it in the soil making a groove one inch deep. Drop the
seeds into the groove about six to eight inches apart and cover with
soil. Use a sprinkler and water. Be careful not to uncover the seeds while
watering.

Okra plants will
keep producing all summer as long as you pick it. Okra will grow fast you will
need to check it every day. Check the plants close, look around and under
the leaves. I like to go down one side of my row picking then go down the other
side to see if I missed any. Okra needs to be picked when it is about five
inches long. Don’t be surprised if you find some that are about ten inches
long. Chances are you didn’t see it the day before.

You may want to
wear gloves and a long sleeve shirt when you are picking your vegetables. Some
people say that okra and squash plants make them itch. 

By now you
should have a nice garden going. You can plant marigolds in the garden to help
keep some of the insects away from your plants.

Mulch can be used
around your plants to help on weed control. Be sure not to get the mulch up
against the trunk of the plants.

Keep an eye on your plants. Look for bugs, and watch the leaves for color change and curling up on the edges. A garden needs around one inch of water a week. Keep up with the rain forecast. You have worked too hard now to let your plants die from lack of water.

If you find
bugs, or eggs from insects remove them as soon as you can. Look for eggs on the
bottom side of the plant leaves or along the plant trunk.

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