Also known as Gumbo, bamia, bhindi, Okra is a member of the Mallow family. This tall 7' plants have purple coloration on leaves and thick pods that are best picked at about 3" long. Cross-sections of pods look like the Star of David, giving this variety its name. This variety is said to originate from Israel and has a tendency to grow fatter rather than longer green edible pods. Their flowers are beautiful. Okra adds body to soup, sauces or can be cooked alone. Try okra in a coriander and garlic tomato sauce and you will not look back.
Scientific Name: Abelmoschus esculentus
Plant Life Cycle: annual
Optimal Germination Temperature: 24C
Germination time in days: 7-15 days
Indicative Days to maturity: 90 days
Sunlight: full sun
Soil requirement: Fertile and well drained soils are essential along with a good regular supply of water and plenty of sun
Sowing and cultivation: Start indoors 4-5 weeks before last frost. Sow 1/2" deep. Keep soil temperature above 24C. Transplant in polytunnel when first true sets of leaves have appeared . Space plants 12-18" apart.