OUT IN THE YARD: Lady’s finger: Guess the other name

first_img Next UpThe planting site should have eight hours of sun and good drainage. Lady finger should not have been planted on this site the previous season. The pH of soil should be 6.0-7.0. Fertilize with 10-10-10 or 15-5-10. Mix well into the top 3-4 inches of soil. Plant on flat ground or raised beds with rows 3 feet apart. Plant seeds ½ to 1-inch deep and 2 inches apart. Plant 4-6 feet of Lady’s Finger per person in your family. Thin plants to 1 foot apart when plants are 6 inches tall.To cut down on weeds, lay up to eight newspaper sheets between plants and cover with mulch to keep them from blowing away. Pull weeds close to plant by hand to avoid damaging Lady’s Finger roots.Water every 7-10 days but be aware they don’t like wet feet. The usual indication to water is the soil is dry 1-2 inches beneath the surface. Wet to a depth of at least 6 inches. Side dress with fertilizer every 3-4 weeks on light soil or high rainfall area. Plants will mature in 60-80 days. After first harvest, scatter fertilizer between rows. Use 1 cup of fertilizer for every 10 feet of row and 12-15 inches from the plant. Water fertilizer in thoroughly.Harvest every other day as flowering and production will cease if pods grow too large. In July or when the plants become too tall to harvest, cut down to 2 feet. Side dress with nitrogen fertilizer and water well. Lady’s Finger will continue to produce through October or until the first frost injures or kills the plant.Have you guessed another name for Lady’s Finger in the South? It is “Okra”!Reach Jefferson County Master Gardener Eileen Slater at [email protected] or call the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service at 409-835-8461. Lady’s finger (abelmoschus esculentus) is a member of the mallow family (Malvaceae). The flowers are yellow with a crimson center.The tender, unripe fruit is eaten at 4-10 inches by boiling, sautéing, pickling or frying. The fruit can be used as a thickener in soups and stews. The washed, dried and ground seeds are a coffee bean substitute. In the East, the leaves and immature fruit have been used topically on the body to relieve pain.Lady’s finger is a warm season vegetable. Plant April 1-July 15 or 2-3 weeks after all danger of frost has passed. Texas AgriLife suggests planting at a minimum soil temperature of 73 degrees Fahrenheit.Prepare the hard seed coat for planting using one of these methods: Soak seeds in room temperature water for 24 hours, soak for 1½ hours in 110-112 degrees Fahrenheit water, wrap the seeds in moist paper towels or scratch the outer surface of the seeds with sandpaper or knife blade. Varieties of Lady’s finger for Texas include Annie Oakley, Cajun Delight, Clemson Spineless and Stewart’s Zee Best. A new container variety Lady’s Finger from a big box store to try this year is Baby Bubba Hybrid.last_img

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