Cultivation Of Okra

By Punjab Agricultural University on 28 Jan 2016

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Climate and Soil

Okra is a crop of tropical and subtropical climate. It requires along warm and humid growing season. The crop growth is vigorous during rainy season compared to spring summer. Seeds of okra fail to germinate below 20' C temperature and optimum temperature for seed germination is 29' C.Okra can be grown on all types of soils, but the soil should be friable. However, it grows best in light soils ranging from sandy loam to loam. Okra can tolerate slightly acidic soil reaction (pH 6.8 to 6.0)

Improved Varieties

Punjab-8 (1995) : Plants are medium tall with splashes of purple pigmentation present on the stem. Leaves are deeply lobed and less serrated. Leaves, stem and petiole are less hairy. Fruits are thin,long, dark green and five ridged. It has resistance to yellow vein mosaic virus and tolerant to jassid and borer. It is suitable for processing. Average marketable yield is 55 q/acre. It is suitable for February-March as well as June-July sowing.

Punjab-7 (1986) : The plants are medium tall with splashes of purple pigmentation present on the stem. Leaves are deeply lobed up to the base of the petiole and the margins are less serrated. The basal portion of the petiole is deeply pigmented. Leaves, stem and petiole are sparsely hairy. Fruits are medium long, green tender and five ridged. Fruit tip is slightly furrowed and blunt. It carries resistance to yellow vein mosaic virus. Average marketable yield is 45 q/acre.It can be sown in February-March as well as in June-July.

Punjab Padmini (1982) : Plants are taller than those of PusaSawani and with purple tinge on the stem and petiole, leaves deeply lobed and hairy, fruits quick-growing, dark-green, thin, long, five ridged and remain tender for a longer period. It has field tolerance to yellow vein mosaic virus. Low intensity of virus symptoms appear only on the new shoot growth quite late in the season. It is ready for  picking in 60 days. It is high yielding with an average yield of 45 q/acre. It is suitable for sowing in spring and rainy season. 

Agronomic Practices

Sowing Time : In north Indian plains, spring crop is sown in February-March whereas the rainy season crop is sown in the month of June-July throughout India. The optimum sowing time of seed crop is middle of June.

Seed Rate : Fifteen to eighteen kg of seed per acre is required for sowing up to 15th February, 8-10 kg for March sowing and 4-6 kg for the June-July sowing. Soak the seed in water for 24 hours before sowing.Sowing should be done on ridges in February-March and on flat in June-July.

Spacing : The row to row spacing should be 45 cm and plant to plant 15 cm. Progressively wide spacing may be adopted for late sowing.

Manures and Fertilizers

15-20 tonnes of well rotten farmyard manure should be incorporated into the soil before sowing. Apply 36 kg of N (80 kg of Urea) per acre on soils of average fertility. Apply half of the N at sowing and the rest as top-dressing after first picking of fruits.

Weed Control : To keep weeds under control, give three to four hoeing. The first hoeing may be given when the seedlings are two weeks old and subsequent hoeing at fortnightly intervals. Besides this, use of Stomp 30 EC (pendimethalin) 1.0 liter/acre or 750 ml/acre followed by one hoeing can be practised.Stomp 30 EC(pendimethalin) should be applied at pre-emergence stage i.e. oneday after sowing.Alternatively, spray Basal in 45 EC (fluchloralin) @ 800 ml to 1 liter/acre as pre-plant application i.e. four days before sowing and incorporate it in to the soil by harrowing. Alternatively use Lasso 50EC (alachlor) @ 2 liters/acre as pre-emergence spray i.e. one day after sowing. The spray may be followed by one hoeing after 60 days if the intensity of weeds is high.

Irrigation : Seed should be sown in proper soil moisture conditions. First irrigation should be given after 4-5 days of sowing.Further irrigation should be given after 10-12 days whereas during the rainy season, less irrigation are required. Total 10-12 irrigation are required.

Harvesting

The crop will be ready for harvest in about 45-50 days depending upon season and variety. Fruits should be picked tender (10 cm long). Frequent pickings would be required during peak season and 10-12 pickings are done.

Seed Production

For seed production of okra, minimum isolation distance of 200 meter between two cultivars is required. It requires a seed rate of 5-6 kg/acre which should be sown on flat soil maintaining a distance of 60 cm and 25 cm between rows and plants, respectively.A minimum of three field inspections should be conducted to produce true to type seed. The first inspection before flowering,second at flowering and fruiting and third before harvesting of the crop. The off type and diseased plants should be rouged off. The seed crop matures in 90-100 days. The pods are picked 3-4 times due to uneven maturity. The harvested pods are dried in the sun threshed and the seeds are cleaned. The average seed yield is 5-6 quintals per acre.

Note : To determine percentage of shoot infestations, regularly observe 20 plants from each of the 5 rows selected at random in field at 5-7 days interval.