Serbajadi F1 Hybrid Lady’s Fingers – Hibiscus esculentus L. syn. Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) moench. (Malvaceae)
Growing Lady’s fingers is easy, and it grows quickly in warm weather. It is an annual tropical herb grown for its mature fruits which are used as a vegetable. The flower petals are cream yellow and dark purple at the base and look like hibiscus flowers. The fruit is actually a 5-angled pod with large, sticky seeds inside. The young pods can be eaten raw, sliced, fried or used in stews, meat dishes and omelettes. The best way to cook this vegetable without a lot of slime is by cutting the ends and cooking it whole. If you need to cut the fruits into smaller pieces, use a dry knife and chopping board. This vegetable boasts of ample amounts of vitamins and minerals which our body needs. It is also high in vitamin B, folic acid and fibers.
Type of vegetable: Seed bearing pods
Edible part: Whole seed pods
DIRECTION OF USE
Best soil: Requires an open, sunny position and a fertile, well-composted soil to which potash has been added. It loves the heat more than perhaps most other vegetables. Keep them watered, but make sure to provide good drainage, as they do not like to keep their feet wet for extended periods. Apply both fertiliser and mulch.
How to plant: The seeds are pre-soaked for 24 hours and are either sown directly in the garden or in seedbeds and then transplant them in the garden later, spacing them 6 to 8 inches apart, in rows 2 feet apart. A week or so after germination, thin to a final spacing of 12 to 18 inches apart.
When to harvest: 50-60 days. Harvest the fruits when the pods are young and tender, about three to four inches long. Continue harvesting pods every 2 days for freshness. This will encourage the plant to produce more flowers and pods for an extended period of time. If you wait too long, the large pods become tough and woody, making them unsuitable for cooking.
How to harvest: Cut off the pods with a pair of clean scissors or sharp knife when they are still tender (about 8 cm long). Wear gloves as the plants have short hairs which may irritate bare skins.
Care: Keep soil moist and weed regularly. Unless you want the pods to ripen to produce seeds for propagation, you should cut off the pods, so that new pods can grow.
Keep away from children and pets.
Store in cool and dry place away from direct sunlight.