Answer: Okra is best planted directly into the ground into light well drained loam with plenty of organic matter. However, they can be grown in containers that are very large (half whiskey barrel at least), and have proper support. Okra plants get very tall, about 5' in height. For these reasons, it really is better to grow okra in the ground. They should be grown in full sun. They should be fertilized three times: after they have been thinned, when they start producing fruit, and midway into their growing season. They also feed with surface roots so mulch to both keep down weeds and retain moisture. Eggplant starts as a small transplant and eventually by fall becomes a small bush (about 2' wide x 2' high). If grown in warmer areas, it's actually a perennial shrub. So, you can grow it in a large container such as a 1/2 whiskey barrel, or in the garden in full sun, with lots of fertility. The long, thin Asian types are a bit easier to grow and produce than the traditional black, teardrop-shaped types. Fertilizer should be used just to optimize crop performance, and is best applied at planting time, when plants flower, and again during fruit development. A 5-10-10 fertilizer is fine for both okra and eggplant. When planting in containers,be sure to provide adequate water, they dry out quickly.
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