Molokhia (Corchorus olitorius) is a common vegetable in Egypt. Its nickname, in fact, is Egyptian spinach. The leaves are sauteed or used in soups, where it acts as a thickening agent, like it's relative okra. Molokhia grows from 6 to 8 feet in height with few side branches. It requires consistently warm temperatures and lots of humidity to germinate and grow, and is hardy to zone 10 on the U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zone Map. Sow molokhia seeds in spring in a sunny spot in the garden.
Things You'll Need
- Rototiller or shovel
- Compost or manure
- 10-10-10 fertilizer
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Prepare the soil by tilling it to a depth of 10 inches. Add 3 to 4 inches of compost or rotted manure and blend it into the soil.
Sow the molokhia seeds 1/4 inch deep and 2 inches apart. Water the soil carefully to avoid washing away the molokhia seeds and keep the soil moist at all times. Under optimal conditions, the seeds germinate within three days.
Thin the seedlings to 10 inches apart when they have their third set of leaves.
Fertilize the molokhia seedlings after thinning with a 10-10-10 fertilizer at half the rate suggested by the manufacturer.
Pinch 1 inch from the tip of the molokhia plant when it reaches 24 inches tall. This encourages the plant to produce new branches.
Harvest the molokhia leaves as you need them by pinching them off the branches.