Stevia is a perennial plant, also known as melophyllo or sweet leaf of Paraguay. Stevia contains a substance, steviol, which has a high sweetening power, which is why it is used as a sweetener instead of sugar. We can grow stevia in a pot or in the garden and harvest its leaves to sweeten our coffee, tea or to use in various homemade sweets.
Stevia in the early stages of growth will need small and frequent waterings to root better when transplanted. Then, frequent watering is required during the summer season. Regarding the fertilization of stevia, the incorporation of a small amount of organic fertilizer once a month during the spring period is imperative. Stevia can be harvested three months after transplanting into the garden or pot, the period just before flowering. Stevia needs severe pruning in early autumn to produce new growth again the following year. Stevia is propagated mainly by cuttings, but also by seed.
Eggplant FlaskEggplant Flask
Eggplant, the summer’s favorite vegetable! Eggplant is one of the main ingredients of the Mediterranean cuisine that we enjoy in unique summer recipes, from the world-famous moussaka, to the wonderful shoes and the Asia Minor imam baildi. Eggplant is a vegetable with high nutritional value that contains many antioxidants and vitamins. It is eaten mainly grilled, fried but also stewed. We avoid eating eggplant raw, because of its bitter taste, as well as the solanine, a toxic substance it contains when harvested prematurely.
The eggplant crop grows to a height of about 80-90 centimeters and usually does not need subtiling. Eggplant leaves have a smooth upper surface and are smooth while the underside is relatively fluffy. It is planted in the spring and forms characteristic purple flowers that give us the fruits in the summer.
There are many known varieties and hybrids of eggplant to grow. It is important to choose eggplant varieties from our own seed that we keep, so that we know the special characteristics of each variety and how it adapts to the conditions of our region. Among the traditional and local eggplant varieties, we distinguish the Lagada eggplant variety with its long, narrow purple fruits, the purple flask eggplant used in stuffed foods, as well as the teardrop eggplant with its characteristic shape. The two-colored Tsakonian eggplant with its white and purple stripes is also unique and particularly popular and does not taste bitter. Also, the Santorini eggplant is a very distinctive variety with impressive white round fruits and a delicious sweet taste that is not bitter.
Eggplant cultivation grows best in areas with a warm climate. It is worth mentioning that the eggplant needs more heat than the tomato crop and the pepper crop, as well as being much more sensitive to low temperatures and frost. Eggplant planting takes place from April onwards, when the temperature has risen noticeably. Eggplant grows in loose, fertile soils that have good drainage to remove excess water. When preparing the soil for cultivation and before planting the eggplant, we plow the garden and incorporate enough organic matter into the planting pits in the form of compost and digested manure, as well as complete organic fertilizer.
This small taxon is represented by evergreen trees and shrubs distributed in North America, Mexico, Peru, the West Indies and eastern Asia, with the highest concentration of species occurring in northern Myanmar and southern China.
The best known member of this genus is probably Illicium verum. Other species of this genus are Illicium anistatum, Illicium parviflorum, Illicium angustisepalum A.C. and other.
Celery varieties, depending on the part of the plant for which they are grown, are divided into two main categories: a) leafy ones that have rich foliage vegetation and b) rhizomes that have less growth of the above-ground part of the plant and more root growth. The best-known varieties are the traditional variety of celery, the variety of celery and the variety of celery which have the following characteristics: Common variety of celery: Traditional local leafy variety of celery with thin shoots and leaves that have a strong aroma and flavor Celery variety: Classic leafy variety of celery with thick, crunchy stems that reach a height of up to one meter and large leaves that do not have as strong a scent as the common variety. Celery root variety: Characteristic variety of root celery eaten for its large round root, fresh or cooked in salads and soups.
Cucumber miniCucumber mini
There are dozens of cucumber varieties and hybrids that are commercially available and that we can plant. Depending on the size of the fruit, the cucumber varieties are divided into the large-fruited varieties and the small-fruited varieties that, in addition to being fresh, are also used for pickling. A traditional long-fruited variety of cucumber is the Kalybiotiko cucumber, suitable for summer outdoor cultivation that gives very tasty smooth dark green fruits, about 40 cm long. Among the small-fruited varieties, we distinguish the Knossos variety, from the Heraklion region of Crete, with a smooth, dark green, crunchy fruit about 20 centimeters long. Long cucumber, a traditional variety of cucumber.
Borloto beansBorloto beans
There are many popular native and traditional bean cultivars, both low and climbing, to choose from. Most growers prefer fresh bean varieties that do not have fiber, as they are more pleasant to eat. We should note that the dry bean varieties have a harder shell and more fiber. Well-known varieties of fresh beans are chauli, terli, broad bean (black-eyed), broad bean (snake bean), mullets (beads), canary beans (yellow beans), bulgara (early mullet), zargana, climbing mullet, while in some regions we will meet other interesting local varieties. An excellent traditional variety of dry beans are the giants of Prespa. It is worth noting that the climbing bean varieties are much more productive than the low varieties, while at the same time they have a longer production period, although they take longer to enter production than the low ones.
Bean cultivation needs fertile soil, rich in organic matter and with good drainage to have good growth and fruiting. When preparing the soil for cultivation, we first plow the field to make the soil sufficiently loose, as it is necessary for the formation of a rich and strong root system of the bean. Then, before planting the bean, we incorporate enough compost, digested manure and organic manure to enrich the soil with organic matter and nutrients.
What are the most popular radish varieties to grow? There are many species and varieties of radish to choose from and grow. First, the wild radish with its bitter taste and characteristic green jagged leaves that turn red at the base. Stamnagathi is also a variety of wild radish. And then there is the tame radish with the upright, wider leaves, lighter at the base and with less bitterness. Also, the Italian radish with its upright toothed leaves, spicy bitter taste and many harvests. Let’s not forget radicchio, the radish variety with crimson leaves and white nerves that close like lettuce leaves. Radizio has a strong spiciness when eaten raw that fades with cooking. Radish is a horticultural plant that loves the cold environment and that is why it is planted in the autumn season when we have low temperatures, humidity and few hours of daily sunshine. After all, at high temperatures, the radish blooms prematurely and is unsuitable for consumption. We plant radishes in sunny or semi-shady places and we prefer rich, fertile and cool soils that ensure good drainage. If we plant in the ground, we incorporate organic matter in the form of compost and digested manure for better root development. To plant it in a pot, we use potting soil special for horticulture, rich in organic matter and nutrients, and place the pot on a balcony with western or eastern exposure for the radish culture to thrive.