Valerian (Valeriana officinalis, Caprifoliaceae) is a perennial flowering plant and belongs to the Valerianaceae family. For commercial exploitation, the plant is cultivated as an annual. Valerian is a plant whose use is known to us from the ancient Greeks. Later, the Romans used valerian as a remedy for digestive problems, as well as for cramps and to treat urinary tract discomfort. Valerian (Valeriana officinalis, Caprifoliaceae) is a perennial flowering plant and belongs to the Valerianaceae family.
Valerian does not need pruning. It is cleaned only from any yellow leaves or dry shoots and from overripe flowers.
Harvesting: In the past the leaves were harvested in September each year and the roots after the fourth year by uprooting all or part of the plant. In intensive crops, this is done more quickly every two or at most every three years when the root system matures well.
Propagation of valerian is done only by seeds directly in the field or garden. Planting distances are 20-30cm.
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.
Strawberry, the favorite fruit of young and old with its unique juicy taste. The best way to enjoy the most delicious strawberries, full of rich aroma, is to grow our own strawberries in the garden or on the balcony. Strawberries are very healthy and have significant nutritional value. They are rich in vitamin C, potassium, phosphorus and calcium, while at the same time they offer significant antioxidant activity. Strawberries are the ideal fruit for novice gardeners of all ages, as they don’t require too much care, can be grown in a pot or in a flower bed, and each plant gives us enough fruit. The strawberry plant is a perennial and herbaceous that spreads on the ground and climbs. The strawberry has a central stem, of low height, from which the leaves, flowers and fruits that are formed in spring and summer emerge. Strawberry cultivation lasts about 3-4 years before the productivity of the plants starts to decrease significantly and we will have to replace the crop by planting new strawberry plants to ensure new strawberry plants.
Marconi beansMarconi 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.
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.
Sage is quite a hardy plant and grows in a variety of soils, even dry, barren and stony soils. Sage grows best in sandy, calcareous soils with very good drainage that warm up in early spring. Sage is resistant to both low and high temperatures, meaning we can plant it in hot and cold areas. Prefers places with sun both in the garden and on the balcony.
When planted in the shade, it shows stunted growth and can show rot in the shoots and the root. Incorporating organic matter in the form of digested manure and compost when planting sage is beneficial for its growth.
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.