Wednesday, August 6, 2008

2: Outdoor Stevia Culture and Soil

Following is an excerpt from Growing and Using Stevia: The Sweet Leaf from Garden to Table with 35 Recipes.

Stevia will grow on most garden soils, but prefers sandy loam or loam, high in organic matter. Stevia generally wants to be treated like other herb or vegetable crops, but is a little more sensitive to drying out on one hand and water-logging on the other. Stevia tolerates a wide range of soil pH. Its native soils are on the acid side.

Keys to growing Stevia include the following:

  • compost/organic matter

  • raised beds for heavy soil

  • consistent soil moisture

Garden Soil

A good way to improve heavy, high clay soil or light, sandy soil is to dig or till in good compost . Various composts and composted manures are available for purchase or you can make your own. In most cases, good compost will be the only fertilizer needed.

If your soil forms hard clods when it dries after a rain and standing water is slow to drain, Stevia plants probably won’t be happy there. Raised growing beds can help the situation. Raised beds are great for improving drainage in heavy soils and will help prevent soil compaction.

See Chapter 2 of Growing and Using Stevia for these additional topics:

  • Making Compost

  • Building Raised Growing Beds

  • Stevia Fertilization

  • Transplanting Stevia Plants to the Garden

  • Garden Location

  • Timing for Transplanting Stevia in Cold Winter Areas

  • Timing for Transplanting Stevia in Frost-Free Areas or Greenhouses

  • Timing for Transplanting Stevia to Grow Under Artificial Lighting

  • Timing for Transplanting Stevia Near the Equator

  • Stevia Plant Care

  • Watering Stevia in the Outdoor Garden

  • Prunung Stevia in the Outdoor Garden

  • Perennial Stevia Production Outdoors (where climate allows)

Order your copy of Growing and Using Stevia: The Sweet Leaf from Garden to Table with 35 Recipes through one of these links:

directly from Prairie Oak Publishing


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