Sweetener of the Millennium
spacer
line decor
line decor
spacer
 Stevia Cultivation Continue....2  

 

Fertilizer application

The recommended dose of fertilizer is 110:45:45 NPK/ac. This requires 4 bags of urea, 2 bags of DAP and 2 bags of Potash. The entire dose of DAP is applied as the basal dressing. The Nitrogen and Potash fertilizer can be split and applied as 10 doses in every month. Nitrogen application is a must for the production of dry matters. 

Plant protection

Organic gardeners in particular should find stevia an ideal addition to their yield. Though nontoxic, stevia plants have been found to have insect-repelling tendencies. Their very sweetness, in fact, may be a kind of natural defense mechanism against aphids and other bugs that find it not to their taste. Perhaps that’s why crop-devouring grasshoppers have been reported to bypass stevia under cultivation. In case any disease symptoms are noticed, spraying of neem oil diluted in water is the best organic method.

Weeding

Removal of weeds can be done manually. Since the crop is grown in raised beds, intercultural operations are easier by manual labour. 

Maintenance

Stevia plants do best in a rich, loamy soil-the same kind in which common garden-variety plants thrive. Since the feeder roots tend to be quite near the surface, it is good idea to add compost for extra nutrients if the soil in your area is sandy. Besides being sensitive to cold during their development stage, the roots can be also be adversely affected by excessive levels of moisture. So take care not to over-water them and to make sure the soil in which they are planted drains easily and isn’t soggy or subject to flooding. Frequent light watering is recommended during the summer months. Adding a layer of compost or your favorite mulch around each Stevia plant will help keep the shallow feeder roots from drying out.  Stevia plants respond well to fertilizers with lower nitrogen content than the fertilizer’s phosphoric acid or potash content.  Most organic fertilizers would work well, since they release nitrogen slowly.  Flowering of the plant should be avoided. Since Stevia has a significant apical dominance, the plant tends to grow tall and lanky. Pinching of the apical bud would enhance bushy growth of the plant with side branches. 

Harvesting

Depending on climate conditions one can achieve the yields of 2000-4000 Kilos in three to six harvests annually. Another important aspect of harvesting is the timing of harvest. It should be noted that at no point of time plants should be allowed to flower since after flowering the Stevioside percentage goes down rapidly and leaves are rendered unmarketable. Leaves are harvested by plucking in a small quantity, or the entire plant with the side branches is cut leaving 10 to 15 cm from the base. The first harvesting can be done four to five months after planting. Subsequent harvesting can be done every three months, for three consecutive years. The sweetener in the leaf is maximum till the plant flowers. Just before flowering, the plant should be cut completely leaving 10 cm from the ground. The new flush of leaves will sprout from here. The new plant will be ready for harvest again in three months. The plant yields around 3000 kg of dried leaves from an acre of plantation every year. Harvesting should be done as late as possible, since cool autumn temperatures and shorter days tend to intensify the sweetness of the plants as they evolve into a reproductive state.

3....Continue

Copyright 2008 | Site owned and operated by: EverStevia.com, All Rights Reserved. Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Hosting by IPOWER | Bookmark this site! | contact us | sitemap

Disclaimer: The information provided on EverStevia.com is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.