Max’s Weblog

Life, Thoughts, Gardening.

Stevia! August 11, 2008

Filed under: Garden — stoatmax @ 9:32 am

Stevia is an herb that can be used for a natural sweetener. It’s calorie free, Carbohydrate free, and has a zero glycemic index. It’s hardy as a perennial to zone 9. It’s been grown in tropical conditions for centuries, and was only recently discovered.

In it’s concentrated form, it’s 250-300 times sweeter than sugar.

It’s a shame that the USDA hasn’t accepted it as a safe sweetener yet. I believe it’s due to the sugar lobby.

Anyways, as a plant, stevia is amazing. It’s not very fussy, it’s easy to grow, and if you lay down a chute and cover it with some dirt, it will readily root. A single leaf alone is 25-40 times sweeter than sugar. It can be used in all kinds of applications. Bruise a leaf in your tea/coffee, use the powder for baking, cooking, eating. It has many possibilities.

You can buy seeds online, but I find them very hard to start. Go to your local nursery, and try to find the sweetest one.


Finally! August 10, 2008

Filed under: Garden — stoatmax @ 6:41 pm
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Sorry about the delay, I’ve finally willed myself to post!

A lot of things have been happening. I’ve received a ton of cuttings, sprouted a few papaya, got a ton of new things.

Hawaiin Papaya has germinated. It’s doing really well, I’ve got it in coco-mix and humisoil.

Here’s a large tray of Papaya, Passion Fruit, Date, Rambutan, and Lychee seeds.

My mom’s friend Jack was nice enough to give me some plumeria cuttings. Fun!

I just bought a thompson’s seedless grape today. We’re making an arbor for it soon.

Stevia Jungle! Jealous Matt? 😀

I just bought a pepino melon plant as well. I’ll have delicious pepinos soon!

Our strawberries have stopped producing and are focusing on heavy runner production. Next year..

My greenhouse is FULL of fussy Datura, begonia, impatien, and tropical cuttings right now, thanks to Jack.

I hope they root!

We pulled our Sugar snaps after the powdery mildew became too fierce. Pole beans are now in.

Melons, Sugar Baby and Crimson Sweet.


And last, but not least…


I’ll be writing a review soon on it’s performance. I really like the idea of such simple hydroponics.

‘Til next time!


Hydroponics Tuesday August 5, 2008

Filed under: Hydroponics — stoatmax @ 10:21 am

Thanks to Ben, I’ve just posted a contributing article to Hydroponics Tuesday. I’ve written about different nutes, etc. in my article. Find it here:


No words. Just.. Tomatoes. August 3, 2008

Filed under: Garden,Photography — stoatmax @ 6:23 am
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Mind my sloth… August 1, 2008

Filed under: Garden — stoatmax @ 3:52 pm
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I’ve been busy writing a pretty extensive recap of the expo. In the meantime, I bought a few things at the county fair.

First of all, something I’ve been looking forward to… Plumeria! I currently do not know what variety, but I’m thinking I got aztec gold and petiite rainbow.

I also got two kinds of lilies..

Gloriosa lily, which is a climber, and starfire lily, which makes a big poofy flower.


Onward to new opportunities. July 25, 2008

Filed under: Hydroponics — stoatmax @ 1:19 pm

It honestly hasn’t been a long time, folks. But, here I am, and after oh-so-little time exploring this endeavor, I’m going to an expo about it! I’ll be starting the trip at 3 a.m., it’s a 360 mile journey. I’ll be home by monday, and I’ll have a lot to report. I’m taking a lot of pictures, taking a lot of notes, and taking a lot of enthusiasm.

Until next time!


Spiny, wingless, fly-like creature eating my tomato plant. July 23, 2008

Filed under: Garden — stoatmax @ 7:55 pm
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… I think. They’re thick on the lower stems, and they look odd. Both they and a lot of small, golden ants are covering the stems. I was thinking they were some kind of nymph. I don’t know. They’re smaller than a normal house fly. Here are a few pics:

What are these? Will they harm my ‘maters?