Dr Akilah – Celestial Healing Wellness Center

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Category Archives: Growing Your Own Food

7 Big Herbs You Can Grow at Home

By Erica Glasener – networx.com

I admit it, I live to eat. I also enjoy cooking and having fresh herbs to use for soups, stews and salads. With this in mind I grow herbs in pots and in the ground. As far as I’m concerned one can never have too much basil, parsley or rosemary. The good news is that many of these large herbs are easy to grow and not only are they tasty but they are pretty in pots whether you grow them on their own or combine them with other herbs and flowers.

For best growth and production most herbs need full sun (4 to 6 hours of direct sun) and excellent drainage but you don’t have to have a big garden to grow them. A balcony or window box will suffice. Depending on what part of the country you live in there are annual, biennial and perennial types.

1. Giant Italian Parsley

Giant Italian parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is a biennial in Zones 6 to 9, but often grown as an annual. I prefer the taste and look of this giant flat leaf parsley to that of the more common curly parsley. Plants get large and bushy and produce many leaves. In mild climates it stays evergreen all winter.

2. Rosemary

Another evergreen herb, native to the Mediterranean, is rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis). A perennial in Zones 8 to 10, it is great for seasoning meats and vegetables. Its delightful scented leaves make it a welcome addition to flower arrangements too. While often seen in small starter pots, rosemary plants will become bush-size if allowed to flourish.

3. Sage

Winter hardy in Zones 5 to 10, sage (Salvia officinalis) can grow 2 to 3’ tall or taller and 2’ wide. This aromatic herb is popular for seasoning meats, sauces and vegetable dishes.

4. Lemon Balm

Also known for its fragrance is the perennial herb lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) hardy inZones 4 to 9. The lemon scented leaves are popular for making teas or adding to baths for a calming effect. Plants easily grow to 2’ tall.

5. Lavender

If you love lavender scented soaps and sachets, try growing some of your own lavender, including the cold hardy English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia); perennial in Zones 5 to 9 and popular as a companion for roses. Spanish or French lavender (Lavandula stoechas) has large showy purple flowers and is also aromatic. Both of these lavenders are good candidates for containers.

6. Large Leaf Italian Basil

Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is a popular herb used (both fresh and dried) for Italian cooking including pizzas, salads, sauces and pesto. Large leaf Italian or lettuce leaf basil (Ocimum basilicum var. crispum) has leaves that look lettuce-like and can be up to 3 to 4 inches long on plants that grow up to 2’ tall. This annual can be started from seed indoors (under grow lights) in late winter and transplanted to the garden or a container outdoors, once the fear of frost is passed. For a contrast try growing the large purple sweet basil too.

7. Hyssop

Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis) is a perennial herb in Zones 4 to 9. The aromatic leaves are used to season soups, salads, liqueurs and stews. The flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Like rosemary, this herb will grow as high and wide as a small bush.

About the Author

Erica Glasener is an Atlanta gardener and horticulturist.

No Garden? Here Are 66 Things You Can Can Grow At Home In Containers

By Rachel Cernansky – planetgreen.discovery.com

Growing your own food is exciting, not only because you get to see things grow from nothing into ready-to-eat fruits and veggies, but you also don’t have to worry about the pesticides they might contain, and you definitely cut down on the miles they—and you—have to travel.

As it turns out, with pretty minimal effort, anyone can be a gardener. My boyfriend and I are essentially first-timers this season and so far have the beginnings of strawberries peeking out, tomatoes are on their way, the basil’s about ready for a big batch of pesto, and once the last frost hits, the peppers, kale, spinach, chard, and mesclun will be on their way, too. All on a tiiiny little terrace.

If you’re up to the challenge—and it really isn’t much of one—growing your own food can be so rewarding. And so much cheaper! Just be sure to choose the right planter or container, learn how to maintain it properly, and go find yourself some seeds! (Or starter plants.)
Like this idea? Be sure to check out these 6 Crazy Concepts for Micro Gardens That Actually Work to get inspiration for designing your own garden in a small space.

Here’s a starter list of all the crazy things even urban gardeners, without space for a garden, can grow at home.

Tree fruits – including apples

1. Apples can be grown in a container; you can also grow them on the balcony or other small space using a technique called espaliering.
2. Kumquats
3. Avocados
4. Blackberries
5. Blueberries (sometimes helpful videos are available online)
6. Pomegranate
7. Cherries
8. Figs
9. Pears

Citrus fruits

Citrus trees in particular are said to be good for beginning gardeners and are easy to grow indoors, so don’t let inexperience or lack of outdoor space stop you from enjoying fresh-picked, hyper-local fruit.
10. Dwarf oranges
11. Grapefruit
12. Tangerines
13. Meyer lemons
14. Limes

Tropical fruits

Tropical fruits can also be surprisingly easy to grow indoors, even in non-tropical climates. Such as…

15. Bananas (look for container gardening tips online)
16. Pineapple
17. Papaya
18. Guavas (several varieties)

The real surprises

19. Hops—yes, as in the “spice” ingredient in beer. Turns out they’re easy to grow!
20. Aloe Vera
21. Strawberries
22. Tea (well, herbal tea)
23. Quinoa!

The non-surprises

24. Tomatoes
25. Summer squash
26. Other squashes, like acorn and pumpkin
27. Hot Peppers
28. Sweet peppers
29. Cucumbers


30. Small cantaloupe
31. Jenny Lind melon (an heirloom cantaloupe)
32. Golden Midget Watermelon


Just about any herb grows well indoors—just be sure that if you’re going to do any container-sharing, you do your research first about which herbs co-habitate well together. (Some will hog water, for example, and leave the others dried out.)

33. Basil
34. Oregano
35. Parsley
36. Rosemary
37. Chives
38. Catnip
39. Thyme
40. Sage
41. Parsley

Leafy Greens

42. Kale
43. Mesclun greens
44. Spinach
45. Swiss chard
46. Lettuces (plenty of options there, from micro-greens to head or loose-leaf)
47. Mustard greens
48. Collard greens
49. Arugula

Root Vegetables

50. Carrots
51. Beets
52. Potatoes

Other healthy-sounding stuff

53. Sprouts
54. More sprouts: mung bean and lentil sprouts
55. Wheatgrass
56. Kohlrabi
57. Turnips
58. Rutabagas
59. Celeriac
60. Parsnips
61. Jerusalem Artichoke
62. Sugar snap peas
63. Rhubarb (not ideal in a container, but it can work)
64. Mushrooms (again, more tips online if you look)
65. Pole Beans
66. Aaaand… asparagus, although some disagree that it does well in a container. Try it if you’re ok with a risk!

Bonus 67: You can grow your own loofah, too, but you’d need a garden rather than a container for that.