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Who Remembers the Old Farmer’s Almanac? Basil, chives and cilantro

Most herbs are perfect choices to grow in a tower garden. They will thrive provided you offer them the right growing conditions and that is so easy to accomplish with a tower garden. But there are many opportunities to grow a tower and a traditional garden side-by-side. Today we present basil, chives and cilantro with a recipe to use with chives.

Most herbs need full sun for best performance. Place your tower and your soil garden in locations that receive at least eight hours of direct sun every day.

For some inspiration in planting a few of the many herbs possible to grow, we went to the Old Farmer’s Almanac for some inspiration and ideas!old farmer's


The Almanac advises on when to plant—

  • To get a jump on the season if you are planting in soil, start the seeds indoors 6 weeks before the last spring frost. (See local frost dates.)
  • To plant outside, wait until the soil has warmed to at least 50°F (10°C)—preferably around 70ºF (21°C) for best growth. Nighttime temperatures shouldn’t drop below 50°F (10°C).
  • Don’t rush basil. Without heat, the plant won’t grow well.

To plant in the tower garden, start the seeds 2 to 3 weeks before you intend to place them in the tower. When the roots are starting to show through the rock wool and the day and nighttime temperatures are right, insert them in the tower.basil for pesto

The most common type of basil is sweet basil; other types include purple basil (less sweet than common basil), lemon basil (lemon flavor), and Thai basil (licorice flavor). See our blog post on the many varieties of basil.

Basil is easy to grow, but it only grows outdoors in the summer—and only once the soil has warmed up nicely—so plan accordingly.

If you’re planning on making pesto, grow several plants. For other uses, one or two basil plants yields plenty.


The Almanac advises on when to plant—

(and watch for a chives recipe after this section!)

“Chives are cool-season, cold-tolerant perennials that are best planted in early spring for a late spring and early summer harvest.

Be mindful when planting this herb, as it will take over your garden if the flowers are allowed to develop fully (the flowers scatter the seeds). However, this plant is easy to dig up and move if it does end up invading other parts of your garden.

The two species of chives commonly grown in home gardens are common chives (Allium schoenoprasum) and garlic chives (A. tuberosum):

  • Common chives consist of clumps of small, slender bulbs that produce thin, tubular, blue-green leaves reaching 10-15 inches in height. The edible, flavorful flowers may be white, pink, purple, or red, depending on variety. They can be grown in zones 3 to 9.
  • Garlic chives (also called Chinese chives) look similar to common chives, but their leaves are flatter, greener, and get to be about 20 inches in height. As their name suggests, their leaves have a mild garlic flavor (bulbs are more intense). Flowers are white, and are larger and less densely-clustered than those of common chives. Garlic chives are not quite as cold hardy as common chives, so they are recommended for zones 4 to 9.”

Chives are also good crops for growing on an indoor tower garden all year round. Spring and fall will work for an outdoor tower much the same as planting in soil.chinese chive and eggs

Chinese Chives & Eggs

Chinese Chives & Eggs is a very simple, homey dish stir-fried eggs that you just don’t see in restaurants. Chinese Chives & Eggs should be smooth and silky.

Servings: 2

Author: Judy from the Woks of Life

  • 5 large eggs
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 4 teaspoons water
  • 2 cups chopped Chinese chives/garlic chives
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Crack the eggs into a large bowl, and add the sugar, salt, Shaoxing wine, white pepper, sesame oil and water. Beat the eggs for a good 30 seconds until you see a layer of small bubbles floating on the surface of the beaten eggs. Mix in the chives until combined. Now you are ready to cook.
  • Heat a wok until it just starts to smoke, and then turn the heat down to medium low. Wait 10 seconds, and then add the oil. Coat the wok with oil using your spatula to swirl it around. The oil should be hot but not smoking when you add the egg mixture.
  • Once you pour the eggs into the wok, flip and stir them slowly with a spatula, being careful not to let the eggs brown or firm up too much. Once the eggs are just cooked, they’re ready. Serve!TG kale and cilantro


The Almanac advises on when to plant—

“Cilantro is a fast-growing, aromatic, annual herb that grows best in the cooler weather of spring and fall. Here’s how to grow cilantro (and coriander) in your garden.

  • Plant cilantro in the spring after the last frost date or in the fall. In the Southwestern US, a fall planting may last through spring until the weather heats up again.
  • Do not grow in summer heat as the plants will bolt (such that it will be past harvesting). The leaves that grow on bolted plants tend to be bitter in flavor.
  • It is best to choose a sunny site that will allow cilantro to self-seed as it is ought to do. Plant in an herb garden or the corner of a vegetable garden. When the weather gets warm, the plant will quickly finish its life cycle and send up a long stalk, which will produce blossoms and later seeds. Little plants will sprout during the season and the next spring.
  • Plant the seeds in light, well-drained soil and space them 1 to 2 inches apart. Sow the seeds at 3-week intervals for continued harvest.
  • Space rows about 12 inches apart.
  • It is important to keep the seeds moist during their germination, so remember to water the plants regularly.”

Cilantro is a beautiful plant when it goes to seed and creates the masses of flowers needed to create coriander seeds. It works especially well in tower gardens in spring and fall.

Submitted by Gwen O’Neill

Gwen O’Neill has been a gardener for over 40 years and has always been a passionate cook. Her own health challenges led her to experiencing a variety of healing modalities. After finding that her health improved with eating more whole food and improving her nutrition using a real, whole food based supplement called Juice Plus, she committed to sharing this experience with others. The aeroponic Tower Garden by Juice Plus makes it easy to grow produce right outside your kitchen door.

trio plus omega pic

Juice Plus real food!





info@gwenoneill.comtower garden trio


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