The Best Basils for Indoor Growing

The compact, large-leaved 'Dolce Fresca' is an AAS award winner that's perfect for container growing. (Photo care of AAS)

The compact, large-leaved ‘Dolce Fresca’ basil is an AAS award winner that’s perfect for container growing. (Photo care of AAS)

Fresh basil isn’t just for summer. A sunny window or room can easily offer enough light to grow basil for pesto alla Genovese or adding to soups and salads. The key is providing good care and choosing the best basils for the job. High-yielding, compact varieties are always best.

More compact basils vary in size, leaf density, flavor, and stature. One of the most compact and best tasting is the Italian heirloom ‘Verde Piccole Foglie’. Its tiny leaves and bushy shape make it look a bit like a pruned boxwood, but don’t let the size fool you. The leaves pack big, spicy, pungent flavor, and the plant responds well to regular cutting and trimming.

The comparable ‘Fino Verde’ (8” x 12”) is another compact, flavorful, bushy basil that’s more easily found in the US market. It’s a little sweeter tasting but otherwise indistinguishable from ‘Verde Piccole Foglie’ and equally easy to grow at the window-side. Continue reading “The Best Basils for Indoor Growing”

Plant Big with SSA Rain Forest Blend


Agaves, small palms, ornamental grasses and trailing silvery Dichondra ‘Silver Falls’ are all great candidates for large container plantings for porch and patio.

Large poolside, patio and garden containers need the right potting mix to flourish. Good mixes for outdoor growing are heavier, to keep pots from falling over, and provide a balance of porosity and water retention. Sunshine Advanced Rain Forest Blend is just one of those mixes. Not only does it provide good nutrition naturally, with quality organics such as worm castings, alfalfa meal, and kelp meal, but it also maintains good weight and growing characteristics with its blend of coconut coir, fine bark and compost. Best of all, each bag contains a multi-species blend of endomycorrhizae to enhance root development and plant vigor.

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What is Hydro-Style Growing?

Baby Plants Growing IndoorsGrowing, just like everything, goes through changes. As science reveals more about successful plant production, more improved growing products continue to become available to the grower. Take, for example, Sunshine Advanced (SSA) hydro-style gardening soils. Whether you’re growing indoors or out, these exceptional mixes do more to nurture plants down below, encouraging good growth at the roots.

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What are Mycorrhizae?

Hyphae penetrate and/or surround plant roots enabling better nutrient and water uptake.

Hyphae penetrate and/or surround plant roots enabling better nutrient and water uptake.

The word mycorrhizae (pronounced my-cor-rye-zay) refers to fungi that form mutually beneficial relationships with plants. These fungi grow either inside of a plant’s roots (endomycorrhizae) or attach to the root surface (ectomycorrhizae). Mycorrhizae benefit host plants by penetrating and/or surrounding their roots with fungal hyphae (fine, root-like structures) that branch out into the soil, helping the plants better absorb nutrients and water. In turn, the plants feed the mycorrhizal fungi. It’s a win-win all around! Continue reading “What are Mycorrhizae?”