Tue | Dec 6, 2022

Grow with Honeybee – Melissa Green shares tips on home gardening and plant nursing

Published:Saturday | August 20, 2022 | 12:09 AMKerese Oakley-Williams / Gleaner Intern
 Melissa Green showing The Gleaner her growing lemon balm plant as she explains how complex the plant gets after its easy rooting stage.
Melissa Green showing The Gleaner her growing lemon balm plant as she explains how complex the plant gets after its easy rooting stage.
Green outlines a few details as she tends to a rosemary plant within her garden located at the back of her home.
Green outlines a few details as she tends to a rosemary plant within her garden located at the back of her home.
Melissa Green, the founder of Grow with Honeybee plant nursery.
Melissa Green, the founder of Grow with Honeybee plant nursery.
Melissa Green of Grow With Honeybee at the entrance of her plant home nursery.
Melissa Green of Grow With Honeybee at the entrance of her plant home nursery.
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Love, time, and a tender hand. These are the three-fold most important ingredients to Melissa Green’s homemade plant nursery. From rosemary to cabbages and cantaloupes, Grow with Honeybee has it all.

“My real name, my government name Melissa actually means honeybee and I have fallen in love with the alias over time and when I fell in love with growing plants, I just thought that everything correlated and that it was destined because you know the honeybee has a key role to play in pollination and having fruits growing all over the world. So, I just said grow with Honeybee ... let’s grow together,” said Green during a telephone interview.

“Originally, I started working from home at the beginning of the pandemic when everyone was diverting to home and it was really just myself at home with my boys, trying to entertain ourselves. I also saw the need to have some sort of self-sustainability as it relates to what it is that I can provide for myself.”

She began creating videos and short stories on Instagram about her gardening adventures. This then opened the door of opportunity for her to create her business. “Not everyone has that green thumb to start something from seed, so I just started offering things that I have available, and it has reached this point now,” Green said.

Grow with Honeybee provides a wide variety of vegetables and fruits. “So I try to offer a wide variety of vegetable seedlings going into herbs and also fruit trees. So I have a little bit of everything,” she shared.

Gardening is not limited to anyone. In fact, Green encourages all persons to use whatever items are accessible to them in their homes. “I always encourage people to start with what they have. If you look around, you will see a lot of buckets in my garden. I use buckets and drill holes in them. I use bottles because I am big on recycling. If you have a big water bottle you can cut that in half and that’s a container that you can grow stuff out of,” she continued. Grow with Honeybee provides planter box solutions as a part of her services.

She encourages people to start their home gardens with things that they can grow from scraps. These can include scraps from cantaloupe tomatoes and peppers. “When you throw out your cuttings you can literally just start from that. Then now from what you need and what you think you find your niche in you can go from there.”

Her two-year journey of having her nursery has not always been an easy one. “The hardest thing is just to keep the momentum going. Sometimes because you have other things going on and it starts as a hobby you have to have momentum going and find a good balance between not letting it be a strain for you and still being something that you enjoy doing,” she said.

Having a home garden takes routine and commitment, but Green shares that even persons who have a busy schedule can partake in the art. “For busy people, they can start with herbs that do not require a lot of watering. And it also depends on their space. So, if they are someone that is always on the road, and they only come home on the weekends, maybe a plant that only requires 2-3 watering per week. ”

Grow With Honeybee believes that all children can get in on the planting fun. Green enjoys growing pumpkins and cantaloupe for her children. “I find that kids love berries, so mulberry is very good to have in a family. It bears quickly and easily and it’s a fun activity pick. Strawberries are good as well, so for an entire week to two weeks you will constantly have berries to pick from,” the business owner shared.

“Leafy vegetables are also very good for kids that you can harvest every other day, things like lettuce, pak choi, cabbage. You don’t necessarily have to wait until you have one big head of lettuce to harvest, you can harvest it as you need it.”

Green has found that plants such as spearmints, lemon balms, and cilantro are particularly temperamental. “Especially in the summertime I would see that everything would be okay today and by tomorrow it would look like all of them are dying of thirst, like the sun just turned on them, so they would be looking weepy and sad.” On the other hand, she notes that the easiest plant to grow is rosemary. “It does not require a lot of watering. I water it like twice a week, and it just still stands. It loves the sun ... so rosemary is pretty easy for me to grow.”

kerese.williams@gleanerjm.com