Nutmeg is one of those spices that is readily associated with the holidays, but can you grow it yourself at home? Well, as the old saying goes, I have good news and I have bad news.
The good news is that nutmeg trees are fairly easy to grow, even for the beginning home gardener. The bad news is that they will only grow well in Zones 10 – 12, so unless you happen to live in those zones (or want to move there), you may not be able to grow your own nutmeg at home.
While I know you are probably as upset as I was when I learned that I couldn’t grow it myself (zone 7b here), let’s take comfort in knowing that we can still enjoy the flavorful spice in banana nut bread, or sprinkled liberally over a fresh batch of eggnog. Don’t stop there though, especially if you are a fan of coffee like I am. A fresh sprinkling atop your next cup of joe will most certainly put a smile on your face.
Did you know that nutmeg also has antibacterial properties, or that it contains a compound called eugenol believed to have heart benefits? Nutmeg oil is also used to soothe toothache pain and even to aid in digestion and gastric distress.
If you do decide to move to a tropical setting, let me know. I’d be happy to come along with you… to take care of your new nutmeg trees, of course!