Friday, April 29, 2011

Getting Started with Basil

 Around here, we cannot have too much basil. I found these pictures from last September, but I know I started harvesting it much earlier. I planted Genovese, Lettuce Leaf and plain ol' no name basil. There are ton of fancy varieties, but when it comes to Caprese Salad or Pesto, big glossy green leaves are what we want.

The success I had last summer with this one Basil Lettuce Leaf plant made me decide to plant them individually this year, rather than toss the whole packet of seeds in the dirt, resulting in crowded plants, with smaller leaves.
To start the plants:
Place a single paper towel on a small plate, pour on water, enough to wet it thoroughly and sprinkle a packet of seeds all over the towel. Cover and place in a warm spot. In two days all the seeds will have developed a clear gooey coating and white sproutings will show.

I retrieved some leftover 3" pots, six packs and four packs which I then filled with potting mix, saturated the soil, and then with a tweezer I lifted the seeds into the pots, three to a cell, and set them in the warm sun on the back deck. There will be tiny leaves by next week and I will keep them in the nursery until the second set of leaves form. I hope to have at least 36 plants.
Then I will try and find an open sunny spot to set them. From there I will learn patience as they grow into harvestable size. In the meantime, I expect the growing tomatoes to be ready for their eventual pairing.

Martha Steele, one of my quilting friends sent pictures of the tornado damage done to our quilt shop.


  1. Thanks for the tips on starting basil. I bought some seeds and was going to get them started this weekend. How about parsley???

  2. Sorry to see your quilting shop got hit! What a devastating storm system that was!
    Re: the basil, I have to start mine over... had a nice little crop going, but tried to harden off too soon. We have a short growing season here, and still have some freezing temps that come at night. The only thing I miss about So. Calif. is the ability to grow things all year long!

  3. Sharon8:44 AM

    So sorry to see the condition of the quilt shop. I'm always amazed when I see pictures of a tornado's aftermath how some things are left untouched. Bolt of fabrics and yarns still on their shelves. Chairs still at their tables. The wrath of mother nature is truly amazing.

  4. Your basil is gorgeous. I killed the supermarket plant in one day. How I would love to have an herb garden.

  5. Anonymous12:06 PM

    Yesterday when you mentioned Sew Be It, I looked it up on Google Maps and the picture that shows there was a sturdy building. These pictures are amazaing.... trees snapped like toothpicks and lights on desks not moved.

    Also yesterday a few blogs later I read: My mother and family are ok in Ringgold GA but my uncle's furniture business is GONE.

    Two Ringgold GA mentions in the same day.... that is weird as well.

    Note to self: get some basil TODAY.

    Thanks for your posts.

  6. Kathy F8:42 PM

    Oh, my. I hope no one was hurt. Things can be replaced, but not people.

  7. Those pictures are unbelievable! I hope everyone was somewhere else at the time, and I pray for the recovery effort to happen quickly...

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