Growing basil.

Newsgroups: alt.folklore.herbs
Subject: growing basil
From: Colleen Cummings <>
Date: 19 Aug 1995 04:08:14 GMT

I've tried planting basil in my garden for the last 3 years and every attempt has failed. I live in western washington around the Seattle area, Could it be the climate? If you have any tips or such for me it would be greatly appreciated.

From: Gary Poyssick <>

They're pretty susceptible to fungus -- as are many herbs -- but you shouldn't have too much trouble.
First, be sure the mix drains very well. These plants like to get wet in the morning and dry by night.
Give it really full sun or the brightest light you can.
Feed with a good balanced fertilizer
Keep it moist.
Cut any flowers as soon as they show -- or else the plant will get leggy.

From: "Katharine Rosilio (FEEDS)" <>

> Keep it moist.
(I did not see the original post.)

After several attempts to grow basil in the small pots for windowsills, I took my neighbor's advice and simply placed the withering store-bought plant in a LARGE planter, sprinkled seeds around the existing plant and placed it in a fairly sunny spot.

Here in Florida, I would not recommend full sun as it is too drying. However, too much shade seems to make it too susceptible to insect damage. It is amazing how quickly it grows and how well it can take abuse. Just remember to keep it watered, although mine have lived through my worst neglect. I think it likes the deeper pot to seek out water and avoid drying.

From: Lazlo Toth <74563.3545.CompuServe.COM>

> I've tried planting basil in my garden for the last 3 years and

I can tell you that basil grows like a weed for me. Not that I'm a master gardener - - far from it - - but I suspect the warm, humid summers here are conducive to good growth. I have found that my basil shrubs thrive on soil that is medium rich, very well drained, and packed densely enough that one must push a bit to sink a finger into it. I buy granulated dried cow manure by the bag and put about a two-inch-thick layer over my "garden" in early spring. I use a 3-pronged cultivating tool to work this in. That's about all I do, except for sprayings with liquid Miracle Gro every week. I can easily get four generous cuttings between the months of July and September - - enough for me and several friends.

From: (Mark Hayman-Martinez)

Basil grows really well in pots. It might be easier for you to control the soil that way. Get yourself an old 5 gallon bucket, punch a hole in the bottome, and fill it with cheep potting soil. Basil is strong, as long as it is kept mosit and gets a few hours of sun. There must be something amiss with the soil where you are planting it. Trouble with any other green leafs in that area?

From: (Mark A. Arcuri)

> I've tried planting basil in my garden for the last 3 years and every attempt has failed.

The only time I have trouble with basil here in South Florida is in the dead (no pun intended <g>) of summer when the heat is just too much. It gets real pale in color. Otherwise it grows with no special attention (year-round, hehe). I do spray some Miracle Gro every couple of weeks and it seems to make for nice bushes a couple of days later.

From: (Carl Mork)

Since she didn't mention what went wrong with the basil plants, there are several possibilities. My two main problems are slugs and cats. Slugs can be cured with diatomaceous soil sprinkled round the plant. cats can't be cured, but must be endured.


> Hi, I'd like suggestions on how to save seeds from my basil plants. I've never done it before, and obviously it is a task of minutia. I know there are threshing kits available but I don't want to drop that kind of cash yet (saving for a drip irrigation system).

Very simple John. Let a basil plant go to seed and before it gets too dry cut the seed heads with some stalk attached. Band these together with a rubber band, hang upside down,put in a paper bag and tie tightly. Hang to dry in a dry place for awhile ( a month or two) take down and shake very hard (I sometimes have to break some seeds out by hand). Dump the seeds out in a flat container and very carefully blow the dried chaff away. Store the seed in an airtight container (old film containers - plastic bags do well for me) and store in a dry, dark place till planting time. This method has worked well for me - hope it does for you. Be sure and label your seeds, both when you bag to dry and then to store, expecially if you are drying more than one variety.