Monday, August 9, 2010

My Basil

I started growing basil about two years ago, and once I overcame the initial difficulties, it has been a smooth experience ever since. Basil is actually a very resistant plant, and to my surprise it lasts incredibly long and can withstand even the most powerful storms.

The little plant pictured here is the third generation from my very first basil plant, it's now about 20 cm high and has been growing for about 4 weeks. Its 'mother' is now about 10 months old, pretty huge (80cm diameter) and healthy, pictured at the end of this post. The first generation actually died eaten by caterpillars, after growing for about 4 months.

Once it's up, basil produces flowers and lots of seeds, and you will see dozens of little basil plants sprouting up. It's then just a matter of potting some of them, if you wish to extend your basil plantation. Some claim that you should always trim the flowers to prevent the plant from dying, but I found that my basil has been growing more healthily since I stopped chopping its flowers, and it hasn't died yet (it has been sprouting flowers for at least 6 months).

It's great to have such a plant in your terrace. You can just pluck a few leaves if you want to make some fresh pesto, and I guarantee it tastes better than the basil you buy at the supermarket. I am now planning to start growing other herbs such as rosemary and shiso. Hopefully I will soon be able to show how beautifully they have grown.

9 comments:

PY said...

Your basil is growing very well :) Mine leaves were getting yellow :( While some sources claim that it can be too much water others said that I didn't water enough. Sigh.

amiscell said...

PY - I am not sure what it is, but definitely not a problem with the water. I water my basil 2-3 times a day, and if I don't give it enough water it is obvious - the leaves all become soft and pointing downwards. Some advice:
- Do you keep your basil under direct sunlight? That's where I keep mine
- Make sure the vase is open at the bottom, so that water does not stagnate and leaves the vase
- Do not put chemical fertilisers on the soil - only natural ones
- Water it often!

M. said...

A, where do you get the first mother plant? I have been wanting to get a basil plant like forever! Thanks in advance :)

amiscell said...

I bought it in Italy. This is Neapolitan basil. You can have some of mine if you like, the "mother" plant has populated the soil with lots of little children looking for a home.

ratatouille said...

nothing beats growing your own herbs and vegs. well done!

M. said...

That will be awesome! I would love a shoot off the parent.

amiscell said...

M. - sure, I will pot your little plant soon. I will pass it on to you next time we meet.

Anonymous said...

where can i get the neapolitan basil???? cant find it anywhere else... need to plant some of these...

amiscell said...

I sell potted basil plants, or alternatively you can buy the little plants in cold storage and pot it into a bigger pot.

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