reseeding basil every few weeks? woody?

greyandamyApril 3, 2011

I have a question about basil. I have my seedlings started, and was talking to someone on the phone. They said to reseed (And regrow) new basil plants every 2 weeks, as the plants get woody and lose flavor with time. In the past, I've never done this (Though I haven't used basil for cooking either)... do any of you do this? Is there another way to keep it from getting "woody"?

I knew to frequently use or pinch to prevent the flowers, that's I guess all I knew?

Thanks, sorry for my ignorance!

Amy

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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

I would direct sow some basil to have it come off later in the season from your indoor starts. Direct sow when it is time to plant tomatoes and peppers. But I don't think every 2 weeks is necessary.

FataMorgana

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 12:17PM
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greyandamy

THANK YOU!! SAVES A TON OF extra work! You guys are great!!!

THANKS again

Amy

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 12:57PM
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Daisyduckworth(Aust)

I wonder if they were thinking of coriander, not basil?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 5:12PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Agree with FATA and DAISY.
If you ever wanted to stagger, just direct sow or better yet, do it by rooting from cuttings.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 3:58AM
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greyandamy

Okay, pride thrown aside... to root by cuttings, do you need a rooting hormone (I do have somewhere?) or does it root fairly easily if just in a moist porous mix??

Amy

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 1:15PM
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Daisyduckworth(Aust)

You can opt to use a rooting hormone - it's not strictly necessary, IMO. Pure honey is an excellent alternative, cheaper too and serves the same purpose with (IMO) better results.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 5:37PM
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tracydr(9b)

Who has room to stagger that much basil? Mine doesnt get woody but I use the heck out of it.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 11:33PM
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lazy_gardens

Amazingly strange advice. I've overwintered basil plants and they were as good the second year as the first.

Yes, the main stems get woody, but I'm cutting them back so often that I have a continual supply of tender green shoots.

Really fragrant, flavorful basil leaves.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 9:26PM
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MGPinSavannah

In my experience down here in Savannah is that basil self-seeds exuberantly. It's a true annual, and even our mild winters will kill it, but as soon as it gets nice and warm again you'll find lots and lots and lots of little basil volunteers all over the place. (I've never heard of anyone "overwintering" a basil plant unless possibly it's done indoors. Or it's some form of basil that I've never heard of.)

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 8:36PM
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biscgolf

i have overwintered large leaf basil plants in my greenhouse but you have to be super diligent on taking off flower heads.

greek columnar basil (aka lesbos basil) does not go to seed and has a very similar flavor to traditional large leaf... it is the way to go for fresh basil all winter long.

i don't see the point to doing successive plantings of basil... just don't let your first batch go to seed and it should last you fine until cold weather...

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 8:22PM
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kterlep(5/6)

maybe they meant that it changes flavor when it goes to seed...like Cilantro does??

I just plant it once and go through my patch, hedge clipper style, whenever I'm making pesto or sauce or whatever. I'm pretty brutal. :) By the end of the season they are as thick and woody as pepper plants with giant wonderful leaves.

I have a friend who had a basil plant on her kitchen counter that was 3 years old...it looked like a ficus tree with a thick stem--very pretty!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 8:10AM
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biscgolf

i have a 4 year old african blue basil- stem is probably 1 1/2 inches in diameter...

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 12:51PM
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