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Rooting some thai basil ; want to plant in custom organic mix

Posted by takadi (My Page) on
Fri, Jan 23, 09 at 1:36

Hi everyone, I am in the process of rooting some thai basil I "stole" from a restaurant. I'm hoping to concoct a special mix that utilizes "organic" ingredients that are easy to find, safe, and most importantly, free. I am thinking of mixing together equal parts of vermicompost, charcoal, composted coffee grounds, and leaf mould. Does that sound like a viable solution?

Some have suggested that I add some inorganic materials such as perlite or vermiculite to the mix to maintain aeration. Are there suitable substitutes to these ingredients that I can add?

I'm hoping later on that I can also germinate some hot pepper plants from some "stolen" seeds


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Rooting some thai basil ; want to plant in custom organic mix

Seeds can sometimes be hybrids and not offer the same thing once they are sprouted from collected seeds. Basil is an annual and roots poorly most of the time. It might be better to just buy a $2.00 packet of organic seeds and plant those instead. Perlite and vermiculite are moth organic based.


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RE: Rooting some thai basil ; want to plant in custom organic mix

Yea, the basil isn't doing too well rooting in the glass of water, but word of mouth always tells me that it should be easy to root basil, especially thai basil.

I'm okay with perlite and vermiculite, but for arguments sake, if I was trying to substitute them for something easily available or free (let's say, something you can find in a park or backyard), what would be a good suggestion? It seems like alot of container gardeners feel like vermiculite or perlite is the end-all-be-all of potting soil structure.


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RE: Rooting some thai basil ; want to plant in custom organic mix

Using stuff that isn't sterile is not good for seed or plant growing indoors of any kind, unless its for a lawn. There are just too many bad things in regular soil in the ground anywhere, insects and diseases thrive in these things, and if placed in small pots indoors, I doubt if you would have any healthy plants started from seeds or rooted plants. Going cheap to start seeds or rooted cuttings is not advisable. If your looking for organic, it surely isn't found in any park or on the roadsides. Its your choice, but if you have plenty of cuttings and all the pots filled with soil from a back yard to waste time on, its your decision. Personally, I much prefer using good soil mixes that I know where they came from. When I start seeds, I have nearly zero losses due to things like damping off and insect problems. I start well over 400 pots every spring indoors and grow tomatoes, peppers, watermelon, broccoli, and several flowers like petunia, impatien, portulaca, and many herbs. Even basil from seed is very reliable. Spend a few cents and you will realize a better yield.


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RE: Rooting some thai basil ; want to plant in custom organic mix

Yay!! My basil is starting to grow some root hairs. All it took was a dab of vermicompost and a chunk of charcoal in the water


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RE: Rooting some thai basil ; want to plant in custom organic mix

A little note about Thai basil. It is warm/hot weather plant, and grows best during the summer. I have observed rooting during the cooler months, but the best time to propogate is when its hot. During the summer Thai basil will begin to root in as little as 2 days in plain tap water. Oddly, rooting hormone seems to slow down the process.

-Colby


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RE: Rooting some thai basil ; want to plant in custom organic mix

My Basil was as tall, strong and beautiful as my roses during the spring and summer. The smell was wonderful. I used it well in all my cooking recipes and enjoyed them in nice conversation with my daughter when she came to visit. As we shared the ordervs of my garden tomatoes, goat cheese a good balsamic vinegar and olive oil on top of San Francisco french bread, we gazed into my yard and talked about her goat farm, I knew this was her favorite herb. I believe this is what started me in a small side yard of many other herbs and veg. to try out the next visit.


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RE: Rooting some thai basil ; want to plant in custom organic mix

((((((robertaone)))))))

love you mom


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RE: Rooting some thai basil ; want to plant in custom organic mix

*sniff* that was beautiful robertaone

Gives me a hearty appetite for some pesto


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RE: Rooting some thai basil ; want to plant in custom organic mix

That "custom" mix is also too acidic and as others have stated not a good mix for indoor or potted plant culture.


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RE: Rooting some thai basil ; want to plant in custom organic mix

I bought this at a plant sale and they said it was Thai Basil. The picture is on my blog.

If it is it has re-seeded itself for the past 2 years. I dug up many of the seedlings before the last frost and have them in the house. They lived and are now going to my new herb bed as soon as danger of the last frost has past.

Here is a link that might be useful: Thai Basil


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RE: Rooting some thai basil ; want to plant in custom organic mix

Hi mjha

If you don't mind me asking, what parts make it acidic? What are some alkaline ingredients?


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RE: Rooting some thai basil ; want to plant in custom organic mix

Almost everything in your mix is acidic. Compost is full of humic acid, leaf mold is just leafy compost and contains the same humic acid as well as tannic acid, and coffe grounds are loaded with tannic acid. Charcoal is usually a bit alkaline, but it would take a high concentration to offset the aciditiy of everything else. Basil doesn't like overly acidic soil, very few herbs do, all-in-all you need to find some pH neutral and alkaline ingredients to balance it out. You may also want to cut out the leaf mold all together, it tends to make soil too heavy for potting, where you light airy soil.

-Colby


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RE: Rooting some thai basil ; want to plant in custom organic mix

I had the idea that leaf mould would serve the purpose of aerating the soil, but I guess not. Could I counteract that with an addition of perlite?


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RE: Rooting some thai basil ; want to plant in custom organic mix

Try the link below for many different organic potting media recipes.

Here is a link that might be useful: Potting Mixes for Certified Organic Production


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RE: Rooting some thai basil ; want to plant in custom organic mix

Hmm alot of the mixes in that link doesn't sound that different from mine except for the fact that alot of them include builder's sand, loam (I'm assuming that's just another word for dirt) or perlite in them. So the aeration factor is the key component missing from mine, which I thought would be fulfilled from leaf mould but I guess a slow degrading substance is the key here. Also, the ones with peat in them often require an addition of lime, which means that leaf mould or compost is more neutral in Ph than peat is, at least according to that link.


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RE: Rooting some thai basil ; want to plant in custom organic mix

Dirt can have many meanings. The dirt in my area certainly is not loam but mostly clay. We have to really work to get loamy soil. Loam drains well, holds water and is loose, dark, and airy. Any ingredients should be free of disease. Dirt is not a good choice for potting mixes. Most professionals use a variation of the "Cornell Mix" Peat, perlite, vermiculite, lime. It is free of disease (sterile), drains well, holds water, and has plenty of air pockets. Sand makes the mix heavy so perlite is substituted where weight might be an issue. Leaf mould is more variable than peat ie the quality can be inconsistent from batch to batch. Composts in general can add its own problems as outlined in the link in my last post.


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RE: Rooting some thai basil ; want to plant in custom organic mix

The link below has a very good product for seed starting as well as for new rootings. It is organic as are all the items featured on that site

Here is a link that might be useful: Natural Beginnings


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