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Posted by pearsaml 7 (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 20, 11 at 17:11

Last year I had awful luck with basil--- I want to get it right this year. I get a ton of mint, tomatoes, cow horn peppers, and chiles, but my basil skills are clearly lacking.

I had several run of the mill sweet basil plants last year. One in a 2 gallon pot, and one in a 3 gallon pot. They had small leaves and remained basically the same size until they bolted. I had the same problem with some lime basil plants that I planted in a 1 gallon pot.

What size of container is ideal for basil? My first year growing anything was a few years back, and I planted a basil plant in a shallow 2 gallon container that was only about 4" deep, but was very wide. I wouldn't say the plant, "thrived" but it certainly grew pretty well and supplied me with a fair amount of basil, without me fertilizing at all. Should I be looking for a wider container as opposed to a deep one? I have some 5 gallon buckets from home depot-- is this going overboard? Or are they even wide enough?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: basil

I have grown basil in many different sized pots/containers. If you had one plant each in 2 and 3 gallon pots, I wonder if the basil likes your potting mix?? Basil does best for me in a potting mix that drains well but will hold consistent moisture. I use so much potting mix I make my own using Al's 5:1:1 recipe from the Container Gardening Forum. The five gallon buckets should work. You will need to drill drainage holes. You can't go overboard about basil in my opinion.

RE: basil

Anyone have any help on growing basil from seed. I am focused on tomatoes and decided to do some basil. Not knowing much of it, I sprinkled a bunch of seeds into a cup I was using for tomatoes (16 oz Solo cup with holes filled with seed starter mix).

Now I have about 20 little sprouts of cotyledon leaves (no true leaves yet).

Don't know how to thin it out, other than just removing a bunch of them.

Any ideas????? Could I just throw some seeds into my tomato garden and see if they take?

RE: basil

basil doesn't really "bolt" like say, cilantro... when your basil starts to flower just pinch off the flower buds and it will continue to produce useful leaf.

in my experience (i grow veg/herbs for a living) basil is one of the very easiest things to grow... you can direct seed it or transplant it... it responds well to having it's roots separated if you have too many in a single cell... unless your soil is absolute garbage it will produce happily as long as you keep the flower heads cut back...

it is very cold sensitive but other than that i find it to do well under a variety of conditions... including in containers much smaller than those aforementioned in this thread...

RE: basil

I plant several types of basil each year from seed. I start them in small cells and transplant up from there. As has been mentioned, they are very cold sensitive. For those in containers, but inside and outside, I've been better served when the plants are kept on the drier side. Obviously they need water, but you have to be careful not to over water.

RE: basil

Sweet Basil is extremely easy to grow. The only thing about the flowers is to be sure to pinch those off otherwise if they produce seed the leaves will taste more like licorice than sweet basil.

At the end of the season I get lazy and let my basil go to seed where it self seeds for next year.

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