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Help with basil

Posted by pmcaddis none (My Page) on
Thu, May 30, 13 at 18:29

First post here. I have a lot of questions I'll be posting over the next few weeks, but thought I'd start with this one. I've been googling for help almost daily and almost always end up on this forum, so I finally just joined it.

I'm trying to grow a bunch of basil so we can make pesto and am experimenting with different kinds and locations. I think I have about 6 outdoor pots I planted in, and another 6 or so indoor starter pots I put in the kitchen window. Also put a couple in corners of my beds where I thought there would be enough room. All of the seeds seem to have come up, but they don't seem to be growing. They emerged a week or two ago and are still just a tiny seedling with 2 leaves. No change in height or foliage. I tried thinning in a couple of the pots down to just a couple sprouts, put a small amount of fertilzer in a couple (obviously too strong since the sprouts in those 2 containers immediately died). Some get a lot of water, some less. If anything though, I'd say they are getting overwatered. Some are in bagged potting soil, some are in a garden soil mix I brought in for my raised bed gardens from a local supplier this spring. I have a combination of Sweet, Genovese, and Thai basil.

Is basil just really slow growing, am I being too inpatient, or should I be supplementing them somehow? I'm actually having the exact same problem with my vine plants (pumpkins, melons, squash). They popped up out of the ground about 3 weeks ago and then just seemed to stop growing. Now they are looking sick and yellowing. I'm hoping it is too much water because we've had a lot of rain the past couple of weeks and everything is saturated. I know the soil is good because I tested it before I had it hauled in and it is new this year.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Help with basil

About basils: They are sun and heat lovers. I have planted some from seeds, some from rooting, some bought from nurseries... They are all outside and the weather has been cool(specially at nights) , rainy, damp... So they are hardly hanging there.

Same goes with squash, cucumber and eggplants. Tomatoes, on the other hand are ok.

RE: Help with basil

I bet the weather is my problem then. We've had historically unseasonably wet and cool weather. Supposed to heat up this next week, we'll see if that kick starts things.

RE: Help with basil

I am currently growing basil as well. Basil LOVE LOVE LOVE heat. Their roots require some heat as well. They prefer full sun and well drained soil. The soil should never be too moist for long periods, but they are water lovers. I would recomend that when you begin to germinate your seeds to use a heating pad to help promote root and shoot growth. I think the weather as you said in a previous post is for sure the issue. Again, basil are heat lovers. Maybe bring them inside with a white light over them and a heating pad near by to help promote some growth.

RE: Help with basil

I find the seedlings somewhat slow to get started, then they take off (I started mine under lights).

Since mine have been outside, they haven't done much due to the cool weather.

RE: Help with basil

Grow it permiculture style. First off, basil does like full sun once it is established. Those single leaves have no self shading. The key is to plant them closer together and each time you clip the plant you pick off the leaves and put the stem right back in the ground next to the mother until you have a thick clump. Dead head-pull off flowers. If you live in a cold area, let the basil go to seed in the fall and stop harvesting the leaves. Plant all those seeds in the same place and mulch over for winter. In the spring a bunch of basil will grow. Let some of it go to seed and dead head the rest. After that you'll have a little basil forest.

RE: Help with basil

Here's a small basil garden that just got started. All of these basils were grown from cuttings. They can be crowded. Just replant the leafless stems everytime you prune. Just cut some short while the others grow. Then the small ones will come back in time to cut the larger ones. Root depth is more important to their health than plant spacing.

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