Why cant I grow basil?

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Grubbypaws

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Re: Why cant I grow basil?
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2020, 16:19 »
I grow stuff to eat, preferably as easily and cheaply as possible. Basil is so easy to grow from cuttings and I can pick up pots from the supermarket so cheaply (often 10p or less in the reduced section) that I think it's really not worth bothering with seeds. In fact if you're organised (more than i ever am  ;) ) you only ever need to buy one pot and you could go on more or less forever.

I have been so excited about doing this but it isnt working  :( :(

I bought some basil from the supermarket, took some cuttings, stood them in water and waited for roots to appear... 2 weeks later I am still waiting. What am I doing wrong ? It is meant to be easy  :unsure: :unsure:

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mumofstig

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Re: Why cant I grow basil?
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2020, 17:15 »
Are they somewhere warm, or are they stuck on a cold windowsill?

Lesley x
I'm not good, I'm not bad - I'm just me, and sometimes I have to apologise for that ;)

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Wellington

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Re: Why cant I grow basil?
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2020, 17:49 »
Mine is exactly the same. I buy the stuff from the supermarket in pots and can keep it alive for months (by neglecting it. It seems to be very happy to be ignored on a sunny windowsill until it falls over and then given a good soaking. Cared for in the garden, even the greenhouse, it sulks). However, the ones I keep on the window sill are pots of about 25 single stem seedlings that look a lot my single seedlings. So perhaps Im not doing anything wrong, I just need to keep more of them together?  It lasts ages, but gets a bit leggy and pale after a couple of months. I wonder if I cut it back, fed it and put it under my grow lights for a bit it would perk up?  Im trying to grow other herbs this way. Parsley is ok, thyme survives on its own the garden, so pointless to bring any in. Coriander lasts longer in the fridge in packet than it does in a pot on the windowsill. For some reason Tesco coriander lasts much better than waitrose.

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goose

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Re: Why cant I grow basil?
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2020, 18:36 »
I don't normally grow basil from seed through the winter and find that Waitrose Large basil pots seem to fair better than any others.

when you grow it yourself from seed, don't overwater. this herb grows like weeds outside in Italy, so think about its natural climate.  small amount of water, plenty of sun and regular picking as and when they add to their dishes,  pinch off at a lower small leaf cluster and it will grow on and not become leggy.  if it does become leggy, get harsh with it and pinch out at those lower small leaves and it will thank you within a couple of weeks.  always have a few pots at different stages to rotate throughout the summer when each one is regrowing after picking.

don't overwater and if you underwater and it starts to look sad, give it a drink and let the excess water run out the bottom and it will pick up within a few hours and don't give it any more water for days.

ive actually sown my first batch this year on a sunny windowsill and although I think it may be a bit early, im sick of the rubbish tasting supermarket varieties and cant wait to get some of my own back into the kitchen.

also, although I always have basil growing at different stages throughout the summer and always have one on my windowledge for Mr Goose, the ones that are left outdoors in a sunny sheltered spot always taste SO much stronger and better even if they don't look quite as pretty.

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Wellington

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Re: Why cant I grow basil?
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2020, 22:20 »
So not watering it until its almost dead is how youre supposed to do it?  No wonder I do so well with the stuff!   :lol:

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jambop

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Re: Why cant I grow basil?
« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2020, 23:30 »
I sow mine dwarf Greek and giant Italian into 5cm pots of MPC about six or seven seeds in each then once it is away I plant it out in the garden in full hot sun and it grows well all summer long without problem.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2020, 23:32 by jambop »

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jaydig

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Re: Why cant I grow basil?
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2020, 09:12 »
I'm probably just lucky, but I've never had a problem with basil.  I start the seed off in small pots, thinly sown, then when the plants are about 3" or so tall, I just knock them out of the pots and plant as they are, in clumps, along the borders of the greenhouse in front of the tomato plants. They almost make a mini hedge and keep going right until the first really cold weather.  I tend to use the Genovese type, but have grown lemon basil and the giant Bolloso, and they all seem to do well.
Having said this, I can't grow a decent swede to save my life! Well, I managed two this season, but the rest were rubbish.

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Grubbypaws

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Re: Why cant I grow basil?
« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2020, 10:30 »
I am trying to root my basil cuttings in water. According to YouTube video 'How to Propagate Basil - Endless Supply from One Plant!' it is 'so so easy' !

I must be doing something wrong; maybe it is just the way I pronounce basil  :lol:


« Last Edit: February 14, 2020, 10:35 by Grubbypaws »

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mumofstig

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Re: Why cant I grow basil?
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2020, 10:38 »
I am trying to root my basil cuttings in water. According to YouTube video 'How to Propagate Basil - Endless Supply from One Plant!' it is 'so so easy' !
I did ask
Quote
Are they somewhere warm, or are they stuck on a cold windowsill?
They won't root if they're cold.

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DHM

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Re: Why cant I grow basil?
« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2020, 08:43 »
I'm probably just lucky, but I've never had a problem with basil.  I start the seed off in small pots, thinly sown, then when the plants are about 3" or so tall, I just knock them out of the pots and plant as they are, in clumps, along the borders of the greenhouse in front of the tomato plants. They almost make a mini hedge and keep going right until the first really cold weather.  I tend to use the Genovese type, but have grown lemon basil and the giant Bolloso, and they all seem to do well.
Having said this, I can't grow a decent swede to save my life! Well, I managed two this season, but the rest were rubbish.

Im the opposite; great swedes, rubbish basil! I get 1-2 inch seedlings which just keel over every blinking time!

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Plot 1 Problems

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Re: Why cant I grow basil?
« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2020, 12:11 »
Good basil, bad swedes here. Maybe we should do a poll on the basil/ swede performance by geographic location and see if there's a pattern  :lol:

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jaydig

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Re: Why cant I grow basil?
« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2020, 15:14 »
Good basil, bad swedes here. Maybe we should do a poll on the basil/ swede performance by geographic location and see if there's a pattern  :lol:

You might have something there - I'm just up the road from you, in Bromsgrove.  Great basic, lousy swedes.

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New shoot

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Re: Why cant I grow basil?
« Reply #27 on: February 15, 2020, 15:44 »
I usually have no trouble with basil.  I've seed grown it and used the supermarket pots for cuttings or split them for potting on.

Swedes I have some history with and success has been on and off.  Last year I grew great ones and also Gilfeathers Turnip-swedes.  We had loads and I only pulled the last swedes a week or so ago.  My basil was tragic though.  I tried lemon basil from seed - useless  ::)  I bought supermarket pots and split them - they got munched by caterpillars  :ohmy:  Obviously rare gourmet ones that love italian food, but really  ::)

Maybe these 2 crops have some strange mystic correlation that we were unaware of  :wacko:

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DHM

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Re: Why cant I grow basil?
« Reply #28 on: February 15, 2020, 22:46 »
The best basil I ever grew was when I lived in South London, but being pots on a fire escape, I had no room to grow swedes. (!)

Does anyone here have a regular good crop of both? Has this forum stumbled over a major discovery?!

Im in the bad basil good swede camp, just thinking of other things I've struggled with... purple sprouting broccoli and climbing courgettes.



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