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Growing basil

 
Posts: 38
Location: Tunisia
trees chicken homestead
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Basil is one of the most useful and beautiful herbs you can grow. It is a wonderful addition to a container garden and you can grow basil in almost all kinds of containers. Basil likes room so the air can circulate around the plants. It also doesn't like to dry out completely, so you should use a large pot.How to grow Basil
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pollinator
Posts: 3105
Location: Toronto, Ontario
380
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Nice basil!

I like Thai or Purple Basil, and I plant mine within 10" of my tomato plants. They tend to improve yields to the tune of up to 20%, and I use it in conjunction with them, too. I also like to grow oregano as a groundcover for them both.

I haven't noticed any stunting of growth in the basil, as can be seen with carrots when you companion plant them with tomatoes; the carrots will be stunted, but the tomato plants will thrive. Rather, I think the relationship is more symbiotic.

I think that, in addition to the scent distraction that the basil lends to the tomato environment, the red-purple colour of the Purple basil reflects more red light off its leaves and back onto the tomato plants, which should increase the growth rate during flowering and fruiting.

Apart from tomato-based sauces, I like fresh basil leaves in salads with enough breadth of flavour to not be completely overwhelmed by its potency, usually balanced with tomato and bocconcini, and perhaps doing away with other greens altogether, if the tomato is from the garden and the cheese fresh.

I think people, especially in close growing quarters, could do worse than growing fresh herbs in every space available. Outdoors, the flowers are a favourite of pollinators, from basil to mints, to oreganos and beyond.

-CK
 
gardener
Posts: 6248
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
1005
hugelkultur dog forest garden duck fish fungi hunting books chicken writing homestead
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We grow four varieties of basil; Thai, Tulsi, Sweet and "normal" basil that Italians love.
We keep our basils in large containers and move them around with a dolly.
In the house we use basil leaves to keep ants out of the house.

We grow our lemon grass in ground, as we can divide the lemon grass we increase the number of garden beds it surrounds (most pest bugs don't like either basil or lemon grass) which when combined with the basils give us good pest insect control.

Redhawk

 
Posts: 81
Location: Indiana
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It is not often that I learn something from each poster on a single thread.  This one hit a home run.  Thanks to all three of you for your posts.  I appreciate the info.
 
Chokri Hizem
Posts: 38
Location: Tunisia
trees chicken homestead
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Basil is known as one of the oldest herbs known to the mankind, basil's healing and healthful properties have been the most treasured knowledge across the world. A leafy, green herb, with an intense flavor that is a staple in Mediterranean cooking. Basil is called by many names like sweet basil or even Thai basil, but all of its common names refer to the herb's botanical name, "Ocimum basilicum". Basil is a member of the large mint family, or Lamiaceae family, along with other culinary herbs like rosemary, sage, and  lavender.
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gardener
Posts: 571
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:We grow four varieties of basil; Thai, Tulsi, Sweet and "normal" basil that Italians love.
We keep our basils in large containers and move them around with a dolly.
In the house we use basil leaves to keep ants out of the house.

We grow our lemon grass in ground, as we can divide the lemon grass we increase the number of garden beds it surrounds (most pest bugs don't like either basil or lemon grass) which when combined with the basils give us good pest insect control.

Redhawk



Dr. RedHawk,
Can you please share more about growing tulsi? What variety are you growing [Rama tulsi (ocimum sanctum), Krishna tulsi (ocimum tenuiflorum), Amrita tulsi (ocimum tenuiflorum), Vana tulsi (ocimum gratissum)]? Does it have any special needs? Is there a reason, beyond personal preference, that you're growing it in containers? Is it perennial, self seeding, biennial, or annual? How is it, for hardiness? I believe you and I are in the same or similar growing zone (6a/b), and I'm HIGHLY interested in growing my own tulsi. I adore mountain rose herbs, but would love even more, to keep my wallet a bit happier, too, lol.
 
pollinator
Posts: 376
Location: Boudamasa, Chad
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Here in central Africa, native basil alone is an entire world of aromas. In my yard right now I have wild basils that smell of anis, menthol, and cinnemon, respectively. Curiously, locals don't use it in cooking, but they commonly bathe their infants in a basil tea. They do this particularly with the menthol-smelling one. Some of the sweeter varieties are kept in the yard as an additive to green tea.
 
Posts: 94
Location: NorCal
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Last year I had so much basil some of it flowered.  I knew this isn't what I wanted so I cut the flowers and leaves and made a bouquet that I took to a BBQ we were invited to that evening.  Now I make lots of bouquets with lots of flowers, and everyone always likes them, but the reaction to the basil bouquet was over the top.  It was pretty smelled wonderful and at the end of the night my brother in law asked if he could have it to make himself some pesto with the leaves.  It was an unexpected hit.  I really only grew it because it was suppose to keep bugs away and enhance the tomato.  
I also learned that my son loves pesto  that night.  My children were lucky to go to a school that had a teacher with a passion for gardening.  This teacher had gotten grants and donations over the years and had quite a green house and garden on school grounds.  All his students learned the basics, also he would cook and make things for the kids to complete the circle. (pesto being one.)  He was a wonderful teacher.  The children learned so much from him.  He was so passionate about growing food and taking care of the earth it was infectious.  Sadly when he retired non of the other teachers wanted to take over the responsibility.  I hate to drive by the school and see a parking lot that now covers the space of Mr. D's garden and green house.  Sorry didn't mean to go off on a side road, just a bitter sweet memory of an amazing teacher, and the time my children and I spent doing our summer duty of feeding the chickens, watering and weeding the garden, to keep things in check until school would start again.
 
Posts: 7051
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Carla, I grow Rama tulsi (ocimum sanctum) from seed (from Horizon Herbs).
It is easy to grow and save seed from.  I try to leave one clump to go to seed and the rest I cut and dry for tea.  Usually I can cut it back two or three times over the summer.  The flavor is wonderful.

I have some in pots and some spotted in around the gardens...seems to do equally well everywhere it gets some sun.  I have not found it reseeds though so I always try to save some seed.

I love Mountain Rose Herbs also! I tried another holy basil from their bulk herbs that I didn't like as well as rama...'vana' I think?
 
Bryant RedHawk
gardener
Posts: 6248
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
1005
hugelkultur dog forest garden duck fish fungi hunting books chicken writing homestead
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When we have basil flower we cut those stems and use them in spaghetti, the flowers are nice sprinkled over a salad too.
 
Chokri Hizem
Posts: 38
Location: Tunisia
trees chicken homestead
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It is best to grow a number of basil plants and to harvest a few leaves from each as heavy picking will reduce the overall yield of each.    
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Carla Burke
gardener
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Thank you, Judith! 😁
 
Those cherries would go best on cherry cheesecake. Don't put those cherries on this tiny ad:
skiddable shower
https://permies.com/t/39038/permaculture-projects/skiddable-shower
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