Spring is here!

by Ramona on March 17, 2011

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I think spring is here!  The weather is sure acting like it…but I don’t want to get too excited, because we could have another cold snap.  After all it’s only mid March.

This is why I like to have my fresh Basil growing right in my kitchen.  Some of you won’t have a wonderful bay window or even a window at all.  You can still grow fresh Basil using artificial light.  When it’s a nice warm day outside you can move your basil plant out to enjoy the sunshine.  This is one of my favorite’s, Green Pepper Basil.

Growing fresh basil indoors lets you enjoy the fragrance and the pretty flowers that bloom.  It’s also convenient to clip some fresh basil while you are cooking and add to your recipe. You don’t have to have many container pots of fresh basil in your kitchen…I rotate mine to change my kitchen decor.  I have a Basil Greenhouse that I grow basil in year round, so I will bring in a pretty basil plant that I am planning to use in my cooking, or if it is in bloom just so I can enjoy the flowers.

Lighting: Most Basils need 4-5 hours of direct sunshine each day.  A window on the south, west or east should be fine.  If your Basils are getting long, thin and spindly, it could mean that they are not getting enough light and they need to be moved outside for a few hours each day.  You can also pinch the tops back to encourage bushier growth.  Turn your plants regularly so all sides get even exposure to light.

Basils will grow under artificial light sources such as fluorescent/grow-light bulbs.  Basil require brighter light than most house plants, so position lights as close as possible to the Basil plant. (1″ to 2″).

Temperature and Humidity: Basils are happy in the kitchen, but sometimes the air can be too hot and dry.  To keep your Basils at the right humidity, you can place pebbles in the saucer and keep filled with water.  The bottoms of the pot should not be actually immersed in water, but just resting on the pebbles, to allow drainage.

Watering: How quickly the Basil plant dries out depends on humidity, air movement and exposure to sun and will vary with the seasons.  It’s important to check frequently.  Push your finger a half inch below the surface of the soil.  If it feels dry, gently pour water into the pot until it runs out of the drainage hole.  Don’t overwater causing the soil to stay soggy, Basil do not like soggy feet!

Fertilizing: Since the nutrients in container pots become exhausted as the Basil grows, you should continue to feed your Basil.  I use Worm Casting Tea, and you can also use the recipe that I use and purchase Worm Castings from Ramona’s Basil Garden Gifts.  I also put fresh Worm Castings at the base of the plant and when I water it, and it feeds the plant more.  You can’t over feed with Worm Castings.

Transplanting: As Basil grows it will become root bound, and will probably need to be transplanted into a larger pot.  At this time I also make other arrangements for my container pot.  I will transplant into a larger pot and either move to the floor and have a beautiful Basil Plant.  I may move out onto my front porch, or I may move it back into my Basil Greenhouse.  Then I will bring in another small Basil plant and put in the kitchen.  Variety -and fresh basil- is the spice of life.

Controlling Pests: When using Worm Castings, I don’t find as many pests around my Basil plants.  The Worm Castings also make the Basil plants stronger and more resistant to pests and illnesses.  If I do encounter pests, I keep Organocide handy. You can purchase Organocide just click on the hyperlink. You can also purchase Worm Castings:  Worm Castings from Ramona’s Basil Garden Gifts

Harvesting: The best part of growing your Basil indoors, is having fresh Basil at your fingertips.  Basil adds new growth at the branch tips, and this is where you will want to snip your Basil that you use for your cooking.  It will encourage bushier growth.

Loving my Fresh Basil in my Kitchen….
Ramona Werst


 

 

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie ZollerNo Gravatar March 27, 2011 at 2:30 pm

I love growing herbs, just found your your blog…I love it
blessings to you, julie
lifeatfirelakecamp.com

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Wanda GNo Gravatar April 2, 2011 at 2:04 pm

I have seedlings that i hope to pot-up in about 2-3 weeks; How deep should I plant them?

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RamonaNo Gravatar April 2, 2011 at 2:27 pm

If they are in potting soil now, wait until they are 6″ tall, or until they have the first true leaves. You can download the free ebook ‘Love Your Basil’ and it should help too.
I’d love to see you with your new seedlings when they sprout!

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SaraNo Gravatar May 5, 2011 at 10:06 pm

I have purchased a basil plant from the store and the wrapping said to place the plant in a bowl of water and leave the bottom plastic on the plastic pot. Is this correct or should I add the rocks at the bottom and rest the plant in its pot on top? Thank you and I am enjoying your site:):)

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RamonaNo Gravatar May 5, 2011 at 10:21 pm

I’m not sure why you are placing the plant in a bowl of water….did you get the basil plant from the produce section of a grocery store? I have before and gone ahead and planted in soil. But if it’s in soil, basil don’t like to have their feet soggy….if you are growing in a container pot, then use the rocks for drainage, but water just like any other potted plant. I hope this helps.
Love Your Basil,
Ramona

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JonathanNo Gravatar April 23, 2014 at 4:04 pm

I noticed that Organocide smells fishy. If sprayed on basil, does it make the basil taste like fish?

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RamonaNo Gravatar April 23, 2014 at 5:38 pm

You will want to wash your Basil really good…and no it doesn’t make the Basil taste like fish. I do find it makes the Basil sticky, so I now try to use just dish soap and water with a little cinnamon powder to get rid of pests….

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