HERB - basil
RAISYA at aol.com
Sun Apr 19 17:30:15 PDT 1998
You're in the Houston, TX area, I think? Basil needs a lot of sun (at least 6
hours of direct sun), good soil and fairly frequent watering. Assuming you
planted seed in the ground and not a pot, keep the ground moist (water at
least once a day if it doesn't rain) until it sprouts, water every couple of
days until it is at least a few inches tall (assuming no rain), and then at
least twice a week during the heat and drought of summer. Don't just
sprinkle, soak the ground pretty well, the roots go deep. Make sure plants
are spaced at least 12" apart, they'll get pretty big by August or so.
You can begin to harvest a few leaves once the plant has enough leaves that it
won't miss a few. My plants usually take a couple of months to reach that
size. Once it really takes off, prune back the tips of branches about once a
week, particularly anything that looks like the beginning of a bloom. If
blooming gets started, the flavor falls off.
This is what's worked worked for me for the last three years here in SE Texas.
I've had a plant last from starting indoors in January through early December,
though the plants start deteriorating in November when the weather gets
colder. I've had no pest problems to speak of, just occasionally having to
pick off a caterpillar or a damaged leaf.
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