Basil. You’ve all seen basil plants at grocery stores and the big box stores who sell groceries. It’s a plant that we have consistently killed off year in and year out. We’d buy a grocery store plant with the high hopes of having a healthy, happy and productive plant to pluck off basil as we needed it.
But alas, every year the plant would stop producing leaves and eventually whither away to a leafless stick.
Every year until this year.
What’s made the difference? YouTube video advice, diligence and since moving our basil plants indoors in early October, grow lights.
The best advice we got from multiple sources on YouTube was regular and proper pruning. The video that really caught my attention was entitled; “How To Prune Basil So It Grows Forever” from the Epic Gardner.
Follow up videos from MIGardner, Next Level Gardening, CaliKim consistently told the same story of success. Prune basil plants just above a Y bifurcation about 1/3 down on each plant. They will grow back wider, effectively expanding the volume of the plant.
In addition to regular pruning, we used an organic fish based fertilizer mixed 1 ounce to a gallon of water about every other week.
Once inside, we alternate putting them under the grow light shown above and a south facing windowsill. Investing in more grow lights will part of our winter budget for the 2022 growing season.
After years of basil murder, we now have 3 containers of basil that should never need to be replaced. Tune in next spring to see if we can keep them healthy, happy, productive and growing.