Gardening – Basil: Indoor Strong


The basil in the forefront was started from seed in late June and the basil in the background was started from cuttings that Beth and her daughter Maddy purchased at Trade Joe’s.

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.

Pruning the plant about 1/3 down from the top at a Y intersection of plant stimulates it to produce two more shoots. DO this often enough and the plant will bush out continue to fill out until it runs out of space in the container.
This photo taken on July 5, 2020 shows the same plants shown above in raised garden bed A as seedlings just beginning to form their first real leaves.

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.

Published by R Dub's Rub

Conversational BLOG writer and contributing writer for LocaLeben magazine. My BLOG entries represent observations that intrigue, amuse, inspire or stimulate my appetite.

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