Aug 28, 2012

Growing Basil

I have tried growing basil in the past, but the bugs got to enjoy more of it than I did.  I would get a few leaves but not enough to make I worth the effort to fight the bugs.  I think it was earwigs, but since they feed at night it's hard to know.  The earwigs didn't eat my beans, squash or tomatoes; just the basil.  Do you think they have taste buds and enjoyed the basil?  So I had the idea to grow some  in a container on my porch, maybe the earwigs wouldn't find it there.  The problem with growing anything in a container in South East Idaho is the dry hot summers make it so that you have to water it almost every day.  I like to have fun in the summer which means I go out of town quite often.  I don't like asking someone to come and water everyday.  The solution was to make a self watering container.  It's not pretty just two buckets, but it works!  I put it on casters so I can move it out of the sun when I leave town and out of the wind when it's really windy.  You can see in the picture I have lots of basil to enjoy.  I try to keep it pinched back, but as you can see I need to again.  Today I'm going to harvest a lot today so I can make pesto!  

How to pinch back basil, where you cut would depend on how much you want to cook with.

It is best not to let basil bloom.  Pinching back will make a bushy plant.  You can add your trimmings to your dinner.  They don't stay fresh very long so do your trimming just before you start dinner.  The flowers are edible, but the leaves have more flavor if you harvest before the flowers bloom.



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