#1  
Old 06-26-2017, 10:44 AM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is online now
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Basil

A couple of months ago (?) I bought two basil plants from Trader Joe's. Mrs. L.A. said, 'Now I want Thai pumpkin and salmon curry!' But pumpkins are out of season, so I didn't make any. There's always Caprese salads! Only, Mrs. L.A. is avoiding too much fat after her intestinal difficulties from which she's still recovering. I don't know if she can tolerate the olive oil and the cheese. So we have these plants, and they're growing...

It looks like they're growing at the tops. I've picked off the dead and dying leaves lower down, and I haven't noticed any new ones replacing them on the lower parts of the plants. (Granted, I only did that a couple of days ago.) So how tall will these plants grow? If we eat the lower leaves, will they be replaced? Or will we end up with long stalks with fresh leaves on top?
  #2  
Old 06-26-2017, 01:05 PM
Sunny Daze Sunny Daze is online now
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IME, the lower leaves are not replaced. If you do not pinch off the flower buds as they form, the basil will flower and seed, and then die. How tall they grow will depend on the variety of basil you have, but they're not an infinite height type plant like foxglove is.
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Old 06-26-2017, 01:07 PM
jz78817 jz78817 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. View Post
A couple of months ago (?) I bought two basil plants from Trader Joe's. Mrs. L.A. said, 'Now I want Thai pumpkin and salmon curry!' But pumpkins are out of season, so I didn't make any. There's always Caprese salads! Only, Mrs. L.A. is avoiding too much fat after her intestinal difficulties from which she's still recovering. I don't know if she can tolerate the olive oil and the cheese. So we have these plants, and they're growing...

It looks like they're growing at the tops. I've picked off the dead and dying leaves lower down, and I haven't noticed any new ones replacing them on the lower parts of the plants. (Granted, I only did that a couple of days ago.) So how tall will these plants grow? If we eat the lower leaves, will they be replaced? Or will we end up with long stalks with fresh leaves on top?
The plants I had last year (sweet basil) reached over two feet tall. like Sunny Daze says, I had to look them over every couple of days and pull off the flower buds.
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Old 06-26-2017, 01:35 PM
solost solost is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunny Daze View Post
IME, the lower leaves are not replaced. If you do not pinch off the flower buds as they form, the basil will flower and seed, and then die. How tall they grow will depend on the variety of basil you have, but they're not an infinite height type plant like foxglove is.
Yes, what Sunny said. Also by picking off the tops of the plant it will grow out other flowering tops and get bushier. It will become a race of you picking off the plant tops to harvest the basil and the plant growing more tops trying to flower and seed. Eventually the sweet basil variety will get a couple feet tall and about as wide. If you keep diligently picking off the tops before they flower you should have LOTS of basil from two plants. If you like pesto, find a recipe, and you'll be happy.

Other varieties, like Thai basil, are a bit smaller I think- I usually grow sweet basil.
  #5  
Old 06-26-2017, 01:39 PM
CairoCarol CairoCarol is offline
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In the tropics, basil is a perennial. On Hawaii island (actually subtropics but never mind that) my neighbor has basil bushes that are three feet high and about as wide - they are pretty horrible and scraggly at the moment, as she's given up caring for her garden much due to the fact the pigs mess it up anyway. But they are large shrubs and several years old.
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Old 06-26-2017, 03:29 PM
quiltguy quiltguy is offline
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Harvest leaves by cutting off a stem, leaving one or two pairs of the lowest leaves. This will stimulate the plant to put out TWO(such a deal!) new stems, from the axils of the leaves that were left. Picking just a few leaves here and there won't stimulate as much. I grow about 50 plants each year(very much into pesto) Leave a stem or two to flower, the bees will thank you.
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Old 06-26-2017, 03:38 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is online now
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I've heard basil can successfully be saved by putting them in water and freezing. Is that true?
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Old 06-26-2017, 04:18 PM
carnivorousplant carnivorousplant is online now
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We have a dark purple basil volunteer when we were given cannas.
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Old 06-26-2017, 04:55 PM
solost solost is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. View Post
I've heard basil can successfully be saved by putting them in water and freezing. Is that true?
Don't know about freezing in water, but in the past I've coarsely chopped it in a food processor with some olive oil and frozen it into batch-sized amounts (those cheap plastic ice cube trays are good for this). Worked well.

Last edited by solost; 06-26-2017 at 04:56 PM.
  #10  
Old 06-26-2017, 05:58 PM
FoieGrasIsEvil FoieGrasIsEvil is offline
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If you're worried about the missus and fat content, just serve up ripe tomatoes with a chiffonade of basil and basic salt and pepper. That's damn good. Eat it every day.
  #11  
Old 06-26-2017, 06:17 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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I grow several varieties of basil every year: cinnamon (my favorite), Thai, and Italian sweet. This year, I also have a couple of holy basil plants, as well. The key is: 1) don't let them go to seed; so pick off those flowering tops as they come up and 2) harvest your basil at least once a week once it gets going to get it to grow out and "bushy" as opposed to tall and spindly. I usually try to harvest about 1/4-1/3 of the plant by cutting it off about 1/4 inch above a leaf node.

By the end of the season here in Chicago, from one plant I usually end up with way more basil than I even know what to do with. They've gotten up to three feet high and around for me. It's still pretty early in the season for me, but my plants are about a foot high and three quarters across at the moment (except for the holy basil, which seems to be a much slower grower and is about 8 inches high and 6 across.)

I'm actually not a huge fan of pesto, so most of my basil ends up in stir fries (like it did today for lunch.)
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Old 06-26-2017, 07:46 PM
Llama Llogophile Llama Llogophile is offline
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Was hoping this thread would be about a dysfunctional British hotel owner.
  #13  
Old 06-26-2017, 08:23 PM
jz78817 jz78817 is offline
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Originally Posted by Llama Llogophile View Post
Was hoping this thread would be about a dysfunctional British hotel owner.
a fawlty assumption.
  #14  
Old 06-26-2017, 08:54 PM
muldoonthief muldoonthief is offline
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Originally Posted by Llama Llogophile View Post
Was hoping this thread would be about a dysfunctional British hotel owner.
Yeah, I was all primed with my "You could make ratatouille." post.
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Old 06-26-2017, 09:44 PM
carnivorousplant carnivorousplant is online now
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a fawlty assumption.
Have you no shame?
  #16  
Old 06-26-2017, 10:19 PM
Two Many Cats Two Many Cats is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solost View Post
Yes, what Sunny said. Also by picking off the tops of the plant it will grow out other flowering tops and get bushier. It will become a race of you picking off the plant tops to harvest the basil and the plant growing more tops trying to flower and seed.
Y'mean, here's this poor plant creature trying to reach a climax, and here come these humans with their pinch pinch, snip snip, and it's blue balls again?

Damn us humans suck!!
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