I have probably said it before, but I hate waste. I hate wasting food, wasting ingredients, talent, products, anything really. So I am always trying to come up with new ways how this would not happen. It wasn’t too long ago when I was writing about how I was excited that I was able to keep my store bought basil plant alive. Basil is one of those ingredients which I love to use in cooking and keep in my kitchen because of the lovely scent, however, usually the big bushy plant dies before I have been able to take full advantage of it and then I have to buy a new one. I feel kind of wasteful buying new pots of basil just to kill it and then buy a new one, especially as it already is in a pot and I could just grow it myself.
Growing it at home will mean I will save money not buying a new plant every week, it will bring greenery and lovely scent into my kitchen and I will get the satisfaction of being able to keep something green alive and not being wasteful. Several times YeY!
Well now that I have managed to keep my basil from dying for over a month I decided to take some research into how to care for it and there were some really great tips (let’s face it I have already done half of the things wrong, how is the plant still alive?) and thought of sharing them with you, so you can get your own little garden of herbs or start of a garden in the kitchen like I keep it.
- There are several different ways of growing basil.
- You can buy seeds and plant them into good soil, which is slightly moist.
- You can do like me and buy the basil from a store and water it constantly until you realise it is not dying. You might need to replant it, as store bought basil is usually planted too close to each other. The plants need space, so plant them about 10-15cm away from each other.
- You can cut off a stem of an existing plant and put it into water until it starts growing roots (what I am doing in the image).
- If you have a flower on the basil cut it off, take out the seeds, let them dry and then plant them.
What does basil need?
- Good access to the sun, however, I would not put it under a scorching sun as it will quickly dry it out.
- Well-drained soil
- Watering every morning, as basil doesn’t like to be soaked in water overnight.
- Pinching. If you want the bushy type basil, you pinch the leafs of the top of the plant and not off the bottom. (I though to take some off the bottom, as they were not looking great, but it just grew in length and it is so tall right now!!)
- If the flowers grow, cut them off with additional two leaves from under it. The flower alters the hormonal balance of the plant and changes its flavour.
- If you notice mold on the plant it’s not getting enough sunlight or it is planted too close to each other.
At the moment I am drying off the flower to get some seeds and, as you can see from the images above, I have placed some stems in the water. It is quite exciting experimenting with it!
I hope you will try to grow your own basil, and please let me know if you will and how it goes! If you manage to grow your own basil do share them with me on Instagram or twitter!