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Basil

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Basil

Post  Chopper on 9/13/2010, 7:56 pm

Basil was definitely one of the winners. I still have a LOT growing strong. I have made pesto twice and I picked a bunch and dried it. I just finished it today and got more than a cup of dried herb and SOOOOOOO fragrant. I filled a couple of small jars with it. Very exciting. (yes, I know I need a life, but right now this is it Smile )

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Re: Basil

Post  camprn on 9/13/2010, 8:01 pm

Very Happy at the end I will also have gotten 3 harvests from one planting. I am very impressed with how much the Basil likes the MM and a dose or 2 of dried blood.


Last edited by camprn on 9/13/2010, 8:05 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Basil

Post  Megan on 9/13/2010, 8:03 pm

I have made pesto twice now, but this weekend, I finally harvested all the rest of it and made more pesto. (Well, less the nuts and the cheese... I'll add those later if I need to.) Took ages to pick all those leaves!!! I haven't measured it yet but this latest batch, I'm guessing close to half a gallon. Shocked

(It's funny how your hands start smelling almost like cinnamon or cloves after a while....)

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Re: Basil

Post  acara on 9/13/2010, 8:07 pm

I've already gave away two big bunches and made two batches of tomato/mozarella/basil salad ...off a 30 day old plant. Definately quite a prolific grower down here.

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Re: Basil

Post  Chopper on 9/13/2010, 9:20 pm

And I still have this: Geesh - only three squares:



Gotta love it!

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Re: Basil

Post  miinva on 9/13/2010, 9:24 pm

I planted five kinds of basil and they were pretty sluggish this summer, other than the genovese, but now that things are cooling down the others are wide awake! The purple has an anise tinge to the aroma and it looks pretty in my spaghetti sauce Smile

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Re: Basil

Post  Megan on 9/13/2010, 9:32 pm

I only planted the Genovese, it did well despite my initial fears. I've never kept basil alive all summer before; something always munched on it. Not sure why it survived this time but I am not complaining! Very Happy

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Re: Basil

Post  Shoda on 9/13/2010, 10:21 pm

Yes, I love the basil also. Although, I have no idea what kind I am growing. About a week or so before planting time, I purchased a huge bunch of basil (cuttings for cooking) and let it root in a glass on the counter. I then planted them in the garden and shaded it from the light until established. For only a couple bucks I got a bunch of plants started.

I also use this method to propagate. The seeds I direct planted didn't come up. So.... next year I will probably do the same but plant more squares. How can you have too much basil when pesto freezes so well?

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Re: Basil

Post  miinva on 9/13/2010, 10:23 pm

I planted genovese, columnar, purple columnar, purple sails, and another green kind I can't remember the name of Smile

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Re: Basil

Post  Chopper on 9/13/2010, 10:45 pm

@Shoda wrote: How can you have too much basil when pesto freezes so well?

I did not know it froze well! Excellent. That is where the rest of it will go!

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Re: Basil

Post  Shoda on 9/14/2010, 12:44 pm

You can also just blend the basil with a little olive oil and freeze in ice cube trays. Then it is ready for recipes or whatever!

Has anyone grown Basil inside during the winter months? I have sort of gotten used to having it around and especially love fresh basil, tomato and mozzarella salads.

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Re: Basil

Post  elliephant on 9/14/2010, 12:59 pm

How do you space basil?

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Re: Basil

Post  Shoda on 9/14/2010, 1:12 pm

I didn't follow the spacing recommendations because I cut it back all the time. I think I have 9 per square. I keep the cut down to about 8".

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Re: Basil

Post  elliephant on 9/14/2010, 1:20 pm

Thanks. I'm trying to get some herbs going, but I've never even used fresh herbs in the kitchen (except for cilantro in marinades) so I'm pretty much going into this blind.

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Re: Basil

Post  middlemamma on 9/14/2010, 1:48 pm

I have never cooked with fresh herbs and the #1 reason is because I have never had any luck whatsoever growing them. I will see about trying again. So basil grows well in the house?

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Re: Basil

Post  camprn on 9/14/2010, 4:14 pm

@Shoda wrote:I didn't follow the spacing recommendations because I cut it back all the time. I think I have 9 per square. I keep the cut down to about 8".
I planted 5 per square and pinched the terminal ends to get bushier plants.

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Re: Basil

Post  Megan on 9/14/2010, 8:32 pm

Ellie, at full size mine were about 4 per square. Though they may be smaller than some people's. They got 24-30" tall, width varied a lot, the bigger ones were maybe 10-12" wide, they didn't seem to mind brushing each other. Different basils may well have different growth habits, though. I was growing Genovese. I pinched the buds for well over a month to keep it from bolting, but I may not have pinched it enough to bush it up properly.

It was kind of funny, I'd forgotten I'd planted more than 1 per square, and I was really surprised when I went to harvest them! Smile

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Re: Basil

Post  Chopper on 9/14/2010, 10:11 pm

@camprn wrote:I planted 5 per square and pinched the terminal ends to get bushier plants.

And they keep growing and growing!!!

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Pesto recipe

Post  ander217 on 9/15/2010, 7:02 am

@Shoda wrote:Yes, I love the basil also. How can you have too much basil when pesto freezes so well?

I've never frozen it, Shoda. Will you share your recipe? How do you freeze it - jars, bags?

I've grown green basil for years, but I don't know much about it. When it bolts are the leaves still usable in pesto? Should I be pinching off the flower stalks? (Like Megan's mine finally took off when the weather cooled.)

This is the first year I've grown purple basil. Do you use it in pesto?

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Re: Basil

Post  Megan on 9/15/2010, 7:39 am

Yes, pinch off the flower stalks to keep it growing longer. You can still use the leaves. (They will eventually get yellowy on you.... still edible, but not that bright pretty green.)

I haven't done it yet, but I'm going to put my pesto in ice cube trays, freeze it, then put the cubes in a zip bag in the freezer.

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Re: Basil

Post  Shoda on 9/16/2010, 11:31 pm

I have a couple pesto recipes I like. I will look one up and post it. You can also just process the basil in a food processor with enough oil to process. I like to freeze in ice cube trays and pop out and store in a larger bag. That way you can just take out what you need. Just freeze in portion sizes you are likely to use.

I am really going to miss the fresh basil. I am going to try to start some for inside. Also, in case you didn't know, you can keep cut stems in a glass of water on the kitchen counter for several weeks. If you cut near a node, it will eventually root.

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Re: Basil

Post  Retired Member 1 on 9/17/2010, 7:36 am

Good ideas, all. My pesto recipe is in the recipe section (early summer). I planted mine one per square since they get so large and bushy. 5 Italian sweet and two lime. The lime has a wonderful aroma but I've been challenged to find recipes to use it in. I did not like the pesto I made from it.

I hadn't heard about rooting basil. I'm going to pick some branches today and put them in water. I'm now letting mine go to seed as I probably have a two-year supply of pesto in the freezer. Will also freeze some with just olive oil for recipes -- should have already done that, but life took over.

Thanks for all the ideas!

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Re: Basil

Post  Megan on 9/17/2010, 7:23 pm

belfrybat wrote:The lime has a wonderful aroma but I've been challenged to find recipes to use it in. I did not like the pesto I made from it.

Use it fresh in summer rolls?

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Re: Basil

Post  camprn on 9/17/2010, 7:37 pm

Last year I didn't care for the Lime basil, I gave it to a friend of mine who is an avid fisherman. He uses it a lot! Very Happy

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Re: Basil

Post  Retired Member 1 on 9/18/2010, 3:32 pm

@Megan wrote:
belfrybat wrote:The lime has a wonderful aroma but I've been challenged to find recipes to use it in. I did not like the pesto I made from it.

Use it fresh in summer rolls?

That probably would have been good -- I'm diabetic so don't eat bread, but if I plant some next year I might do that for potlucks. I did use some in a salad dressing and that was fantastic. Also with seafood. But I certainly didn't find it as versitile as sweet basil. I might try lemon next year instead of lime.

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Re: Basil

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