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Basil question...

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Basil question...

Post  middlemamma on 8/27/2011, 4:44 pm

My basil has bolted...after a horrendous season and not being able to get any basil to grow halfway decently. NOW that it has bolted it has tons of growth and is gorgeous...are the leaves good still or is it like lettuce....after bolting no good to eat?
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Re: Basil question...

Post  camprn on 8/27/2011, 5:27 pm

MM Just pinch off the flowers and toss those, then pinch off some of the side stems and leaves, leaving a bit of foliage and a tall plant with few leaves and the dear little basil plant will put out another batch of growth before the end of the season. Very Happy

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Re: Basil question...

Post  Chopper on 8/27/2011, 9:53 pm

+1 Basil is wonderfully hardy. Keep pinching. I did it for months until I was so sick of basil I just let it go.

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Re: Basil question...

Post  middlemamma on 8/27/2011, 11:20 pm

OK I went and did that just now! THANKS! Here's hoping! I have never had pesto, I planted a bunch in hopes to make some but it isn't looking promising.
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Re: Basil question...

Post  shannon1 on 8/28/2011, 1:30 am

MM next time your basil flowers don't just toss them, toss them on top of a dressed pasta or slad dish, they make a beautiful and edible garnish. IMHO the best pesto is made from pine nuts not walnuts.
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Re: Basil question...

Post  middlemamma on 8/28/2011, 2:44 am

Thanks for the tip Shannon! I probably will try walnuts, kinda choked when I saw the price of pine nuts.
affraid
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Re: Basil question...

Post  shannon1 on 8/28/2011, 2:59 am

My DB the chef started me with pine nuts and now likes the flavor of walnuts better.
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Re: Basil question...

Post  camprn on 8/28/2011, 7:30 am

middlemamma wrote:Thanks for the tip Shannon! I probably will try walnuts, kinda choked when I saw the price of pine nuts.
affraid
+1, pine nuts are prohibitively expensive. I use walnuts. Enjoy your pesto. Very Happy

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Re: Basil question...

Post  shannon1 on 8/29/2011, 3:34 am

camprn wrote:
middlemamma wrote:Thanks for the tip Shannon! I probably will try walnuts, kinda choked when I saw the price of pine nuts.
affraid
+1, pine nuts are prohibitively expensive. I use walnuts. Enjoy your pesto. Very Happy
I was talking to my Mom about this nut choice thing and she pointed out walnuts are nutritional power houses:shock: I guess I maybe making walnut pesto from here on out. Moms are so smart.
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Re: Basil question...

Post  Icemaiden on 8/29/2011, 5:59 am

I used unroasted pecan nuts recently (because I had a bag-full given to me) and they were great in pesto.

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Re: Basil question...

Post  floyd1440 on 10/8/2011, 6:47 am

First Time with basil and things did not go so well so I have some questions. How many plants do you put in one square? What is the best way to harvest basil? Some have said to let it grow then cut the plant just above a set of bottom two leaves and it will continue to grow while others say to pinch off the top flower. And everyone has their weather on the bottom of their posts; how do I do that?
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Re: Basil question...

Post  camprn on 10/8/2011, 7:20 am

floyd1440 wrote:First Time with basil and things did not go so well so I have some questions. How many plants do you put in one square? What is the best way to harvest basil? Some have said to let it grow then cut the plant just above a set of bottom two leaves and it will continue to grow while others say to pinch off the top flower. And everyone has their weather on the bottom of their posts; how do I do that?
Hi floyd, I gave my answer to this query, which you may read above. I planted between 2 and 5 per square. As to how to apply the Weather Sticker, see this instructional video found here.

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Re: Basil question...

Post  llama momma on 10/8/2011, 8:00 am

This summer was the first time growing genovese basil. Put one transplant per square, it grew a couple feet tall and crazy bushed out sideways too. I was not expecting this monster! To freeze fresh basil, simply wash and cut up the leaves, spread it in ice cube trays, add water, freeze. Pop them out and store in freezer bags, write the date on it. Done! I like freezing better than drying, to me it looks prettier and more nutritious frozen and easier to process, than dried. Drying took more messing around with, between washing all the leaves then keep checking the dehydrator, pick all the leaves back up with little pieces breaking going all over the place, I didn't enjoy the process. Although I had so much of it I tried it both ways.
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Re: Basil question...

Post  jkahn2eb on 10/8/2011, 9:03 am

I have three Siam Queen basil plants each in their own square. They are incredibly hardy and even tastier.

Almost every morning I'm plucking purple flowers from the tips. When I want to harvest, I break off what I need. When I want to share with others, I cut low and toss them in a vase like flowers, in which they'll keep for a couple weeks.

Love Siam Queen basil.
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Re: Basil question...

Post  westie42 on 10/8/2011, 10:40 am

I picked a couple branches off my basil and put them in a glass of water about 10 days ago now they have plenty of roots. They will get potted soon for indoor winter use. Last year they grew thru the winter and made nice spring outdoor plants with a big jump start. They will give some culinary leaves and fragrance thru the winter.

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Re: Basil question...

Post  llama momma on 10/8/2011, 1:06 pm

westie42 wrote:...put them in a glass of water about 10 days ago now they have plenty of roots. They will get potted soon for indoor winter use. Last year they grew thru the winter and made nice spring outdoor plants with a big jump start. They will give some culinary leaves and fragrance thru the winter.

Arrgh! I didn't know you could keep them alive over the winter. Mine is composting! Live and learn. Thank you I will save mine next year!
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Re: Basil question...

Post  quiltbea on 10/8/2011, 1:29 pm

boffer's instructions on how to add the weather block don't work for me. Edited to add: I finally GOT it. Thanks boffer.

I've got two of my basil plants in 10" pots so I can bring them in when it gets too cold. I plan to have fresh basil for a long time. The ones planted in my SFG are getting too old and cold to be any good so I'm happy I planted in pots as well.



If you still have a plant in the SFG growing decently, why not transplant it to a large pot for the winter.
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Re: Basil question...

Post  Lemonie on 10/8/2011, 3:52 pm

I love all of the amazing tips I'm learning on this forum! I have never made pesto and really wasn't sure what I was going to do with all of the basil I still have growing. PLUS- I just found out that pesto freezes well. Looking forward to having another way of enjoying my garden during the winter...and will definitely be potting some of the plant up and seeing if it will stick with me during the winter too!

Please share any other great ideas you have for using basil. Also...what about mint? We brewed it w/ our sun tea this summer and it was very yummy! But I've never had fresh mint before and am a little unsure of how to use it....and my plant is fairly large!
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Re: Basil question...

Post  janezee on 10/8/2011, 9:32 pm

Lemonie wrote:Also...what about mint? We brewed it w/ our sun tea this summer and it was very yummy! But I've never had fresh mint before and am a little unsure of how to use it....and my plant is fairly large!

This time of year, I cut down a lot of my mint, pull the leaves off the stems, put them on cookie sheets and store them in the oven until they dry, a couple of days. Nothing fancy. I have an electric oven, so no heat added.
Then I take the driest ones and put them in a jar next to the kettle so I can enjoy mint green tea all winter long. As the thicker ones dry, I throw them in. About 5-7 leaves make a pot, 2-4 a cup. YMMV.
I gotta get goin' before the slugs wipe it out!
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Re: Basil question...

Post  milaneyjane on 10/9/2011, 4:33 pm

I just freeze my basil leaves directly in a ziplock back and take out what I need. You have about thirty seconds to chop them while they are still crisp and frozen or you can chop them thawed. Tastes garden fresh.
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Re: Basil question...

Post  camprn on 10/9/2011, 4:42 pm

I have a few seedlings that managed to survive summer in the plastic cells, under the tomato plants. I am going to pot these up for the house. When I harvest basil leaves, and even if I am not making pesto, I usually do a whole big bunch and blenerdize it all with a bit of extra virgin olive oil, scoop the paste into ice cube trays and freeze. After the cubes are frozen I transfer them to a zip type plastic bag, keep it in the freezer and pull out a cube at a time, as needed.

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



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Re: Basil question...

Post  FamilyGardening on 10/9/2011, 7:17 pm

i have fallen in love with basil Very Happy

i think im going to try a winter herb garden indoors this year.....my hubby put up a grow light with a shelf that i used last march to start my seedlings....i think i will try some in door herbs and make good use of it.....plus....i really want to bring in my pepper plant that has done so well this summer....poor thing had a bad start from the kitties eating it while it was still in doors before it warmed up enough to put it out....i have read they will continue to grow with a grow light.....Shocked nothing to lose since i want to grow some herbs now too.....Very Happy

for those who grow in doors.....what size pots should i get for the herbs?

hugs

rose and thank you all for giving us such great idea's!
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Re: Basil question...

Post  camprn on 10/9/2011, 8:03 pm

There are some useful videos here.

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Re: Basil question...

Post  floyd1440 on 10/10/2011, 7:12 pm

Thanks for the help with the weather logo
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Re: Basil question...

Post  floyd1440 on 10/10/2011, 7:18 pm

Next year I will try genovese basil and put 2 per square and see how it grows. Still seems to be some different ideas on how top prune them but I will attempt to cut some back and pull the flowers off the top to keep it going unless someone has better idea.

My wife LOVES basil......
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