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Old 07-29-2009, 08:42 PM   #1
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Does Basil need lots of water?

does Basil need lots of water? Seems like most of herbs grow better when I don't watter them quite that often other then my basil that has been looking a little wilty lately.

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Old 07-29-2009, 08:49 PM   #2
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I water my herbs, basil included every other day. Just keep any heads picked off to keep it from bolting,
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Old 07-29-2009, 09:40 PM   #3
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Basil and parsley both need more water and nitrogen than most herbs. If you look at the green fleshy leaves in comparison to the hard little leaves of rosemary and thyme, you will understand why. Those hard little plants need some water too, though, as well as a limey soil.
Oregano and sage are kind of in between when it comes to water, but they like the lime, also.
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Old 07-30-2009, 12:13 PM   #4
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Constance is definitely "spot on" - especially re: the leaf issue. If you examine your herbs, you'll find that the ones that developed in a relatively harsh hot dry Mediterranean-type - oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage, etc. - will want/need far less water than succulent fleshy-leaved herbs like basil, chervil, parsley, etc. In fact, overwatering the Mediterranean types will quickly kill them via root-rot &/or fungal problems.

I always keep my basil, parsley, etc., soil moist. Not soggy - but moist.
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Old 08-04-2009, 06:51 PM   #5
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My basil did not do well in my regular herb garden after the first couple of years, so I moved it to a planter, where I give it richer soil and more water (anything in a container pretty much needs more water). So, it's nitrogen that caused the problem? My parsley (several types) do fine, maybe the basil couldn't compete! The first years I had so much basil from so few seeds that I literally contacted a local Italian restaurant and gave it away. Then in subsequent years (I'm on my 9th summer here) the plants just popped up a died after looking great for a week or two. Moved to planters and they were fine. The other herbs go great guns; when a first frost is predicted, I email my neighbors to come and pick whatever is there before it all dies.
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Old 08-07-2009, 03:18 PM   #6
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As far as I know most herbs and vegetables like to be in well drained moist soil that is watered on a regular schedule. Every two or three days is usually enough, but really just check the soil by putting your finger and feeling how wet the soil is to tell for sure.
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Old 08-07-2009, 08:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danpeikes View Post
does Basil need lots of water? Seems like most of herbs grow better when I don't watter them quite that often other then my basil that has been looking a little wilty lately.
This is my first summer to have good results growing basil in northwest Florida.
We get such scorching sun that I had to move them in pots to the filtered sun or shady area of the yard. The soil I keep moist not wet. and continue to cut them back and they keep right on producing very happy with the results. I also feed them the Wal-mart brand fertilizer like Miracle gro every few weeks. So between the feeding and watering and the sun "happy Basil plants".
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Old 08-08-2009, 07:12 AM   #8
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I never did have much luck with basil when we lived in Florida. We happened to live right on the frost line, and got just enough cold that it wouldn't work in winter, but in summer it would burn up or bolt so fast that I'd be lucky to get a few leaves. I did have some luck growing other herbs (and other vegs/flowers) in semi-shade that you normally would think need full sunlight. I must have been successful, because I think one of the main reasons the couple bought the house when we sold was my garden ... raised beds, a 4'x4' and a 4'x8', right outside the pool screen, a small (2'x6') against the fence for cherry tomatoes, and a bay tree by the entrance gate for bay leaves. Where we lived the raised beds were a necessity because the soil was so sandy it couldn't support much.
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Old 08-08-2009, 07:15 PM   #9
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Enjoyed your info about Fl. gardening

Hi Claire,
I live on the frost line where you once lived. While listening to a teacher at the local university he mentioned our area's climate. He said it is like a micro climate different from the zones most use to dictate what will grow here and what not to plant. I just "plant and pray" with some watering and feeding thrown in. Nothing like having those fresh herbs when a recipe calls for them and when your mouth is watering for them. I think I could put basil under my pillow and it would help me sleep I love it so much. Now from your input I want to have raised beds next time...but not the bed I sleep in!
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under the setting sun in northwest FL.
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Old 08-11-2009, 07:12 AM   #10
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Geri, absolutely. I lived in Port Orange. We didn't get frost every year, but often enough to kill some perenials. Basil simply did not work. BUT I had fun with my winter crops, especially brocolli and Brussels sprouts. One year the price of lettuce spiralled, and I was giving it away (we didn't have a frost that year). Never had any luck with full sized tomatoes ... mildew, disease, birds, bugs, something killed them every year. Cherry tomatoes worked fine because they ripen more quickly. I tried cabbage one year, because the area is known for its cabbage, and I also tried cauliflower. They both looked beautiful, but when I peeled back the outer leaves, they looked like someone had taken huge bites out of the heads. Called the Volusia County extension and they told me it was gopher turtles.
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