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Old 09-26-2007, 05:40 AM   #1
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ISO Info Growing Basil

After going to Italy and eating Genovese pesto I decided to grow basil so after finding seeds and planting them I have managed to grow to large pots with basil which I'm using fresh for sauces. I did not managed to grow as much as needed for pesto but I am enjoying it nevertheless. Now the winter is approaching and I was wondering if I should pick all the leaves and plant a new one in the spring or find a warm place inside where I could store it. Does the basil resist for several years in the pot if it's in a warm place?

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Old 09-26-2007, 07:44 AM   #2
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Hi. My experience has been that basil is an annual that needs to be replanted every year. If you can buy small plants locally in the spring, they will have time to grow to large, 2-3-foot tall plants that have enough leaves for several batches of pesto. HTH.
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Old 09-26-2007, 07:45 AM   #3
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As long as you have a warm and sunny area indoors, the basil should grow just fine. If you want extra basil, you could start some from seed indoors and keep it in the same warm and sunny location indoors.
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Old 09-26-2007, 10:52 AM   #4
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I bought one of those root ball basils at the supermarket last Jan or Feb. Had it growing on my kitchen window sill, now it's outside. Time to bring it back indoors. I wonder how much longer it will last...........
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Old 09-26-2007, 11:06 AM   #5
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It's been my experience that basil, because it is a an annual, is pretty hard to keep over the winter, even in the greenhouse.
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Old 09-26-2007, 11:11 AM   #6
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Yellowish

I started noticing a few days ago that some leaves are going yellowish so this made me wonder. Should I collect and dry the leaves before everything will go yellowish or it's a separate incident.
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Old 09-26-2007, 11:21 AM   #7
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Have started seeds in pots about this time of year and grown basil in the house throughout the winter.

It won't be enough for a pesto by a long shot, but it will supply you with some tasty basil.
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Old 09-26-2007, 11:38 AM   #8
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Basil grows wonderfully indoors in pots - provided that you can give it at least 5 hours of direct sunlight a day. Direct southern, southeastern, or southwestern exposures will work - best to worst in that order.

It doesn't always produce as long as it would outdoors, but does well enough for long enough for me - although I'm blessed with south, east, & west floor-to-ceiling wall-to-wall windows & skylights in my living/dining room areas. My biggest problem is that my cats like munching on it, which of course then makes some of it - ahem - less palatable to me - lol!!

If you have less light &/or space to afford it, look for seed of the smaller types like "Globe", etc. Still terrific for cooking, but are more attractive compact plants. Also, it sprouts quickly & easily from seed, so it's super easy to start a new pot or two whenever you want.
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Old 09-26-2007, 12:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by len_p View Post
I started noticing a few days ago that some leaves are going yellowish so this made me wonder. Should I collect and dry the leaves before everything will go yellowish or it's a separate incident.
To keep a more robust flavor, I put the end-of-season leaves in the food processor with enough water to cover and process till the leaves are finely chopped. Then fill ice cube trays with the mixture and freeze. When frozen, put the cubes in plastic bags to keep in the freezer. During the winter, add to soups, stews and sauces that benefit from a little basil flavor. Works great
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Old 09-26-2007, 01:13 PM   #10
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Strange info

I was googling for basil and found this rather disturbing info which I have never have thought about basil on wikipedia:

"Basil, like other aromatic plants such as fenel and tarragon, contains estragole, a known carcinogen and teratogen in rats and mice. While human effects are currently unstudied, the rodent experiments indicate that it would take 1001000 times the normal anticipated exposure to become a cancer risk."
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