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Old 10-07-2006, 12:49 PM   #1
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How cold can my Basil take it?

I had Basil in my garden that I dug up a couple of weeks ago and put in a pot. I was thinking that it would have some time to get "settled" before I have to bring it in. That brings me to my question. How cold can it take it outside? (Keeping in mind, it's in a pot, not the ground so it won't be able to take it as low.)
For all I know, I'm wasting my time and it will never make it in the house, but I never like to give in w/o a fight. I just started making my own pesto and I like it.

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Old 10-07-2006, 12:56 PM   #2
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It can't take it very cold. Time to bring it in the house if you have had any frost warnings.

I will warn you though, basil sometimes smells a little unpleasant in the house.
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Old 10-07-2006, 01:07 PM   #3
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especially if your cats like to pee on it. (alix's cat protests indoor basil that way.)

like alix said, it can't handle cold at all. even if it survives a cold night or two, the leaves will turn, and not be as flavorful afterwards. they may even turn bitter.

since it's a fast growing annual, it's best to just keep replanting it to keep a fresh store on hand.
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Old 10-07-2006, 01:25 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice. I guess I'll go ahead and bring it into the kitchen today and give it a try for a while.
I'm glad now that I don't have a cat. I don't think that would improve the pesto.
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Old 10-07-2006, 01:37 PM   #5
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Amazing, buckytom is kidding. Cats are not interested in the basil at all. The basil smells like cat pee, I just didn't want to be so blunt. LOL.
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Old 10-07-2006, 01:49 PM   #6
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Oh. ......
Maybe cat pea smells like basil. It's a matter of perspective.
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Old 10-07-2006, 01:55 PM   #7
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Either way, I did NOT like the way my kitchen smelled when I tried to bring my basil in. So, I will now grow it in the summer and either dry the leaves or make pesto and freeze it. No fresh basil in the house for me!
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Old 10-07-2006, 03:02 PM   #8
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Basil doesn't really do all that well inside anyway. It gets white flies--and there is not enough sun to keep it going in the winter unless you have a grow light.
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Old 10-07-2006, 03:14 PM   #9
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Wink

I brought mine in a week ago- usually does pretty well for me -facing the morning sun. No flies here-lol , all I do is keep pinching it back. I don't even smell it anymore !
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Old 10-07-2006, 04:24 PM   #10
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I would bring it in.

Have grown basil from seeds in a pot in the house.

Never noticed an off smell however.

Maybe my smeller is going or I need to bathe more.
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Old 10-07-2006, 04:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auntdot
...Maybe my smeller is going or I need to bathe more.

...or you have cats.
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Old 10-07-2006, 05:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alix
Amazing, buckytom is kidding. Cats are not interested in the basil at all. The basil smells like cat pee, I just didn't want to be so blunt. LOL.
Alix warned me about this prior to when I brought mine inside and she was right, it does smell like cat pee. I decided to dry it, then put it in a baggie, and it is horrible! I threw it out. Better to grow it from seed in doors, or potted as you have done Amazing. Just be sure to give it plenty of light and keep pinching it back.
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Old 10-07-2006, 08:01 PM   #13
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Wow. I've brought mine in many times ( not that it ever survived) but it never smelled like cat's pee. But, if there's a chance of frost, get it in inside.
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Old 10-08-2006, 05:46 AM   #14
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In my experience, basil is very, very fragile temp-wise. A few years ago I had a bumper crop of it and the temps were due to dip. I called a local Italian restaurant and we gave them a bucket of the stuff.
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Old 10-08-2006, 07:53 AM   #15
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Thanks for all the great info. I've brought it in and have put it where it gets lots of morning sun. We'll see how it goes. Next year I'll just freeze more pesto.
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Old 10-08-2006, 01:32 PM   #16
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I wonder if there is something about the basil having been outside that makes it smell icky when you bring it in? I know when you start it in the house it doesn't smell that bad. Weird.
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