Basil growing questions.

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Basil growing questions.

Postby Clinton Macsherry » Wed May 31, 2006 11:29 am

I'm growing basil in a pot out back, as I have for several summers running. For some reason, this year it seems to be flowering more profusely than ever before. Much as I like the tiny white blossoms, I'm thinking I need to trim the flowery parts to keep the leafier parts thriving. Question 1: am I right about that? Question 2: any good uses for the flowery parts?
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Re: Basil growing questions.

Postby Bob Ross » Wed May 31, 2006 12:00 pm

Trim aggressively, Clinton. I pinch off the blossom parts at least an inch below the set. Leaves are the goal, and preventing the plant from setting seeds will prolong the season.

The flowers have some flavor, not as much as the leaves, but are perfectly edible. Just eat them raw as I am wont to do, or use them just as you would the leaves. But prune them off as soon as they appear.

Regards, Bob
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Re: Basil growing questions.

Postby Karen/NoCA » Wed May 31, 2006 1:38 pm

Mine flowered early too, before the plant was even big enough to pick from. Unusual because our summer heat is slow to arrive this season.
Be aggressive and keep those flowers off of the plants.
I'm in love with my new breakfast treat.......one slice of toasted, whole grain bread spread with a Laughing Cow lite French Onion cheese wedge, fresh basil and sliced tomatoes. Makes a great breakfast and another way to use my basil. Have you tried the Thai Basil? It is fabulous.
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Re: Basil growing questions.

Postby Bob Ross » Wed May 31, 2006 2:00 pm

I agree -- the Thai Basil we got this year has an interesting anise taste -- quite delicious all on its own. We grew Siamese Twin this year, as well as an old Italian favorite from saved seeds.
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Fertilizer

Postby Bonnie in Holland » Thu Jun 01, 2006 2:02 am

Another thing you might do is check the fertilizer you're using. Look at the NPK ratio in the fine print on the label - you want relatively high N (nitrogen) and low K (potassium or potash). Reason is that nitrogen promotes leaf growth while potash promotes flowering. (The P is phosporus, good for the roots.) If the basil is getting a high potash fertilizer, it would encourage the flowering -- very good for flowering and fruiting plants but not the leaves.
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