Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Archive for November 6th, 2014

Growing Herbs

Posted by terrepruitt on November 6, 2014

As is my schedule I like to stop by the store on my way home from my Nia classes.  I prefer the store near my Tuesday/Thursday Nia class, it seems to have better produce.  But on Tuesday I am rushing from Nia to yoga so I don’t get to do any shopping at that store.  This past week I wanted to make Boneless Pork Chops In The Crockpot on Wednesday so I would have them for Wednesday’s dinner and Thursday’s dinner.  So I went to a different store on Wednesday after class on my way home.  I decided to buy fresh basil for the recipe.  Argh!  The basil was anything but fresh.  It all looked like it was growing something.  Something black and fuzzy.  There was enough nice leaves in each bunch, but I hate buying fresh herbs as it is because they go bad so quickly.  If I bought ones that were already bad that would really not be good.  So, I decided not to buy them.  I stood there wondering if I should ask the produce guy if they had more in the back, I decided not to.  I did decide to buy tomatoes which I had already passed.  So I had to go back over to them.  I was approaching the tomato display from a different angle and what do I see?  Basil.  A live basil plant.  Ahh-ha!  I don’t know how much the black, fuzzy basil cost because I didn’t see a tag on the shelf, but there was a PACKAGE of basil (that was also black and fuzzy) that was the same price as the plant so I thought it was comparable enough.  Plus this plant was not black and fuzzy.  It was not perfect, but it was WAY better looking than the other options.  So I bought a basil plant.  How does one grow basil?

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCAI never thought of growing basil because, just like cilantro, I thought I didn’t like it.  According to Organic Gardening basil is susceptible to fungal diseases such as “Fusarium wilt, gray mold, and black spot”.  I think the plant I bought might even have the wilt disease because there were a few wilted leaves.  But that could be because it needed water.  I am convinced the bunches in the store had gray mold AND black spot!

Of course, I have no idea about how to grow it, the first site I looked at was the one referenced above.  The article I linked to talks about growing basil outside.  I want to grow it inside.  A further search on that site returns this information:  “Basil: Start basil from seeds and place the pots in a south-facing window—it likes lots of sun and warmth.”  Well, I didn’t start it from seed.  But I believe I have it in a south-facing window.  It will get a lot of sun and warmth there.

SF Gate gave me more information.  It said that as soon as it flowers, the plant will die.  So I should start a new one right now.  So basil is an annual, but you can have basil all year round.  This sounds like it will take a little bit of work.  But I am frustrated enough with buying a bunch of basil when I need it and then having half the bunch go bad.  I don’t use basil that much . . . but with plants to snip from I might.

The article says:

–the plant needs about 12 hours of light daily
–to encourage new growth it should be trimmed every few days
–the plant likes warm humid air
–feed the plant every two weeks with nitrogen rich food

I am going to root a cutting from the plant so hopefully I will have a plant with enough basil on it by the time this one dies and I can just keep going.

We’ll see how this goes.

Help.  What can you tell me to help me keep this plant alive/keep a crop of basil going?  What else can I make (besides pesto) with basil?

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