More Basil Than I’ll Ever Need

This year I’ve decided I’m going to have more Basil than I’ll ever need. Hey if you have extra you can always make Pesto right? I didn’t have nearly enough last year so this time I’m over compensating.

I sowed this little clutch about three weeks ago. I have another two lots in the garden and one in a large pot in the Victorian cloche that I sowed last week. I love Basil!

20 Comments on “More Basil Than I’ll Ever Need

  1. Great – you can never have enough basil in my opinion!

    I have had great problems keeping basil healthy in pots the last couple of years.

    This year i seem to have cracked it – i always though basil needed lots of sun however this year i’ve been keeping it near a shaded window and it seems to be thriving!

    [quietly crosses fingers and hopes he hasn’t spoken too soon!]

  2. I’m in the same boat, with basil and with mint. My mint is taking over the garden! I love it though. Your basil looks beautiful. And yes, since it is one of the most versatile herbs, it’s a good one to have a lot of. Have you thought about drying some of the herbs? I’m just staring to learn about that, and it’d be great to have the feeling of your own herbs in the winter… but wow, they do shrink once dried!

  3. Wow! How do you stop it getting munched? Last year we lost a whole batch of basil to snails, ants, caterpillars…pretty much anything that moved. This year we’ve had to keep the whole lot indoors.

  4. I accidentally grew my best basil ever last year! I had some growing alongside a couple of toms outside, which I ended up covering in frost fleece in an attempt to keep off blight, and the basil loved it. I seem to remember reading somewhere that although basil loves warm sunshine, it actually likes a drop of humidity too. The leaves were really plump and juicy, although I guess they might have liked all the water and feed too.

    I had so much, I made some heavenly pesto, spending a small fortune on olive oil, parmesan and pine nuts just to use a couple of handfuls of basil leaves! But that’s not why we do these things, is it?

  5. I once had a basil tequila mojito that was amazing – I expect it’d be even better with fresh basil. Maybe a good use for some of it…

  6. Oooh me too, although the snails seem to like eating mine! It’s almost all been gobbled up. Luckily I’ve kept some on the windowsill. Lovely blog!

  7. I likewise love basil but I find it very temperamental. If it’ll germinate at all, it ALL germinates, in ridiculous quantities. But some years it just won’t germinate at all.

    Then some years it just “fails to thrive” and gradually looks sorrier and sorrier before eventually rotting.

    But in the good years (and it’s five years since I had one of those) it’s spectacularly wonderful. If it wasn’t for the smell and taste I’d have given up on it long since!

  8. Mmmm… we had our first basil pickings in a salad tonight (we just couldn’t wait for the plants to get big!) and they were delicious. The smell is even better and I’m looking forward to serving some alongside our own tomatoes.
    We too have loads and loads this year and the other day some one handed me a packet of purple basil – must pop some in and see how it fares.

  9. I’ve had a lot of success making large batches of pesto, and freezing the pesto in ice cube trays. Once the pesto has frozen solid into little ice-cube-sized pieces, you can pop them out of the mold and put them in plastic bags and store in the freezer.

    FYI, if you’re putting your pesto in the fridge, make sure you cover it with a layer of olive oil. If you don’t, the pesto will brown on the top. I know from experience! =)

    And I’ve heard that basil doesn’t dry really well… it’s not hardy enough (like thyme, oregano, or rosemary).

    I love your blog! I’m living vicariously through you as I don’t have a garden plot this year.

  10. A clutch of basil. That is just the right word for it. They look like a bunch of tiny animals, or birds. Almost as if they have real life. I am not an animist, but sometimes one can’t help but see these things.
    And, it is right, you can’t have to much basil, ever.

  11. That is some gorgeous basil! Yes make lots of pesto! What I did was put it in ziplocks – lay it flat in the freezer so you can stack a bunch. Then when u are ready put it in the fridge :) omg mine was great it didn’t discolor like I had heard it might. Gorgeous!

  12. I love Basil, and I’m pleased to see mine doing well in a ventilated coldframe. As well as pesto I am hoping to make some basil flavoured oil to dip bread into, delicious and very expensive to buy!

    I heard that you should only ever water basil in the morning so that it has time to dry out before the temperature drops at night. Maybe that’s why I'[ve struggled with it in the past?

  13. I just can’t get basil to grow. What am I doing wrong?
    All other herbs, no problems, but basil?
    Grown in pots in a propagator, pricked out into cells and seed trays, I’ve got 5 or 6 survived from 50 or 60.
    Fresh compost, kept in the greenhouse.

    Ah well, back to the parsley sauce.. Mmmnnhh..

  14. I’ve never had too much trouble with Basil, sown on top of damp compost, covered with a thin layer of vermiculite has always worked. The hardest thing is sowing in succession so you have a regular crop, I always forget that!

  15. Mmmm…margherita pizza!

    Carter, I’ve dried basil every year I’ve grown it! It dries like a dream…just pull out the whole plant by the root and hang upside-down in a dry, well-ventilated area until the leaves crumble easily in your hand. I then (gently) strip them off the stem and they go into a jar in my pantry.

  16. Wow! That’s really good to know that basil dries well… I was pretty much going on what I had heard! Maybe I can get some basil to grow in a pot inside my window this year… and then I can dry it, too. Good info, Sarah!

  17. I had to move mine into pots as my previous attempt which was going great got eaten almost overnight by snails and other small garden beasts. At the moment it looking great and no problems from our garden friends.

  18. This year, we sowed two packets of basil seeds directly into the ground in late April. Right now, we’re blessed with eight square feet of the stuff!

  19. I love Basil too and always had trouble trying to grow it on my windowsill. So this year I got my hands on some really sturdy plastic boxes which had drainage holes in already and sowed half with basil and half with corriander and kept it in the greenhouse under my tomatoes and I can’t use it quick enough, they have gone mad. I was so ple,ased with the result that I have also sown french beans, beetroot carrots and spinach in the same way and all are doing well.