Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Basil Bust

I love basil.  Its heady, sweet smell is an instant reminder of summer, warm sunshine and tomatoes.  During the winter months I purchase living basil (hydroponic) and come early March, it's the first seeds that I start.

Unfortunately, for the second year in a row, the beautiful flat of basil which I started and nurtured during the cold, wet spring has succumbed to just that -- the cold, wet spring.  Arrrrgh!  You'd think I'd learn after going through this last year.  Basil, of all the herbs, is incredibly delicate and require warm temps to survive. And that just something we just haven't had a lot of here in Coeur d'Alene this spring. 

I'm not alone in this crop failure, as friends have lamented that their tiny basil purchased at Farmer's Markets are also failing.  But, there is good news! It's not too late to start basil from seed outside in pots or in the ground.  In fact, right now is the right time!

About 9 days ago I seeded two pots and tucked seeds in along the edge of the tomato beds. Today I have tiny basil sprouting from pots and the ground. One packet of seeds at $1.99 will yield more than enough basil --and it will be ready just in time for ripening tomatoes in August.

Maybe next year I'll learn my lesson and just sow basil outside in June. Probably not though, I'll take my chances and hope that next spring will be warm and sunny.  The gardener is an eternal optimist! 

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Thanks for reading and sharing your comments! Candace

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