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The Practical Gardener

Basil experiment update

Posted on July 11, 2010 by Paige

Photo 1 - Basil from cloche - See it hiding down there?

Oh those poor little basils that I sent out into the cold last month, how they’ve suffered. Summer only started here in Seattle on 7/6 going from coat weather to 90° heat in the space of a day. I’m not kidding about the coat weather; the kids came home from watching fireworks on the 4th wearing heavy coats with the hoods on and that is what the poor tropical basils had been out in.

Photo 2 - Basil left out in the cold

I’ve been watching them over the last month not growing an inch, becoming steadily more holey and eventually being engulfed by plants that WERE growing. The basil in the milk carton cloche (photo 1) held up slightly better than the one just out in the cold (photo 2).  Aren’t they just pitiful?

The one I kept in the house grew modestly (about 2″ on what was about a 6″ plant) and appears to be in good health (photo 3). I planted it out 2 days ago after a couple of days of 90 degree heat and balmy nights (for Seattle that is in the 60s).

Photo 3 - Basil grown indoors

We’re having another run of chill so the night temps are going to be a bit concerning. Perhaps I’ll put one of my newly planted basils (there are 3 who weren’t part of the original experiment) in a cloche and see what happens with it.

The moral of the story is obvious – DO NOT plant your basils too early – wait, wait, wait.

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